It is quite interesting how popular fairy tales seem to be right now. In addition Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, there been three recent adaptations of Snow White (Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Blancanieves), Jack the Giant Slayer coming out in March, as well as the TV series’ Once Upon a Time and Grim. In the case of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Hansel and Gretel used the experience gained from their encounter with a witch as kids to become bounty hunters, who specialize in killing the evil hags. It is quite obvious that this is a film that you shouldn’t really take too seriously. The film is at its most enjoyable when the witch hunting, in all its gory splendour, is at its highest. In fact, it was probably the third act of the film, in which I found myself enjoying things the most. As for the rest of the film, it was a bit of a mixed bag.
I should probably start with the witches, who are led by Famke Janssen’s Muriel. If there is anything you are going to hate about this film, it is in the very cheesy way the witches are presented. The make-up is horrendous and the lines are bad and you are either going to end up going with it or leave screaming. Thankfully, many of the witches end up meeting grisly demises, so it doesn’t really matter in the end how well the witches act. The film also features a secondary antagonist in the form of the town sheriff (played by Peter Stormare). I didn’t really feel this character added much to the plot and, in the end, the character felt a little flat. There’s another element of the film that I absolutely much talk about and that is the talking troll named Edward. While I do have to applaud the fact that they went the man-in-suit for Edward (the man in the suit being go-to creature actor Derek Mears), his introduction marks the film at its most ridiculous. Edward looks like he would be more at home in more family-friendly fantasy films like The Neverending Story or Labyrinth. However, that said, he ended up being one of my favourite elements of the film. In conclusion, I will say that Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is indeed a flawed film, but by the time it was over, I would say that I enjoyed myself.8 | LIKED IT