Hansel & Gretel (2013) Review
As you have guessed from the title this is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy-tale of the same name repackaged and remodelled for the fast food generation, with a script and cast that makes “Saved by the Bell” feel like the equivalent of a Woody Allen movie.
Starring Dee Wallace (“The Howling”), “Hansel & Gretel” unconvincingly tells the tale of two siblings, Hansel (Brent Lydic) and Gretel (Stephanie Greco) Grimm, who are abducted by an elderly recluse named Lilith and witness the horrors of her home in the woods. Lilith and her two sons are involved in a conspiracy to fatten up children before she turns them into pies to sell to the unsuspecting locals in her shop, the Gingerbread House, and that is truly it, folks!
The film is diabolical even for a mockbuster, and features some of the most unbelievable teenagers in the history of bad cinema. I’m a huge Brothers Grimm fan and there are so many different directions they could have taken “Hansel & Gretel” in, for example “Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby”. But instead the production company, The Asylum, gave us a cannibal slasher without a heart that contained some of the worst crimes to dialogue ever committed to direct-to-DVD.
"I’m a huge Brothers Grimm fan and there are so many different directions they could have taken “Hansel & Gretel” in, for example “Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby.""
It has been alleged the director, Anthony C. Ferrante (“Sharknado” series), personally went out of his way to ask Dee Wallace to join the production and she agreed as she felt the character Lilith was more than just your average stereotypical witch. I’d have liked to have seen the original screenplay she was given because the character Wallace portrays in this hokey-pokey cheesefest is nothing more than a one-dimensional crank who’s lived far too long for baking cakes left over from “Troll 2”.
In saying that, Wallace does have the better dialogue and it does feel at times as if she was filming entirely different cannon fodder or at least she was only allowed access to specific locations that had the higher production value. When Wallace is off screen the film immediately descends into tedious torture porn with more victims than steam, leaving viewers with an over-long mess that isn’t even bad enough to be good.
Anthony C. Ferrante has directed better and Dee Wallace certainly deserves meatier material to sink her acting chops into. If you’re seeking a better retelling of Hansel & Gretel seek out the tangier modern retelling “Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby”, which is downright luxuriant with edginess that is taken from the situation of the story, or “Cannon Movie Tales: Hansel & Gretel”, which is one of the more faithful and enchanting versions of the story committed to celluloid.