“Gretel & Hansel” is a dark retelling of the classic Grimm fairy tale.
In a time of famine and plague, their mother finally throws Gretel and Hansel out to fend for themselves.
Alone, hungry and with no place to go, they wander through the forest until they finally come upon a house in the woods (which is disappointingly not made of gingerbread). The aroma of delectable food beckons the starving children inside and they are charmed into staying for awhile.
The more they get to know the mysterious owner, though, the more uneasy they become.
Can Gretel and Hansel discover the secrets the old lady is hiding? Or will they end up becoming lunch themselves?
Directed by thriller director Osgood Perkins, this is an artsy, moody retelling of the classic tale. As if the source material isn’t messed up enough, though, this movie’s dark, twisted story goes to such lengths to make you wonder what will happen next ... though I’m still not really sure what I watched, now that it’s (thankfully) over.
The scariness comes only from the couple of predictable jump scares. For the rest of the tension, they just kept an overall creepy atmosphere and hoped for the best. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t get it.
The film stars the adorable Sophia Lillis, who was so delightful in the “IT” movies. She is the strong, empowered older sister that does a decent job at her role ... even though her role is just awful. Samuel Leakey is her convincingly confused younger brother. Alice Krige is mildly creepy as the old witch, but even she is not enough to make her character very scary.
Violence and bloody images are in this movie. People attacked and burned alive, a bucket of guts and body parts, and people chased with an ax are about the extent of it. There is hardly any language, and even it is very mild. So ... I guess that’s something.
There is no nudity, but a tiny bit of innuendo that would go over a child’s head, if they found themselves unlucky enough to be dragged to this movie. There is no drinking or smoking, but the starving kids do eat some trippy mushrooms. This is probably the highlight of the entire film.
This film was just a disaster. The trailer made it seem so creepy and scary, but truly the trailer was much scarier than the actual film. Plus, you only have to endure two minutes of it, instead of what felt like 61/2 hours of this cinematic travesty. This movie was a strong message about powerful women, but are you even allowed to make a movie that isn’t about that now?
In short, this movie was absolutely awful and I can’t think of a single redeeming quality to tell you about.
If you do make the mistake of going, I’d advise you to leave a trail of popcorn so you can find your way out of the theater afterward. Because your brain is going to be mush.
I give it a disgusted 1/10.
It is not suitable for children, but teens on up through adults ... still won’t enjoy it. So, please, nobody go see this garbage.
Rating: PG-13 for disturbing images/thematic elements and brief drug material
Run time: 87 excruciatingly long minutes