Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)


The naive brother and sister fell into the trap near the witch, when they stepped into the candy house. But instead of ending up as a hearty, tasty meal, they manage to overcome and burn the evil witch. Fifteen years have passed and the children have grown up. Now Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become fearless witch hunters. Where they are invited and adequately paid, they do the job to the satisfaction of the locals. Arriving in gloomy Augsburg, where eleven children have been abducted, will bring them a new terrifying experience, when they face unimaginable evil. An evil that has its roots in their childhood.

Norwegian director and screenwriter Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow from 2009) signs a film adaptation of a fairy tale that focuses on the time when his brother and sister grew up, starting to engage in a dangerous craft – catching and killing witches, well hidden in thick, dark forests. Apart from the effective introductory part (from the original story), later the plot develops somewhat differently. Imbued with an enviable amount of action, somewhat less horror ingredients, with the obligatory humor, the action strives to provide us with an optional form of light entertainment. The suggestive director, forcing his brother and sister in numerous shots, tendentiously tries to point out to the audience their connection, attachment to each other, but also their very sharpened murderous instincts through well-developed teamwork in catching witches.

Solid acting releases of the main characters, especially because they did well in the action scenes, with the appropriate use of the inevitable special effects. In addition to Renner and Arterton, it is worth noting the striking episodes of several supporting protagonists. I mean, first of all, Mina, a white witch who was beautifully presented by a relatively anonymous Finn, Phila Vitala, spice up certain segments with tastefully presented erotica. He is also attracted by the experienced Peter Stormare as the corrupt Sheriff Beringer, which is just the most common routine for him, after so many roles of villains.

Considering that the sets were made in locations all over Germany, including Studio Babelsberg, it can be said that the set design is quite good, and with that, make-up and designed costumes were used on the spot. The design of the weapon we see is also interesting, especially the one used by the bat and the cutter. The objection goes to the masks made, especially the masks of many witches, because it could have been much better, which would visually leave a much stronger impression. However, the appearance of Edward the troll is a real refreshment, because the actor Derek Mears got under his skin, while Robin Atkin Downs lends his voice, so this unusual combination gave more than a good result.

Throughout the work, the audience can enjoy good musical arrangements, and praise at the expense of the author of the music, Atlija Orvarson. The ambitious German-American co-production, in which about fifty million dollars were invested, essentially passed the exam, because it paid off commercially in less than three months of showing. Although the plot is mostly childishly naive (well, it’s understandable, because it’s a kind of adaptation-continuation of the famous fairy tale of the Brothers Grimm), it is intended for almost all age categories of film lovers, because it provides above all drinking fun.

There is no excessive fatigue of the cerebral hemispheres here. A likable film reading, created as a result of a brave idea in the direction of elaborating an original fairy tale, in which the human imagination came to full expression. My recommendation, with the remark that we leave aside the huge expectations and the often present splitting, in the sense of a logical explanation of everything you see in the film frame.