- Director: Osgood Perkins
- Rating: PG-13
- Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
- Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
- Starring: Sophia Lillis, Sammy Leakey, Alice Krige, Jessica De Gouw
It was a dark and stormy night. The wind was howling like the banshees…. wrong setting. Welcome to medieval Germany. Yes, I know scary enough, but Stream to Big Screen dares to go where no other human dares, Gretel and Hansel. This week we volunteer to walk these young kids through the dark forest to bring you this ghastly review. Gretel and Hansel is an adaptation of the well-known fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. The synopsis of the film goes as follows: “A long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.” Well, let’s get to it.
I think the best way to describe this movie is in an analogy that occurred to me last week. Picture it… Sicily… 1948…. wrong story. Ok, imagine you are going on a date with your loved one. You’ve picked this highly regarded but new restaurant. There’s excitement because the reviews and recommendations from co-workers are all positive. You all get to the restaurant and just like the pictures showed, this place is swanky. You’re table is ready at your reservation time, and you get sat in the middle of the restaurant. You see everyone’s food and the fish looks fresh, the pasta looks hot and tasty, the veggies are fresh, and the waiters are on point. The ambiance is on point. You order. The food arrives. You wink at your date to say, “bon appetit, babe.” Now, you’re half way through the meal and the waiter asks if everything is ok and you respond, “yes, everything is good.” It’s at that moment you realize something is missing. You take another bite of your food, but you taste nothing. You think, “That’s weird. I can tell this is cooked well but I don’t taste anything.” You inhale deeply to smell your food and the restaurant. It’s at that point you realize that you can’t smell anything. There isn’t the slightest aroma in the air but you’re nose isn’t stuffed. You ask your date, “Hey, is your food well seasoned?” Response, “Yeah, it pretty tasty.” You question, “Do you smell the food?” They respond, “Yes, of course, and the kitchen smells pretty good, too.” It’s at that moment, you realize that you are sick.
This is Gretel and Hansel. The movie is visually very crisp and almost entrancing. The actors all seem to be doing a very good job conveying the emotions of the moments and hitting the lines. But then you realize you are sick. The movie for being advertised as horror, except for a couple early moments, is without fright. Yes, there is some general eerieness early, but by the end, you feel empty. Empty feels like the correct description for the writing in the movie as well. There is an early scene in the movie that feels like that creepy atmosphere is achieved, but the next thing you know the movie ends and you’re like what were they saying in this movie again. Hollow, hollow, hollow. All for show.
Now with that said, I did enjoy the new spin on an old tale, but I think they could’ve done more. I actually think making the movie only PG-13 may have hurt it in the long run. The horror elements could have been pushed further, but I realized they were targeting a specific age range with this movie that I’m not in anymore.
Gretel and Hansel is a teen “horror/coming of age” movie that is shallow. Looks great on the outside but the content is just non-existent. The movie isn’t bad but it isn’t particularly inspiring or intriguing compared to the recent semi-horror films like Midsommar, Us, and Hereditary. This movie you can catch as a first showing matinee but ultimately is a better view for a streaming service night.
The Stream: The lack of horror and depth leaves the viewer wanting
The Big Screen: Visually stunning to watch
The Final Bill: Though the movie looks good the content and horror is missing and leaves you empty.-S2S: Movie Review