Another revision of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale comes by way of Oz Perkins (son of Anthony of the original Psycho and in Psycho II where he inhabited the young Norman Bates).
Thus, a New Age horror fantasy in Gretel & Hansel is born that is steeped less in scares and more in foreboding. Its rating may come into question given its dark qualities, especially in the inexplicable last act, that keeps the more lurid less visible.
Having the title flipped means more emphases is on the distaff 16-year-old played by Sophia Lillis of It who has flair for the telekinetic. Her and younger (by eight years) brother Hansel (Samuel Leakey) have to take care of themselves because of a maddening mother.
It’s not unusual that the kids would feel discomfiting as Gretel’s intonations are American and Hansel’s British before they come upon a triangular, aromatic cabin in the woods. A huntsman (Charles Babalola) is helpful after a ghoulish encounter.
Finding their way in their isn’t too hard in what appears to be like a makeshift bed and breakfast with all those tasty treats and comfy bunks.
A spooky crone dwells in the place. Alice Kruge, remembered as the ‘Borg Queen’ from Star Trek: First Contact looks the part created in the antecedent given her broomstick and black pointed hat.
Lillis and Kruge appear to form the central relationship as Perkins has notions of empowerment on his mind while staying pretty faithful to the text. If this latest version is too banal with the exception of a couple of set pieces (the siblings also sample some ‘wild’ mushrooms) its production does have a certain eclectic aura if you consider an amber aura.
But, Gretel & Hansel isn’t as focused when it come to narrative coherence as it either wallows in its emphases for eeriness while trimming scenes that really don’t have much bearing in the overall scheme of things. If you thought Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was too bananas and sonorous than this take on a pretty cruel fairy tale if you think about if might be your cup of tea.