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Michael T. Weiss,
Two students dissect the dead body of a pregnant woman to turn her unborn baby into a dark magic charm which they believe can grant their wishes. Not only does the magic not work, but they are also haunted by the ghost of the dead woman.
Based somewhat more authentically on the Grimm Brothers' story of a young woman who is unliked by her stepmother, the film includes the talking mirror, a poisoned apple, and some ruffian gold (not diamond) miners (and they aren't dwarfs or cute). It takes place at the time of the Crusades, and depicts the attitudes of the wealthy and the peasant classes toward one another. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <email@example.com>
Interesting Gothic fairytale that should have focused more on its subversions
I hated this when it was initially released, but I really appreciated it this second time around. It is no Disney flick and not intended for children. From what I understand, it is based on the original source by the Grimm Brothers. While it is never particularly scary, the effects are great, and it is darkly atmospheric (especially the scenes outside of the castle and in the surrounding woods). Sigourney Weaver is excellent as the Wicked Stepmother (who, it is suggested, isn't inherently wicked but driven insane after a miscarriage). Monica Keena does a decent job as Lily, the Snow White figure who has never been beyond the castle, and knows nothing but her privileged upbringing. The "seven dwarfs" (only one is an actual "little person") are actually a group of miners trying to strike it rich and find a better life, and they aren't exactly cordial when the princess stumbles upon their abode. They are led by the unbelievably foxy Gil Bellows (who knew a castmember of Ally MacBeal could be...sexy?!). The story is ultimately a successful tale of looking beyond social class, but it would have benefited more from focusing on the eschewing of Prince Charming as well as showing what was going on inside of the stepmother's head. She is unfortunate but never a sympathetic character. My Rating: 7/10.
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