Hansel & Gretel, lost in the woods, imprisoned by a witch in a gumdrop house, push the witch into the fire and escape. That’s the fairy tale. This story begins a couple decades later, when Hansel & Gretel, now grown-up, have taken their childhood trauma, and turned it into a career – killing witches. The title is kind of a misnomer, because there is very little actual hunting. It should’ve been called Hansel & Gretel: foul-mouthed witch fighters. That pretty much sums it up.
I went into this one really expecting to hate it. It has 15% on rotten tomatoes, and looked dumb in the previews. I was pleasantly surprised. That’s not to say this is a good movie, it isn’t. However, the make-up and special effects are fantastic. Given the jokey tone of this film, it would’ve been tempting to really ham up the different looks for the witches. Instead, each and every witch (there are about 20 different witches in the film, each with a unique look) is disturbing to look at. Very grisly. So, visually, I rate this very high.
However, the dialogue is just atrocious. What was kind of a nice horror/action blend reaches a level of camp not seen since Batman asked Robin for shark repellant while dangling from a helicopter in the old TV show. They went with contemporary, anachronistic dialogue, that is funny the first 30 seconds and then painful for the rest. Examples – Gretel’s first line as she storms into a witch hanging, “Leaver her alone you f---in hillbillies!” or Hansel’s “Who the f--- is Edward”, or the young country boy – “I’m such a huge fan of you guys!” None of it fits. By the end of the movie, I was convinced that the movie would’ve been better if it had been filmed in a foreign language and then translated through subtitles. Actually, that’s probably why this movie did better overseas.