Hansel Gretel: Witch Hunters
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Many years later, during which Hansel and Gretel had become famed witch hunters, Muriel conspired with the witch coven to resume their plans to gain an immunity to fire. They terrorized the town by abducting twelve children to use for the Blood Moon Sabbath. The kidnappings prompted the mayor to hire Hansel and Gretel to rescue the children. However, Sheriff Berringer paid a group of hunters to venture into the forest with the same goals.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was set 15 years after the title siblings' (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) incident at the gingerbread house, with the brother and sister now making their living as bounty hunters who track down witches and other nefarious creatures. The supporting cast included Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears, Robin Atkin Downes and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. It isn't known if any of those cast members will be back for this proposed TV series.
From fairytale to horror flick, this version of Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) picks up the story fifteen years after the pair's traumatic experience at the gingerbread house. No longer innocent children, the siblings are now experienced witch hunters who take a vengeful delight in their work.
While not as wholly original as Dead Snow, Wirkola certainly does put his own spin on the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. Rather than helpless children lost in the woods and getting fat by gnawing on candy houses, the brother-sister duo discover their particular knack for witch hunting at a very early age. After an introductory scene that establishes Wirkola's brand of comedic horror much better than the film's marketing campaign did, we jump forward in time to a Frankenstein-ian little burgh populated by townspeople who are terrified by the recent plague of witches and eager to burn suspicious ne'er-do-wells at the stake. Luckily, the mayor of said town is a soft-spoken and rational man who hires the heroic witch hunters to solve their problem for them. Things don't go exactly as planned.
Wirkola sets up a pretty basic premise: send the witch hunters after various witches terrorizing the countryside, introduce a cast of memorable supporting characters aligned on either side of the good/evil line and throw in a few plot twists to keep the audience guessing. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton get equal amounts of ass-kicking and one-liners, though they're a bit too sexy together to be a believable brother-sister duo. The co-stars - played by Peter Stormare, Thomas Mann and Derek Mears, among others - are solid additions who hit all the right notes with the audience, whether they be dastardly, comedic or just endearing. The plot, however, gets a bit lost in the second act as it meanders back and forth between the town, the countryside and the lair of the big bad witch, Muriel (Famke Janssen).
"Witch Hunters" picks up years from where the original fairy tale left off. Hansel and Gretel are now adult witch hunters bent on vengeance following their childhood ordeal with a kid-eating witch. Famke Janssen co-stars as the villain, who happens to be -- you guessed it -- a witch.
Tom Charity, CNN: "Writer-director Tommy Wirkola, whose first film was the cult Nazi zombie pic 'Dead Snow,' hasn't concocted more than a slender thread of a narrative. A witch is snatching so many children that the town mayor brings in the sibling celebrity bounty hunters (wait a minute, didn't Terry Gilliam all ready make this movie as 'The Brothers Grimm'?). Rather than construct any scares, suspense or surprise, the movie attempts to stave off boredom with a dose of kung fu fighting every five minutes."
In the fifteen years that follow, Hansel and Gretel become famed witch hunters, slaying hundreds of witches. The pair are somehow immune to spells and curses, but the incident in the gingerbread house has left Hansel changed with a magic-induced form of diabetes and needs a shot of insulin every few hours or he will die.
Conceptual design and production studio Picture Mill collaborated with Wirkola and Messick to create the title and opening credits sequence telling some of the early adventures of Hansel and Gretel as they grew up to become famous witch hunters. It was created with Stereo3D Toolbox through a combination of hand-drawn illustrations, practical fire effects and CGI animation. The digital color correction was supervised by Stefan Sonnenfeld.
Abandoned by their father deep in a forest, young Hansel and Gretel enter a gingerbread house and are nabbed by the old witch who resides in it. The witch forces Hansel to continuously eat candy while making Gretel prepare the oven, but the siblings outsmart her and shove her into the oven's fire, incinerating her. Throughout the fifteen years after the incident, Hansel and Gretel become famed bounty hunters dedicated to mercilessly eradicating witches, slaying over six hundred of them. Their work is relatively easy because, for an unknown reason, they are immune to spells and curses. Hansel, however, is diabetic as a result of his ordeal and needs to take a regular shot of insulin every few hours. 781b155fdc