Home Featured News The Horror of Mediocrity: The Failings of ‘Gretel and Hansel’

The Horror of Mediocrity: The Failings of ‘Gretel and Hansel’

Sophia Lillis stars in "Gretel & Hansel."

By Jamie Miller 

Well, it’s official. The newest retelling of the Hansel and Gretel fable, “Gretel and Hansel” has hit theaters with a proverbial thud. 

Oh, this movie had so much potential and fell so short, but more on that in a second. 

“Gretel and Hansel” is a reimagining of the Hansel and Gretel fable except this film focuses much more on Gretel and she is portrayed as older. This change makes her Hansel’s primary guardian as their mother is crazy to say the least. One day their mother throws them out of the house under threat of death. They’re wandering through the woods trying to find a place to live when they come across a house that belongs to a seemingly sweet old woman who seems all too happy to have the siblings stay with her. But all is not as it seems and Gretel must fight not just to protect her and her brother’s lives, but to save her very soul. 

The movie stars Sophia Lillis, known for playing young Beverly Marsh in the “It” movies, Alice Krige, who has been in numerous films along with playing the antagonistic Borg Queen in the Star Trek franchise, and Sam Leakey, who is making his acting debut. The film also features Charles Babalola known from “Black Mirror” and Jessica De Gouw known for playing Mina Murrary in the short lived “Dracula” TV show and as the deadly Huntress in the “Arrow” TV show based on the comic of Green Arrow by D.C. comics. 

The movie tends to fall flat, sadly. The movie is far more creepy than scary and there were scenes that could have been executed better. At times it seemed as if they were trying to be more weird than scary such as the scene when Gretel walks into a room and sees bodies on a concrete slab with a sheet on them, and when she is about to lift up the sheet she sees blood starting to soak through the sheet and she then wakes up revealing it all to be a dream and looks down at her lower body and the next seen shows her washing the sheets from her bed. Sometimes weird can be scary, but often times it is not.

However, the movie wasn’t all bad. The premise was good as was the acting, and it was brave to depart from the source material as they did. Some of the twists were actually shocking.

All in all, I’d give the movie a 2 out of 5 rating. If you really want to go see this movie, then go ahead, but you also could just wait for it to come out on DVD or streaming services.