NETFLIX STREAMING: “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” 2013 (Dir. by Tommy Wirkola)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters| Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Release Date: 2013 | Rating: R | Run Time: 1hr 28min

Hansel & Gretel

When I was first assigned to review Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, I wasn’t expecting much. The film was released right around this time last year, when we’re usually bombarded with bad, fluff films.

The plot never becomes more involved than two witch hunters fighting off witches. Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are famous witch hunters hired by a town’s mayor to defeat a witch. It turns out that this witch is actually a grand witch (shocker!), so she’s evidently more powerful than normal witches. To compound matters, the night of the blood moon will happen soon. This means all of the dark witches are going to be out doing their dark witch things. It’s a pretty typical plot with a pretty typical outcome. Although, there is a somewhat interesting twist on why Hansel and Gretel were abandoned as children. It wasn’t just because they had an evil stepmother as the fairy tale usually went, but I’ll leave it at that.

At only 88 minutes, there isn’t much opportunity to become bored with the film or annoyed with the characters. It has all of the wonderful action flick tropes: corny, tough-guy lingo, fast editing, thrashing body parts and absorbing fight scenes. The movie is rated R, which allows for some awesomely intense death scenes. One character gets pulled apart by the limbs until he bursts. The makeup, wardrobe, and weaponry choice is fantastic and eye-catching, and there is even a Frankensteinian troll.


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is no more than a fun time. If you like fantasy and action movies, you probably shouldn’t miss this one. It puts an interesting spin on the fairytale and it’s a fast, fun ride that didn’t disappoint. Considering the rubbish that is usually released at that time of year, that’s saying a lot.


This was originally posted on The Cleveland Movie Blog on January 28, 2013. I have made some minor changes.

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