Gretel And Hansel Movie Review: An Eerie But Over-Atmospheric Take on the Fairytale
Movie Reviews

Gretel And Hansel Movie Review: An Eerie But Over-Atmospheric Take on the Fairytale

Gretel & Hansel Movie Review: This is a perverse re-telling of a familiar story

  • Movie Name Gretel & Hansel
  • Director Oz Perkins
  • Actor Sophia Lillis, Sam Leakey, Charles Babalola, Alice Krige
  • Rating
  • Rating 2/5 Stars

Rating: **(2 stars)

From the start, this eerie creepy weird  visually stimulating but spiritually numbed take on the Hansel & Gretel fairytale lets us know, this one is not for children, although its two protagonists are kids, one a young adult, actually.

Gretel who occupies centrestage  in this deep-forest ode to  occultism , has just turned pubescent and is vulnerable to  male predatory attention. In one specially  sleazy  encounter with a potential employer , Gretel  is asked if she has been with a  man  yet. When she  objects, the sleazy man reiterates his query.
This is  a world where MeToo is  now being thrust, much like the other revolutionary ideas that take  the  Grimm fairytale to a grim  ‘feary’ tale  replete with  broad references to cannibalism and  voodoo.
I really don’t see the  Brothers Grimm approving of the steep  subversions that their  children’s story  is undergone  in the hands of  a storyteller who fancies  himself as  some kind of a cinematic  revisionist. Director Oz Perkins shoots  the forest scenes with a predatory eye. Every movement suggests danger for the  young woman and brother who are left  alone and  starving in a  forest by a crazed  mother who drives the children out of their home.

The witch, played with  a hissing  authority by Alice Krige is  some kind of a kinky sorceress with a penchant for luring children into her dishy den. But wait. She prefers female children, and here’s where the writer Rob Hayes’  feminist ideas creep into the creepy climate. In the folds of  the fearsome ritual of  rapacious womanhood  there  is  message of sisterhood that precludes the male species.

At one point Gretel, played with a seductive serenity by Sophia Lillis (seen in  Netflix’s  comedy I’m Not Okay With This)  abandons her responsibilities  towards her  kid-brother (Sam Leakey, bright and  wise beyond his years).

“You  are  not his mother,” the scheming  witch  whispers  into Gretel’s ears.  Strange that she  should be lured into evil in spite of being a smart 16-year  world-weary child-woman who  knows  trouble when she sees it. But then, this is what this twisted  interpretation   of  Hansel  & Gretel does: it  wrenches  the  familiar fairytale from its  innocent habitat and relocates it into a world  of  predatory  evil.
Children are  not safe in Gretel  & Hansel. Neither are the adults who  watch this  perverse re-telling  of a  familiar story. Trust me, after  watching this film you will trust no hostess who offers  you a rich sumptuous  spread in  the  middle  of  nowhere.Who knows the dread that lies beneath the bread?

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