Photo from Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Ever wondered what happens after the “The End”? Tommy Wirkola looks at the future post-Happily Ever After for the most famous fairytale of twins, in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

It is a rare occasion that a film will be released and you find yourself watching it at the cinema more than once or twice. For this reviewer, Tommy Wirkola’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters definitely fell into this category.

The film is rated 15 due to the amount of blood and gore. As well as this, the make-up and special effects that create the witches and trolls is what pushes this film into the horror genre.

The CGI, storyline and actor choice did not disappoint. The only criticism I have is the choice of weapons used; slightly out of place for the period of history in which it is set, with weapons such as machine guns and an ‘old-fashioned’ taser.

The film’s backstory is mostly true to the original Grimm’s fairytale but gives a deeper picture of the characters. Hansel and Gretel, as children, are taken deep into the forest by their father and are told that he will come back for them. After waiting, they make their way deeper into the forest and come across a house made of candy where they are then taken in by a witch who threatens to kill them. Instead, they end up killing the witch to defend themselves which leads them into a lifestyle where witch-execution becomes their speciality.

Years later, they find that children are being taken as part of a ritual for witches to help make them immune to fire, so Hansel and Gretel set out to find the children and stop the witches before it is too late. Along this path, they also find themselves discovering more about the horrors of their own past.

The cast includes a number of familiar names such as the two leads, Hansel (Jeremy Renner – Avengers Assemble and The Bourne Legacy ) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton – The Disappearance of Alice Creed and the 2007 St. Trinian’s remake). Other actors are lesser known but still hold their own, including Famke Janssen and Thomas Mann (as Ben aspiring witch hunter just like Hansel and Gretel).

The use of 3D really enhances the thrill of the action genre (the audience flinching away from the weapons and explosions on the screen).

Overall, I thought that the film was very entertaining to watch. The narrative was well structured, and I would even consider watching it a third time.

★★★★☆

Jenna Pollard

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is out now.

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