January 29, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

(aka Wtiches = Bitches )
Release Date: In Theaters now.
Country: Germany, USA.
Written by: Tommy Wirkola and Dante Harper.
Directed by: Tommy Wirkola.
Starring: Jeremey Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, Famke Janssen, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Pihla Viitala, Joanna Kulig and Derek Mears.

I usually don't get down for the heavily FX-laden, glossy, commercial Horror flicks of the world. I'm talking about flicks like Van Helsing, The Mummy, Ghost Rider, et al. Movies like that just serve to annoy me, mainly because they lack any sort of depth, and genre movies with depth usually don't make a ton of money.

That being said, I just couldn't help but love this movie.

When H&G was pushed back from March 2012 all the way until January 2013, it made us nervous. Usually only POS genre flicks get dropped into a January release slot, so we lost most of our excitement for the movie.

Seems as if we were worried for nothing.

like (1)like (2)like (3)
We all know the classic Children's tale of Hansel and Gretel, don't we? Two young kids get abandoned in the woods by their parents because the family has no food, because any rational parent would obviously say "fuck these kids and their incessant hunger," right? So, poor and starving, little Hansel and Gretel wander around until they come upon a house made of sweet cakes and candy, and proceed to eat it. Because they're starving.

Bad luck for them though, because the old woman who lives there is a Witch! She lures them inside, shackles them up, and starts fattening up Hansel to eat him, while Gretel is made into a house bitch. In the end, the kids get wise and shove the old hag into the oven before she can do the same to them, and we all learn a valuable lesson: German Fairytales are creepy as hell.

"Wait... they tell these stories to little kids?"
In this movie version of H&G, it starts out pretty much the same, but we get to see the kids grow up and turn into lean, mean Witch Hunters. They travel the world, sworn to kill all Witches for giving Hansel diabetes, and thus they kill the hell out of a shitload of Witches.There's also a troll named Edward, a geeky little sidekick, and a jerk-nut of a Sheriff in there somewhere, all of whom cause nothing but mischief!

The Witches cause plenty of mischief too.
That's basically the plot. I could give specifics, but "they kill a shitload of witches" really says it all. There are some twists and turns in the story too, most of witch (play on words) are fairly easy to see coming, but hey, we're not here for a complex narrative, are we?

Don't look at me that way. You knew what this was.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is not a perfect movie, nor is it a particularly great one, but we really loved the hell out of it none the less. It's vulgar, overtly violent and blood-soaked, and has a fun premise. Don't get bogged down in the plot, or in the sense that it doesn't always make, and just love it for the two crazy kids out there hunting Witches, because that's what this is all about. Focus on anything else, and you're missing the point completely.

This is the only point of the movie.
This movie is big, crazy and visually awesome. Witches kill and get killed in gloriously nasty ways, and every bit of it is messy fun. It's kinda like The Expendables; you know it's all just a crazy ridiculous excuse for violence, but hot damn is it fun as hell to get lost in for 90 minutes or so.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton were great as the titular characters, and I'm glad they didn't play it too serious or too funny. They were a good mix of the two dynamics, and came off as being pretty bad-ass to boot. I'm really glad that Tommy Wirkola didn't stray too far down the tongue-in-cheek path, because too much camp would have made this movie painful.

Famke Janssen was bewitching (play on words) in her role too.
H&G is an often times silly and choppy movie. Silly is to be expected, given the premise, but the choppy bit is vexing. It felt like the last half of the movie was rushed and lost its focus, which was fairly intact in its first half. It wasn't "bad," but it was just like "come on, man!" at times.

Gemma made us forget most of the movie's woes...
We wish it had been fleshed out a tiny bit more and been a bit longer. As it stands, it's a quick and fun little bit of a movie, but it could have been great with some longer, deeper material. Had some parts of the movie taken their time a bit more, and stretched out to add some extra quiet atmosphere, we'd have been happier. Extended Blu-ray edition, please.

We'd be cool with a sequel, too.
Witches get burned alive, Witches explode, people explode, heads explode, heads get severed and smashed, everyone gets stabbed and shot... this movie delivers the blood and gore!

This little Gatling Gun provided much of the carnage.
Not much to see here in the way of nakedness, but we do get one scene of the sexy Pihla Viitala skinny dipping, which was decent enough. This movie is just not about the sexy stuff. Well, directly anyhow. Witches are always sexy... when they aren't all creepy and old-looking, that is.

Don't look at him that way, you knew what this was!
You can look at this movie in the wrong way, and easily say "what a bunch of goofy shit." Of course, you'd be missing the point, but you could, and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong. H&G is meant to be nothing more than some good old-fashioned shameless fun, and in that, it succeeds wildly. It's nice to be able to just sit back and watch a Horror flick that is just pure fun, and not really care about its lacking elements. Go see this one, and enjoy. We loved it, and we'll be waiting for its Blu-ray release while you are out loving it for yourselves.


We love and appreciate Gemma and Famke, because their beauty is definitely a special thing, but they weren't the only Hotties in this movie, were they?



  1. SPLAT! Aaaaaaannnnnddddd, I'm spent.

  2. This was a tonne of fun and for a genre movie the fight choreography was fantastic.