I really hate this modern-day trend of remaking fairy tales to suit our modern-day sensibilities. It’s like no one remembers the originals were filled with sex and violence and cannibalism or something.
Case in point: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. (I just want you to know I am aware that there’s an awful lot of colons for one blog post, and I apologize.) The original tale is a story of child abandonment, candy houses, attempted cannibalism and gruesome witch murder.
But that’s not action-filled enough for today’s audiences, so we had to make Hansel into Jeremy Renner, the averagest-looking lead man since Matt Damon and Gretel into Gemma Arterton, whom you’ve never heard of either. That’ll bring in the audiences for sure!
In case it doesn’t, though, there’s medieval bazookas (or something) and a coven of witches with a grander master plan than “eating children is delicious.” That sounds interesting. Or, wait, no. I’m sorry. I spelled “stupid” wrong.
Anyway, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is especially a kick in the face to fairy tale-loving folk like myself, because we just read the new volume of Fables, which is beautiful and horrifying, all at once (consider this your umpteenth recommendation for Fables and start reading it already), leaving you thinking about it for days afterward.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters doesn’t hit the beautiful (I’m sorry, but if they really wanted to, they’d’ve cast better-looking leads), nor does it get the horrifying right, except in the sense of “I’m horrified that anyone bothered to make this film.”
So, yeah. Read Fables, Re-read Fables, check out a collection of fairy tales and, for the love of God, if you actually enjoy Jeremy Renner, then watch The Hurt Locker again. But avoid this. Please.