Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

This would be hotter with Jeremy Renner
in front.
"Revenge is sweeter than candy."

Hey everyone, welcome back to The Tagline, with a fresh week filled with movies about shooting things for reasons. Today, as long promised I will be delving into less than stellar cinema once again, this time with the obviously dubious looking Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. This was the sort of movie that I was honestly surprised was getting a wide movie theater release, but then again I suppose it has actors in it who need to be paid in real money so I shouldn't be too shocked. Even then you're almost surprised they'd even attach themselves to a movie about Hansel & Gretel that looks like Van Helsing. That in itself is pretty damning, as Van Helsing was a total train wreck of a movie, even when compared to other pulpy cinema. So with all of that weighing on my mind I didn't enter into this movie with very high expectations. Let me set up the premise for you, parts should be familiar. Hansel & Gretel are left in the woods by their dad. They find a gingerbread house, a witch who lives their plans to eat them, but they get the drop on her and burn her in her own stupid oven. Following this event, Hansel is left Diabetic and has to take regular injections or else he'll die (Naturally. They didn't have insulin shots in the 1800s but I guess I have no real idea or really where this movie is taking place so probably don't let that trip me up). Together he and his sister become renowned witch hunters, killing tons of witches in no small part because they seem to be immune to the dark magic they employ. At the movie's outset the two arrive in who-the-hell caresville where the sheriff is a real dildo, and the mayor is less of one. The mayor hires Hansel and Gretel to try and find out why children are disappearing (hint it's witches). Before they do that though they have to take a moment to stop sheriff jackhole from executing some hot chick that they think is a witch. Hansel explains that witches can only pretend to be hot, and are actually gross, whereas this girl is actually hot. This is all really advanced high-class stuff so try and keep up guys.

Oh yeah Famke Janssen is an evil witch in this.
So the movie establishes the vague borders of its world, and then immediately plows ahead into a film that is generally brimming with gore and violence of the gun and non-gun variety. Also one guy explodes, which is pretty gross. I don't mean like he gets blown up, I mean a witch curses him so that he will explode like a gross blood grenade. Look forward to that shit. The movie has a more or less coherent plot, though it certainly isn't going to win any awards for originality or execution (it did not win any awards for those or any other things). This movie delivers more or less what you'd expect: violence, blood, and a side of sexy. Maybe a little more than a side, I guess Gemma Arterton is wearing pretty tight pants for the whole movie, but I mean mostly the violence. Having gone in with spectacularly low expectations, I was surprised when this wasn't the worst movie I ever watched, and what can I say, I just enjoy watching Jeremy Renner beat people up even if he is not shooting a bow and arrow at them like I know is the cool thing for him to do. The movie also benefits from just having a lot of what I would call heart. You can generally tell when a movie is a cheap, disinterested cash grab, and that doesn't seem like it's the case here. The sets are all lush and vivid and the movie lacks those dark dingy filters movies like to use to make themselves seem gritty, where often it just makes them look like a shitty 2003 first-person shooter. The costumes are also all pretty great (I mean not in an accurate way, but they are cool looking). This film was directed by Tommy Wirkola, the same guy who did Dead Snow, a film about zombie Nazis, so you know that he has an obvious enthusiasm for camp, and that works here pretty well.

This is not a nice way to treat ladies.
The movie is very..imaginative in its way, and that generally makes it fun if not especially thoughtful. The thorough use of practical effects over CGI as the go to for creatures and special effects is as always a major win for this movie, and generally speaking it makes for a fun and visually pleasing film that could have otherwise been a bland piece of shit. Of course it is still a generally shallow movie, so film critics for the most part ripped it to pieces. The notable exception was the horror set, that definitely enjoyed a movie that was aimed directly at them (us? I don't know) Horror movie critics generally enjoyed this, and it has something of a cult status now... sort of. Internationally the movie kicked serious ass, and so thanks to that they are now working towards a sequel in 2016, which even with strong overseas performance I was still surprised by. Then I saw just HOW strongly it grossed, and it all made sense (domestically it pulled in around 55 mil. Internationally the movie made over 170 million dollars making this a big win for a movie with a 50 million dollar budget) To me the coolest thing about the movie is the giant animatronic troll they used. The fact that they made a complex animatronic rather than just doing motion capture just struck me as so neat for whatever reason.

See you again in 2016.
I briefly read that some people were upset because this movie had lots of women being strung up and burned. I assume that those people didn't see the movie, because they must have heard witch and thought of a girl with a pointy hat at Halloween or the lady that runs their local holistic medicine shop. They are not being strung up and burned in this film. The witches on display here are actual honest to god monsters, that masquerade as attractive ladies. They are not human, just like vampires or some other horrible thing living in the wilds, and also they eat children so like... whose side are you on here? If you don't eat children and make guys explode I think you're probably going to be okay.

That's it for today! Join me on Thursday for an explosion or orgiastic violence, sanctioned by the government.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. "Hansel explains that witches can only pretend to be hot, and are actually gross, whereas this girl is actually hot."

    This is such an accurate description of what he does, you might get sued for plagiarism.

    1. I try, where possible, to speak the plain truth. xD


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