Monday Movie Review – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Hansel & Gretel

As some of you may recall, I actually reviewed a Hansel and Gretel based movie for Horrortoberfest a few months ago. It was a goofy, modern day horror take on the original story and I actually liked it way more than I thought I would. I wanted to say that so that you know it’s not that I don’t like movies based on the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel. I just don’t like movies that poorly done in oh so many different ways. Oh, spoiler alert, I guess. This wasn’t great.

So the movie follows our titular duo as they have grown up as orphans that have taken to the witch hunting business. If we are to believe the movie, then fake-Europe circa wheneverthehell was just lousy with witches at one point and you couldn’t go more than 100 yards into the forest without stumbling on some cabin housing an ugly old lady that wants to kill and/or eat your kids. Business was certainly booming for our leads though I can’t help but wonder how anyone got anything done with all the damn witches running around. The only reason H&G manage to even kill that first witch in the candy house is because they are immune to witch magic. Or maybe only harmful witch magic? Anyway, they have some sort of magic immunity but sometimes it’s useful but mostly not.

The main theme of this movie is that everyone is fucking terrible at their job. Especially Hansel and Gretel. But especially everyone else. The sheriff of the town is just sort of antagonistic for no reason other than there needs to be some sort of foil for the main characters and also he is a failure at his job in every single way. The other hunters the sheriff hires to get the witches are just dumb as a sack of bricks and suffer from the same thing that effects everyone in this movie in that they have guns, a witch shows up, and instead of shooting they just talk until the witch starts wrecking their shit. Hansel and Gretel also do this and then get their asses handed to them in pretty much every single scene. Poor Jeremy Renner must have looked at the script and been like “Is there a scene where I don’t just get slammed into stuff and pratfall out of things?” Tommy Wirkola, the director/writer looked him sternly in the face and solemnly shook his head. Such was his vision.

Anyway, Famke Janssen also collects a paycheck during this film as the main witch that has the ability to not look super ugly even though that is the defining characteristic of “dark” witches because you don’t hire Famke Janssen so you can ugly her up the whole movie. She seems to be the only competent person in the film until you realize that she is also bad at her job since she just leaves the only people that might possibly stop her evil plan alive because…it’s fun? It’s not even like some sort of hubris thing she just is like “Welp, you could probably stop me but I’m going to leave now even though I have you completely bent over a barrel. Ta!” So yeah. Everyone is bad at everything and there is a bunch of slapstick shit in what seems to at least mostly want to be a fantasy/action film.

Also notable in the film are the ridiculous and nonsensical weapons that H&G use like a crossbow that splits to shoot arrows to either side since aiming with the extremes of your peripheral vision is a great idea. Oh, Hansel also got magical diabetes from eating too much of the candy house when he was a kid and I honestly can’t even handle the fact that I just had to use the phrase “magical diabetes”. This movie gets a 2 out of 5 for me. It isn’t bad really. It’s just sort of stupid and not in the stupid fun way but the “why would you think that was a good idea” way.

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