Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters by Tommy Wirkola

Most of us are familiar with the Brothers Grimm classic fairy tale about two young children, brother and sister Hansel and Gretel (Cedric Eich and Alea Sophia Boudodimos respectively), who are abandoned deep in the forest by their parents. They find a cabin made out of gingerbread candy and are captured by an evil cannibalistic witch. They escape by throwing her into the oven. But what became of Hansel and Gretel and why were they abandoned by their parents? This action-horror dark fantasy comedy shot in IMAX and 3D, answers these questions. 
15 years after their escape, Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton respectively) have gained international renown for their successful campaigns as bounty hunters in order to exterminate witches. This has been made easier due to their immunity to the witches’ spells and curses. Hansel has to take medication on a regular basis due to a reaction caused by overindulging on the gingerbread candy.

They arrive in the Bavarian town of Augsburg. They have been hired by Mayor Engelmann (Rainer Bock). Many children have gone missing and a coven of witches is suspected of being the reason. On their arrival they find that Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) is about to execute a young woman named Mina (Pihla Viitala) for sorcery. Hansel and Gretel prevent him from doing so. They decide to go the next morning. Berringer hires trackers to do the same. He sends them out that night. They encounter Muriel (Femke Jannsen), a powerful grand witch. In order to send a warning message to the town, she kills all of the trackers but one. When he arrives back in town to tell the people he explodes at the local tavern.  
 Hansel and Gretel find out that the witches need 6 boys and 6 girls (each born on a separate month) for the ceremony of the Blood Moon Sabbath. The witches are also in need of the heart of a white witch in order to create a potion whereby they would be impervious to fire. Hansel and Gretel find out the truth about their parents and whose heart the witches want. They must stop the witches from succeeding in sacrificing the children, retrieving the ‘white witch’s’ heart and therefore gaining immortality.  
This ‘Fairy Tale’ is far too violent to be seen for young children. Though not a work of ‘high art’ it would make an entertaining evening of fun with a gathering of friends.