Two words: too long.
…congratulations to director Oz Perkins for overturning what had previously been an irreversible binomial with his new film Gretel & Hansel. I can now look forward to such remakes as Furious & Fast, The Chocolate Factory & Willy Wonka, Louise & Thelma, Guy Ritchie’s RollnRocka, and of course The Two Dwarfs & Snow White & the Other Five Dwarfs. But seriously, this flipped title is just Dumber & Dumb.Movie review: When it comes to the new movie titled Gretel & Hansel, it’s a matter of leave it or love it | Vancouver Sun
Let me speak up for director Oz Perkins with the reversed title choice. The characters in the story have some of their traditional character traits reversed. Some reviewers picked up on this. The one above appears either not to care, doesn’t like clever titling or ___ (fill in the blank). Whatever, no shade thrown here either way. You can like a movie or not, like a title or not, whatever you want to like you like — or not. Personally, I do like inventive titles, though.
… SPOILERS are ahead, you’ve been warned ….
Great looking, less filling
There was more thought put into the cinematography than the script. A lot more. That weird triangle house just oozes evil by design. Why didn’t these kids look at that strange shaped house and say, “hmm, something isn’t right here?” They were so hungry that the feast sitting on the table was all that mattered.
In the fairy tale the kids started by eating the house, whereas in this tale a bountiful feast magically spread across a table inside the house. This isn’t accidental, the director did not want the house to be edible. As a moviegoer it would have been cooler if that weird triangle was like the inside of Willy Wonka’s chocolate river area. Eat anything on there you like. Windows, gutters, just seeing those kids gnaw into the structure would have added weirdness. Missed opportunity.
Cannibalism at PG-13
I’m a hardcore horror fan, so I can’t really get with the crowd that wants PG-13 horror for a movie that deals with cannibalism. Fundamentally, this is a broken concept because everything graphic and gory has to be subdued.
I’m not saying a good PG-13 horror movie can’t be done, but I can’t name even one. Can you? Use the comments to recommend one.
Feeling a bit broken recordish, but this story belongs in an anthology show. There isn’t enough that happens to warrant barely warrant 30 minutes of screen time. 20-25 minutes is more than perfect for this short story. We don’t need or want backstory on the kids or the evil woman, we want them to stumble hungrily upon the house in the woods, be trapped and face the evil.
Reviews by Others
Let’s check out what others have to say reviewing Gretel and Hansel.
- Becky Taylor Art & Photography (4/4): “I highly recommend this. It’s a slow creeper, and it’s worth viewing every moment. It lifts the level of horror for the year”
- Chaz Evans / Patrick Beatty Reviews: “I think it’s worth watching to see the performances, the cinematography, and the sequences of psychological terror, because those really help the film shine and makes up for what it lacks in some parts. For a January horror release… this is pretty badass.”
- Gimmick Reviews: “…will be a delight to seasoned horror fans even if it doesn’t have a kill count or compelling story. It deserves ten fold the praise it’s receiving.”
- Good Movies for Bad Guys (7/10): “…it’s not a slow burn or a fast pace like so many horror movies. It is a tone. An eerie uncomfortable and beautiful tone.”
- Griff’s Picks (Grade: B): “…can bring grateful rewards for those who tap into its unusual wavelength: as this aesthetic showcase brings lush beauty and new intelligence into an age-old nightmare.”
- Horror Reviews By The Collective: “Osgood Perkins is the right person to re-imagine a Brothers Grimm story, and he did it very well by adjusting the story to fit the heavy giallo/folk influence here. Gretel & Hansel is a great adult update of the story, even if it lacks a bit of impact during some scenes.”
- Jason Bleau / Cinema Spotlight (4/5): “With better writing this could have been the first great horror film of the decade, but as it stands it’s the first truly GOOD horror movie of 2020 that sets the bar for what’s yet to come.”
- Logan Coleman Reviews (7.5/10): “Costume and hairstyle design were excellent for the film. The direction of the film was good for Oz Perkins. My only complaint was the film needed one more rewrite, in a way it needed to be a little bit longer.”
- Kate Sanchez / But Why Tho? (8/10): “…is everything I wanted from this grim undertaking. It was both everything that I expected and something from Perkins and Hayer that subverted the ideas I had going in.”
- Literary Dust: “The atmosphere has that slow moving, creepy, and beautiful quality that I love so dearly! And the movie was just deliciously weird in general!”
- Modern H.P Lovecraft: “The movie is worth a watch if you enjoy the horror genre at all. It’s PG-13, so it certainly isn’t a blood bath. A few gory parts, but nothing intolerable. The story makes up for any grotesque scenes, and does justice for its Grimms’ Fairy Tale heritage.”
- MonsterZero NJ: “…this is a very spooky and unsettlingly dark version of a classic fairy tale. Most such tales had subtle meanings and dark centers and here Perkins expertly brings them to the surface.”
- Stan The Movie Man (3/5): “…didn’t make me feel much of anything. It is an interestingly shot film with a great deal of potential. Focusing on Gretel, as the title suggests, is a good idea from co-writer and director Oz Perkins, son of “Psycho” himself, Tony Perkins. It is a shame that so little came from it.”
- The Critic’s Sanctum (8.2/10): “…is a beautiful looking, slow-burn telling of the Grimm Brother’s fairy tail. The changes feel fresh and I appreciate what the movie was trying to do.”
- Alex Brannan / CineFiles Movie Reviews: “…is more of a daydream than a nightmare, a film whose spell you fall in and out of in equal measure.”
- Eliah de Castro: “…satisfies the eyes, but never stimulates the brain.”
- EYG / Doc: “I really disliked most of the film. The performances were decent. Sophia Lillis was solid with what was given for her to do. The music was good too.”
- Lilyn G / Sci-fi & Scary: “It was a very beautiful movie. As in, aesthetically pleasing even with the yawn-worthy scenes that have been done ad nauseam. Beyond that, it didn’t have much going for it.”
- Matthew Liedke (2/5): “So much of what’s good in “Gretel & Hansel” is cancelled out by its execution. It’s an unfortunate situation where the film had a clear artistic identity, but at the end it doesn’t come together.”
- RockAtTheMovies (5.5/10): “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.”
- RogerInOrlando / Movie Nation (1.5/4): “…all this beauty and detail serves a heavily-narrated, dramatically-thin war of the wills tale, where we and Gretel figure out that there’s no such thing as a free dessert cart”
- Stream to Big Screen: “I actually think making the movie only PG-13 may have hurt it in the long run. The horror elements could have been pushed further, but I realized they were targeting a specific age range with this movie that I’m not in anymore.”
- Society Reviews: “Despite its PG-13, this is not a children’s movie and you should probably skip this even if you are an adult. Gretel & Hansel is every bit that visually aesthetic buffet that tastes like a bucket full of rotting entrails.”
- Startled Sloth Reviews (5/10): “I guess I just don’t know why we needed another retelling of the Hansel and Gretel storyline in the first place. I always figured the franchise peaked in its absurdity with “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” anyway.”
- The Monster Lady (6/10): “I guess my biggest disappointment with this adaption was that the trailers made this out to be a lot more sinister and horror based than what we actually got. In MY honest opinion, there was a lot of missed, unused potential.”
- Your Intrepid Host: “It is trying so hard, but it isn’t investing enough in true substance to be totally worthwhile. Could the visuals make up for that? Depends on the viewer. For me, Gretel & Hansel was a one and done.”
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