Guest Review

A Review of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

The child within us will always be a sucker for fairy tales. Maybe because these tales remind us of those nights when we were securely tucked in bed, moments between sleep and wakefulness, hearing the quiet soothing voices of our Mums and Dads telling us bedtime stories. This is the reason why no matter how young or old we are, we still enjoy those {Disney} movies and their wonderful feel-good vibe. So when we heard that one of our childhood tales, Hansel & Gretel, made its way onto the silver screen, we were excited to watch and see how it did.

Beware! This is not a film you can take your kids to see. Certified for older audiences, it was made with grown ups who love a good remake in mind, rather than the usual audience we’ve come to associate with fairy tales. So if you’ve had a rough day playing poker at a local casino, or using online alternatives like [Partypoker] and you want an escape, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a gory possibility.

If you’re anything like me you mix up the origins of the old fairy tales. For example, I used to think The Little Mermaid, written by Danish born Hans Christian Anderson was a {Grimm fairytale}. I similarly mistook {Hansel and Gretel} as a Danish fairytale, even though it is actually German. So for the confused out there, the original Hansel and Gretel goes like this: The siblings were lost in the woods, found a house made of candy and were captured by the witch who owned it. The witch fattened Hansel up so she could cook him in her oven, but she was outwitted by the children she underestimated, and ultimately ended up being cooked in her own oven.

The moral of the tale? Much like in a game of poker: don’t underestimate your opponents, no matter how harmless they appear.

The two are far from harmless in {Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters}. In a twist the siblings have trained to become bounty hunters in their adult life and track and kill witches. Quite fitting since the duo are immune to witchcraft. The movies central focus is on a town which has a lot of children unaccounted for, so of course the famous partners are summoned to help. The main conflict is that they’re up against a dominant grand witch who’ll stop at nothing to break the curse of witches: death through burning.

What follows is a display of mediocre fight scenes and fast reflexes. Or maybe we just got used to Jeremy Renner in his last Bourne movie, so this one seems a little off. It’s not as fabulous as we expected, and if we had simply organised a poker night with some friends at home for an evening, it may have been a much more rewarding use of our precious time. Maybe that’s unfair, poker’s a hard activity to beat from Australia to Denmark, and we have to commend the set and costumes, especially the make-up; turning Famke Janssen into a hideous witch was challenging, we suppose.

The movie could’ve been more interesting if it weren’t so witch-centric. If Hansel and Gretel ventured into combating monsters or other creatures of the dark instead of just hags on flying brooms, we would’ve been more convinced of their fighting skills. But that’s just wishful thinking now, isn’t it?