Review – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

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This review was Written by Steph Butcher, you can read more from her at Steph on Screen

Everyone knows the original Grimm’s fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. Abandoned by their parents in the middle of the woods, the siblings have to fend for themselves when they stumble upon a house made entirely of candy. Lured in by the witch, the duo work together to burn her alive in her oven. But what happened to the kids once they escaped? They became witch hunters of course!

After their narrow escape with the witch, Hansel and Gretel continue their lives hunting down witches and saving towns. They become living legends and get called in to tackle a growing witch problem in the town of Augsburg, and learn a lot about their own past along the way.

There are some clever expansions on the original fairy tale, such as Hansel suffering from diabetes due to his run in with the candy house and introducing other supernatural creatures such as the troll. Also good to see a woman who is saving her brothers ass for a change!


Directed by little known director Tommy Wirkola, but starring two big name stars – Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton – this new spin on Hansel and Gretel could have done so much. The story seemed flat, as did the characters while the script seemed to lack any substance at all. Why, for a film that was set in medieval Germany, the two main characters spoke with American accents, I’ll never know!

But what the film lacks in substance it makes up for in effects. In a bid to step away from modern CGI, the film relies heavily on classic effect techniques. From face prosthetics on the witches to the impressive animatronic troll, Edward. It is clear that is has taken inspiration from the classic “Splatter” horror films of the past with many bone crunching, head smashing and general body dismembering throughout the film.


With a 15 certificate (UK), it’s not as gory as expected. There is strong language and some nudity but overall the violence isn’t that bad. Most of it is done with comic effect, with the blood looking more like something you’d find in a fancy dress shop at Halloween than actual blood. It hasn’t been used to its full potential.

So much could’ve been done with this film, but instead it was lacking. Maybe that was why it was released in 3D, to detract from how poor a film it really is.

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