To be honest, there really isn’t that much to say about it, except that I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected!
Following the events of the classic fairytale of Hansel and Gretel who survive their encounter with a witch inside a gingerbread house, we see the two siblings grown up, decked out in leather and with a host of weaponry, hunting and killing witches. A town has children kidnapped by witches and while the duo search for them, they learn about their past.
The film is first and foremost, indulgent; it does not attempt at taxing your brain or giving our heroes moralistic decisions. This is a simple equation: witch + magical shotgun = blood splatter patterns.
It is totally self aware and riotous. Don’t go into this with any pretense of how unjustified the real witch hunts of history really were… this film is entirely fantasy. To think, Nicolas Cage’s Season of the Witch tried to have that sort of subtly, but, as I reviewed, that tried and failed. This film embraces its lunacy with abandon.
Is it a good film? Not really, it is what it is: dumb and fun. A great way to waste a couple of hours one night. Are you really going to complain having Jeremy Renner and especially Gemma Arterton completely suited in leather, quipping while shooting witches with shotguns?
More seriously now though, I was actually really impressed with the film’s practical effects! We have physical monsters, physical action and physical effects everywhere! This alone kept me watching. The witches are uniquely designed too, you can tell a lot of love went into the way the film looks, tie this with actors who appear engaged and enjoying themselves, you get a really bouncy and entertaining film.
Not to mention gory and surprisingly violent! This film doesn’t pull its punches when it wants to show people getting killed, so the horror crowd will get their fill too.
Its like taking Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and excessive violence and popping them into a blender. Enjoyably stupid, I’d recommend it as a good time waster!
Additional Marshmallows: A friend of mine will be telling me: “I told you so”, after I turned down seeing this in the cinema to instead see… A Good Day to Die Hard… I’m crying a little.