Gretel and Hansel (2020)

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Gretel and Hansel

I read a book of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales a few years back. A lot of them are excellent and a bit dark. Hansel and Gretel is a very popular Grimm tale and its even been adapted (sort of) with the film with Jeremy Renner a few years back. There hasn’t really been a stand out American adaptation that is linear to the timeline of the Grimm story, so Oz Perkins decided to adapt one. I wanted to like this film because of the story and dark atmosphere but the film felt so padded and was dull for most of the time.

The film is about a brother and sister who are from a poor family. They are looking for work when the stumble upon a house in the woods. In that house lives an old lady who feeds the two children an abundance of food. The two offer their services to help the lady out and spend a good deal of their time at her house. However, things are not what they seem and Gretel soon becomes plagued with the reality that the woman is a child eating witch with evil powers.

The film changed up the classic name as the film focuses more on Gretel as a central character and often her internal struggles are brought to light. The film stars Sophia Lillis who first made waves in Sharp Objects and then the It film series. It was the perfect time to cast her in a new horror film as she seems like a star. I think the film is well acted but the real strength comes from the set design, lighting, and the overall dark and grim atmosphere. There are some images in the film which look excellent. However, this isn’t en ugh to save us from the dull and bumbling nature of the film.

The film is under 90 minutes long but feels like an eternity at times. It definitely feels drawn out and short on plot as it just kind of sets itself up towards the predictable revelation. There are times throughout where I lost interest and was disappointed that the film didn’t do more with what it had. What we got was a forgettable horror film that was boring.

5.5/10

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