The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, Famke Janssen

Two witch-hunting siblings battle a witch who is terrorizing the town of Augsburg.

Lost in the woods as children, brother and sister Hansel (Renner) and Gretel (Arterton) come upon a house made of candy. Upon entering, they discover it's the home of a witch who takes them captive. The children defeat her and vow to dedicate their lives to ridding Europe of the scourge of witchcraft. Years later, they find themselves employed by the mayor of Augsburg who wishes the pair to rescue the town's children from evil witch Muriel (Janssen). As well as battling Muriel, the siblings must contend with the local corrupt Sheriff Berringer (Stormare).
It's always a bad sign when a film's press screening is held the evening before said movie goes on general release. Basically, the distributor is admitting they have no faith in the film. In the case of 'Hansel & Gretel' it's easy to see why they were so hesitant. This is the sort of movie that's so moronic it actually gives you a headache (though part of this could be down to the 3D). It's a one joke movie, and that joke is the title. Back in the good old days of exploitation cinema, the line was that films were made based on posters. Now, movies like this and the equally awful 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' are being made purely because of a catchy title. No effort has been put into creating a half decent film here and the result is completely devoid of both charm and soul.
Despite the ridiculousness of the title, there's no reason something worthwhile could have come out of it. Look at Hammer back in the sixties; they made movies with a similar premise but they actually cared about creating something audiences would enjoy. Today's producers seem to think a novel title is all they need. To add to the overall cynical feel of this film, we get the dreaded and uncalled for "extra dimension". I was hoping to avoid wearing 3D glasses in 2013 but, less than two months in, my plans have been scuppered. As you all know, I'm no fan of the gimmick but some film-makers know how to use it to a certain degree. Wirkola does nothing to justify its implementation here. Most of the movie is set at night which renders the screen particularly murky when viewed through a pair of dark glasses. It makes for Grimm viewing indeed.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) on IMDb 6.4/10