LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV Film Critic Jonathan Nettles reviews Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS.
You've seen the warning above but let me encourage you to continue reading because if you are interested in seeing this movie then I will be doing you a favor.
The story of Hansel & Gretel that we were told as kids about a brother and sister who wander into the woods, stumble across a house made of candy, are capture by the witch who lives in said house, are fattened up for dinner, and push said witch into her own cooking fire was only the beginning. The two would grow up and become Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
An interesting premise that's not as much a stretch as a film like last spring's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter but it failed to deliver on many counts. Where to begin...
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters should have been made as a PG-13 movie, which I initially thought it was, instead of an R-rated blood soaked, f-bomb filled fairy tale. The filmmakers have already limited the audience that will see it. Let's face it, anyone whose old enough to buy tickets for this film would be better suited with something else, anything else. It was filled with the kind of head smashing gore normally reserved for B movie titles at what used to be a video rental store. The cursing was unnecessary (and I'm not one to be offended by it). I don't like comparing films but if you took 2004's Van Helsing and combined it with 2012's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, this is the film you'd get but without everything that made those films watchable.
Here comes the spoiler...Hansel has diabetes. They don't call it diabetes but when he's seen taken an injection by a villager, he explains that after her was forced to eat too much candy by the witch that captured him as a child, he developed an illness that required him to take an injection every few hours, or he would die. Gee, do you think that's going to be a problem during a key point in the film? Luckily for our heroes, everything seems to work out for them in a pinch.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters falls short on so many levels. It feels like the actors are walking through their parts, the action falls short of any real suspense and tension, which each one feeling like a rehash of the previous one. The "scary" elements of the film are not. Plot development can observed a mile away. Even the makeup for the witches looks bad. In fact, the makeup on the witches for the R-rated film you should go see (The Last Stand) is better than this film. Do you know how many witches are in The Last Stand? None.
This is the kind of film that I am sorry I chose to review. I'm sorry that I have to tell you about it and I'm sorry that I wasted my time on it. In short, I cannot recommend that anyone go see this film.