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Movie Review: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

You know the story of how it begins…two kids left in the wood on their own. Lost, tired, and hungry they stumble across a house made of gingerbread and candy. The Witch who lives there captures and tortures them to eventually try and  eat them. Using her street smarts, Gretel breaks free of her chains and frees her brother Hansel who was being forced to fatten up and eat as much sweets as possible. They team up to destroy the Witch by pushing her into the oven and slow watch her roast away and burn. We’ve read/heard this Fairy Tale for years. But what happens after they kill the Witch and escape back into the woods and society? This is the question that “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” attempts to answer.

What did I think of H&G:WH? Well since you asked nicely I’ll tell you as I write a letter to the cast and crew with my thoughts. Read on why don’t ya!

Grade: F (for epic failure)

To: Cast,  Director, and Writers

From: Alex (movie reviewer for GeekForeE)

Re: My thoughts on Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m writing to you today because of your recent entry into the cinematic world that you have created known as “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” The word I want to use to describe your movie is monumental piece of crap. But since my editor asked me be a tad more reserved with my constructive criticism, I’ll use it’s not good as my general description. The diarrhea that spewed on the screen in front of me was such a mess of bad acting, bad script, over used CGI and 3D effects that I was left speechless. You took a flimsy story to begin with and managed to make nothing out of nothing.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, what was it about this script that made you really want to play Hansel and Gretel? Jeremy, you were in The Hurt Locker, part of two franchises that are still going strong (Mission Impossible and the Bourne series) and this past summer you played a crucial character in the BIGGEST MOVIE EVER – Marvel’sThe Avengers! Gemma, you were in Quantum of Solace and yes it was the weaker of the three Daniel Craig James Bond movies but it is a major motion picture. And lastly Famke Janssen, your career isn’t too shabby either as you too were in a James Bond movie and three X-Men movies yet you took on the role of Muriel an evil Witch. So I ask all three of you – what were you thinking???

Tommy Wirkola and Dante Harper you wrote this travesty and to add salt to the wound, Tommy boy, you directed this mess. How did the meeting go when you pitched this idea to the studio? We have this idea – Hansel and Gretel have gone on to become folk heroes as they save towns and children from Witches that have been terrorizing the land. They are bounty hunters for hire who will use modern weapons such as shot guns, automatic crossbows, and tasers as they battle Witches who use black magic, magic wands, and flying brooms (or were they tree limbs…to be honest the framing of your shots mixed with the horrible CGI made it very hard to tell what the Witches were flying on). After watching a montage of their exploits via old timey news articles to open the movie, we’ll meet H & G as they free a woman being accused of being a Witch in a small town where the Mayor has hired them to help locate some children that have gone missing. During their investigation we’ll see that the Sheriff of the town and his posy have no love for H & G and will do what they can to stop their interference in the town and it’s Witch hunt. Needless to say we come to learn what happened to force H & G into the woods and why they were left out there on their own. We’ll also get a Troll that we’ll name Edward (guess we know what team Tom and Dante are on – yes, I worked a Twilight joke into the letter) who will start out as a thug but we’ll see that he has a big heart. Lastly the siblings need a side kick so we’ll introduce “Ben” a fan that has tracked H & G’s progress over the years since that fateful day they were captured and escaped.

I have to give you credit as you somehow used the Jedi Mind Trick to get a studio to finance this movie. But what happened with the acting? Jeremy Renner’s acting was so bad that it felt each time he spoke that he was in a bad skit for Saturday Night Live. And he can now take the award for “worse accent ever” away from Kevin Costner (see Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) as there wasn’t even an attempt to change it up. Why bother?? Just use your natural voice! No one will care. At least Gemma gave it an effort to try and have an accent for her character as did some of actors playing the children and towns people.

Lastly and not the least the over use of CGI and 3D effects. I will say that you managed to use 3D in making EVERYTHING come at you – people, scenery, blood and guts, and explosions. But when is enough just a bit too much? I don’t need to see it all and in fact would have rather had more story and less fabrication of a fantasy world that was so far removed from anything else that the rules just didn’t exist. From Witches using Matrix-styled fighting (you had to have the “bullet time effect”) to arrows coming right at you (worked better and was much more realistic in any entry into the Robin Hood movies) it just become too much. CGI is great when used sparingly but when you make the entire world/sets out of CGI and don’t use real set pieces that have been constructed you get a movie that is just FLASH and BANG and no substance at all.

I thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Your 88-minute film did live up to the R-rating that it rightfully deserved. There was adult language, blood, violence, and even a brief glimpse of nudity. But the story and acting just left me wanting to get out of there faster then Tom Brady running away from the Baltimore Ravens Defense.

I’m giving this a grade of  “F” for epic failure.



    • Thanks! I really thought that this could be a fun movie with some great action pieces based on an interesting concept. However the final outcome, to me, just didn’t hit the mark. This may become one of those films that has a better DVD/Blu-ray sales and rental life.

  1. I tried hard to really like this movie but you’re right it lacked a lot. I even had questions in the end like if Gretel was supposed to be a “good witch” born from a grand white witch why she didn’t have any powers. Then some stuff was really, really stupid. I was kinder and gave it a C for the action scenes.

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