Movie Review: “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”- A Cheesetastic Fun Time

Written by Ethan Butler January 28, 2013

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In the weeks leading up to this film’s release, I got some guff from friends because I was really looking forward to it. I had two reasons: the first being the obvious- Jeremy Renner kicks ass. With the second reason being that the film comes from writer/ director Tommy Wirkola, whose previous film, “Dead Snow”, is just wonderful. So going into the theatre, despite what I had heard, I was still hoping to have a great deal of fun watching this film. And that is exactly what I did. “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” finds the famous siblings all grown up after surviving their famous encounter with the witch in the house made of candy. They are now professional “Witch Hunters”. When called to a  small village to investigate the recent abduction of children by witches they stumble onto a plot most foul, one that may have a tie to their cloudy past.  The film is incredibly violent and bloody, in addition to being filled to the brim with cheesy awesomeness.

The Cheese Factor

To be clear, this film is far from being good enough to win any awards, minus some chances at some of the tech ones. It is somewhat poorly written (as the plot is rather predictable) and some of the characters don’t really possess any depth. Yet despite these notable flaws the film is incredibly fun; much of the fun comes from just how wickedly cheesy it is. Most of the things that are said in the film are so cheesy that it is hard not to crack a smile. While the cheese factor is a major player in what makes the film fun to watch, it should go without saying that the primary source of enjoyment is derived from the extremity of the violence and gore within the film.

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“I say burn them all”

“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” earns an R rating in the US (here in Canada it’s 14A), and it certainly does all it can to earn its rating. There are plenty of burnings, decapitations, shootings, and a surprising amount of stompings, all of which end with their fair share of blood and gore. In keeping with his previous work, Wirkola doesn’t hold back on the violence and the film is all the better for it. Hansel and Gretel both hack, slash, and shoot (lots of shooting) their way through many a hideous witch in the films 1 hour and 40 minute run time.

HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS

Cool Toys

One thing that the film does have going for it is its impressive use of practical effects. Sure CGI is used but only in parts where the filmmakers could not achieve what they wanted to through the use of great make-up and impressive animatronics. It is somewhat refreshing to see a film which relies so heavily on special effects go as skimpy as humanly possible on computer generated effects, and instead utilize creative make-up along with impressive animatronics as previously mentioned. The animatronic troll featured in the film is just delightful, and adds some technical bravado to the film.

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Here Witchy, Witchy, Witchy

Overall, I have to say that this is not really a good film, mostly because the script is not very good. To some the film’s cheesiness will be annoying rather than funny, and the characters may come off as rather bland- so yes it is something of a bad film. Yet, as me and my friend were leaving the theatre, we agreed that it was a hell of a lot of fun, and that we eagerly await the chance to see it again (most likely on a cheap Tuesday though). So if you enjoy bad movies that are cheesy, violent, and just plain fun go check out “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” so we can get the sequel that perhaps my friend and I will be the only ones hoping for.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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