Siblings, Gretel and Hansel live in the countryside with their mother. When times are hard and Gretel can't find work, their mother sends them out to fend for themselves. As they journey through the dark forest without clothes nor supplies, they come upon a house with good-smelling food, and decide to temporarily stay there in care of an old woman. As they recover from fatigue, they uncover odd things which might prevent them from getting out alive.Written by
At one point a song floats over the soundtrack: "My mother, she killed me, my father, he ate me, and my little sister, my bones she kept, what a pretty bird am I!" This comes from another Grimm fairy tale, "The Juniper Tree,"widely considered by scholars as the darkest of all their tales. In it, a spiteful mother beheads her stepson and blames it on her daughter. She then cooks the corpse and feeds it to his husband, as the daughter picks up the bones from under the table and plants it under a juniper tree on the family's garden. A small bird appears from the grave, singing the song in question while picking a pair of new shoes, a gold chain and a mill stone, and then carries them to the house. The bird then gives the shoes to the daughter, the chain to the father and drops the stone on the stepmother, killing her. As she dies, the bird turns into a boy again and the story ends. The film borrows some thematic elements this tale. See more »
In a scene where Gretel and Hansel are talking on their beds, the cat sitting adjacent to Gretel is seen jumping off the bed. In following sequential scenes that cut back to her, the cat is seen sitting back on the bed, but later is not there again. See more »
There are many scenes in this movie that are very good, there are many images that are very creepy, and the overall story is one that feels somewhat unique even though it's based on a story that could date back to the 1300s, during the time of the Great Famine in Germany, and has been retold thousands of times, and recently too (remember "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"?).
This movie looks gorgeous- from production design to cinematography, everything is beautiful. It's shot in a smaller aspect ratio than normal (1.55:1), giving the film a squarer look. The way that Holda's home is designed, to look incredibly triangular, works amazing when shot in this aspect ratio, because it gives everything a more perfectly aligned look. There are honestly very few shots in this whole film that don't look gorgeously grim. The way that some of the dream sequences are shot are awesome too, and the hidden chamber behind the wall, where most of those dream sequences take place, is probably the most chilling use of minimalism I've seen in a PG-13 mainstream horror flick. It's there in that room that some of the gorier images arise, and also where a fair amount of the chilling sequences come from.
If you like slower, more atmospheric horror films then this movie is a good way to kill an hour-and-twenty-five minutes, but if you're looking for a fast-paced, jump-scare-filled PG-13 horror flick aimed at teenage couples who want to squeal with delighted terror every time a loud bang is made, then look somewhere else; this movie isn't that at all. As a whole, I thought this movie was incredibly watchable, but it also had plenty of small flaws throughout.
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