‘HANSEL and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ is an alternative take on a classic tale. Like the story, it begins with young siblings Hansel and Gretel being left in the woods by their parents. Walking through the woods, they come across a house made of candy, owned by a witch, who holds them captive and fattens them up, with plans to devour them. They manage to kill the witch and escape. The big difference between film and fable are that the two then grow up to be a Witch Hunting combo; Gretel uses a crossbow as her weapon of choice, while Hansel uses a shotgun (yes, a shotgun). Hansel and Gretel are played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.
Children from their town Augsburg are being kidnapped by a coven of witches for an upcoming ritual, headed by the Grand Witch (Famke Janssen). They need 12 children representing the 12 months of the year. With help from Mina, a woman accused of practising witchcraft and Edward, a sympathetic gentle giant of a Troll, its down to Hansel and Gretel to get them back.
‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ is by no means a great film. Its ridiculous, cheesy, over the top, occasionally melodramatic and I felt it often took itself too seriously. Yet despite these complaints, it was watchable. A bloody action, horror, fairy tale mash-up, it promises excessive gory violence and that’s what it delivers. For what it was, it was entertaining.
The mashup genre, taking a famous story and giving it a monster themed twist, has been popular the last few years and this film is cut from the same cloth as other mash-up movies like ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you may want to give ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ a go.
By Kelan Headley