Tag Archive: hansel and gretal


Everyone knows the traditional story of Hansel and Gretal: two children who get lost in a forest manage to find their way to a house made out of candy. There, they encounter a witch who intends to fatten them up and cook them for herself, but eventually the children manage to defeat the witch and escape with their lives in tact. It’s a common fairy tale that children are told all over the world. But nobody quite knows what happens to little Hansel and Gretal after their encounter with the witch.

Witch Hunters imagines what does happen to them after the story ends. We catch up with Hansel and Gretal in the town of Augsburg where they prevent a woman from being killed as a witch. Here, we find out that since their first encounter with a witch they have become bounty hunters and are leaving no witch alive in their journeys across the country. But with a series of kidnappings taking place in town they realise that the fabled Blood Moon is approaching and Hansel and Gretal must do all they can to stop it.

It’s a pretty good idea for a film, you have to give it that. And with it being rated at a 15 here in the UK, it opens up the idea of this being a film for adults; blood and gore aplenty. Therefore, there is potential for a dark and gritty story to be told, just the way the Grimm brothers originally envisioned their work. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Hansel and Gretal: Witch Hunters decides not to take itself seriously and aims at becoming just a generic action/fantasy film. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. Compared to other action/fantasy films of recent years this is a contender for the best, but it is not a genre that generally does well in cinemas unless it’s related to Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. But when Hansel & Gretal gets it right, it gets it right. There is a lot of blood, there are some big laughs too (and a few little ones).

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton do their best in the title roles and these are two actors that I really do like. But it seems odd to me why Renner in particular would have chosen to make this film. I’m not really sure I buy into the brother/sister relationship which is supposed to be conveyed by the two actors despite good solo performances.

The special effects work was probably the best thing about the movie. Edward the troll (who names a troll Edward?) looks like a fantastic piece of CGI work and the witches do look genuinely creepy and a little bit frightening. It does feel, however, that despite being an enjoyable film there are a few too many flaws, leaving Renner, Arterton and Famke Jansen wandering around in hope of finding a better script somewhere.

My Rating: A generous 6/10, purely for entertainment value.

UK Release Date: 22nd March 2013.

Stars: Bryan Singer (director), Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane, Warwick Davis, Eleanor Tomlinson

Plot: The long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.

Jack and the Beanstalk is the latest fairy tale to be adapted into some modern war/adventure film, following in the footsteps of Snow White and the Huntsman and the upcoming Hansel and Gretal: Witch Hunters. Here we have the simple naive farm boy of the fairy tale transformed into some brave, giant killing soldier.

Being directed by Bryan Singer, who took the X-Men films into darkness before Batman made it cool, I am surprised by how much it looks as though Jack the Giant Slayer is being aimed at children. A lot of what we see in this trailer, the attempts at humour and even the whole aesthetic look, makes it seem as though the family audience is being targeted although how many adults are going to be prepared to sit through this film I’m not sure.

I’m not saying this looks bad though because I actually think it could be a lot of fun. I’m pleased to see Nicholas Hoult getting main parts in films these days and its good to see Ewan McGregor offering some comedy up. Jack the Giant Slayer does look incredibly CGI heavy but hopefully that won’t distract viewers too much and, from the trailer, it looks as though it won’t. This one won’t be a film for everyone but it could be a fun ride.