Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Review

Movie: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
By: Maniac E
Date: February 27, 2013

Classic Tale New Twist

Another fairytale with a twist, something we see more and more and now it is time for Hansel and Gretel to do their part in it. We all know the original story and how everything unfolds this time they are witch hunters with a taste for witches blood.

After a set-up showing the young Hansel and Gretel shoving the witch into the oven, the film picks up 15 years later, where the grown-up pair (played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) has been summoned to a village in Germany to deal with the nasty witch Muriel (Famke Janssen) who lurks in the dark forest nearby. The Sheriff of the town (Peter Stormare) is not happy with the two stealing his thunder, so does his best to stop them and lead his own witch hunt.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Clearly the movie is not to be taken too seriously, the creators wanted a fun ride with humor, blood and over the top action. Now this is for some people the formula to success and the main stream movie watchers will be liking it, as for me it was just not what I wanted to see. Knowing Tommy Wirkola made the infamous "Dead Snow" which I personally liked a lot! I just couldn't find his style back in this movie. It is fast paced and rushes through the subplots and it wants to surprise at the end but for the people watching closely it won't be a surprise at all. Also the 3D parts weren't really anything special and the cheap 3D pops are all over the place.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Now the movie is gory... with digital blood that is. I am a sucker for gory stuff but it needs to have an impact and it was missing just this. Digital gore is just not effective and it never looks right in the end. In the end with all the action the movie just feels as the "Van Helsing movie" that was released in 2004, so if you liked that movie this will be straight up your alley. Just make sure you can handle the more brutal gory digitally enhanced images that are thrown at you.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Luckily the movie only runs around the 88 minute mark which says to me there wasn't anything special to be told here. What I did like was the scenery and everything they did to make the world feel a live and have its unique looks. It is a dark and gritty atmosphere it is just a shame they didn't use this in a better way. The witches were nicely done, they are shown in a creepy and believable way. In the end it is an absurd movie but sometimes shows greatness in what it portrays but falls short again in the script. Meaning a lot of misplaced humor and thin plot with some dead witches.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Anyone looking for an interesting twist on the Hansel and Gretel legend will likely be underwhelmed by the storytelling and characters in Witch Hunters. It's a bland, and at times downright flawed, narrative with flat leads and predictable twists. Wirkola shows he can work in a Hollywood world and let's just hope this project will raise enough money so he can start on Dead Snow 2 in a big way. This fairytale is nothing extraordinary and is forgettable to say the least.



Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters


Tommy Wirkola






Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare