Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Release year: 2013
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Screenwriter: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stomare, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears, Thomas Mann
After the siblings Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) was left in the woods by their father where they met and killed a witch they grow up to be bounty witch hunters.
As the tagline reads, this is a classic tale with a modern twist. It is also an entertaining imagining of what happened to Hansel and Gretel after they escaped the witch in the candy house. Renner (The Avengers, 2012) and Arterton (Quantum of Solace, 2008) obviously enjoy themselves as gun toting siblings on the hunt for witches and the enjoyment adds charm to the action packed fairytale-for-adults as they decapitate, burn and shoot witches. Because make no mistake, the original Hansel and Gretel story may have been for children as well, but this is purely adult entertaiment with blood, gore and brain masses much to present in the movie to suit kids or those squeamish at heart. The always utterly cool Stomare (Fargo, 1996) is a joy as the terrible sheriff and Mann (Beautifl Creatures, 2013) good as young Hansel and Gretel fan Ben while the practical unknown Viitala (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre, 2009) lents her etheric beauty as Mina, love interest for Hansel (Gretel is stuck with a troll) and together they create a fantastical fairytale to entertain those that feel the classic version lacks action.
Was generally panned by mainstream critics, particularly for what they saw as its weak script and gratuitous violence. However, many horror genre critics were more positive, viewing the film as unpretentiously entertaining. The film topped the domestic box office on it’s opening weekend and was a major hit in Brazil, Russia, Germany and Mexico. It’s worldwide theatrical run gross exceed $200 million for the production cost of $50 million. Due to the commercial success of the film, which was planned as the first part of a series, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 went into development.
Picture copyright: UIP