Movie Review – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

hansel-gretel-witch-huntersWhen I finished watching Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, I turned to my wife and said two things. First I said,

“That was a very stupid movie.”

Then I said,

“I loved it.”

Here’s the premise: Hansel & Gretel get kidnapped as kids by a wicked witch, and manage to take her out. So they decide to team up and take out more witches, because if one dead witch is good, fifty is flippin’ awesome. In fact, they become experts in the art of killing witches. They invent special weapons, learn all about their enemies, and wear a lot of black. The black is not optional – you cannot be a bad-ass witch-hunting sumbitch in pink.

So then these two hard-on witch-killers go to this one town where the witches are particularly bad, and there are lots of witches and they have do to a ton of witch slayin’. There’s more, but you know, watch the movie.

This is the kind of fake-horror fantasy adventure that I love to watch. It was like that ridiculous Van Helsing (which I adored) and Brothers Grimm (which I also adored). It was less serious than the Grimm movie, and more serious than Van Helsing, but still just basically an excuse to see ludicrous action moves and crazy weapons and gnarly monsters.

For instance, there’s a repeating crossbow. You just hold down the trigger and it shoots bolts at about the same rate of fire as an AK-47. And then, later in the movie, it turns out that the crossbow has another trick – if you’re being attacked by two witches, and they’re coming from either side, you can throw a switch and the crossbow will flip sideways and shoot one bolt through each witch at the same time. You have to see this to understand how awesome it is. And stupid.

If you’re hoping for depth, forget it. If you’re watching a film where a guy fires a sniper rifle with a barrel that unfolds, you’re not expecting cinema brilliance (because if you can unfold the barrel of your sniper rifle like a three-panel brochure, it is unlikely to shoot very straight). You’re expecting violence, and lots of it. And boy, are you in luck, because holy crushed skulls, is Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters a gory flick. Which is probably another reason I loved it that much.

Skulls are crushed. Bodies are burned. People are folded, spindled and mutilated, and witches get it even worse (except maybe the hunters who get their asses kicked by the troll. Man, is that one blood-hungry troll). The violence is non-stop, brutal and fantastically entertaining.

I think part of why I loved this movie so much was that it made me want to play a role-playing game where the players were witch hunters. And not one of those weepy, angst-ridden White Wolf hunter games, but one where I can whip out a giant shotgun and blast the pisswater right out of the town asshole, and not suffer any ill effects aside from maybe being asked to clean up my mess. Which I would obviously not do.

All the effort in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters went into the effects and the look of the movie. They got to the end of the budget and said, ‘OK, now what do we have left for the writing?’ and they were down to 35 cents and a Barnes & Noble gift card. There are no surprises here, and while it is entertaining as hell to hear a grown-up Hansel drop an F-bomb, you didn’t rent this movie to be dazzled by the dialog. You rented it to watch a witch fly into a web of piano wire and be turned into a bowl full of potatoes au gratin.

I freaking loved Hansel & Gretel: With Hunters, and if they make another one, I’ll probably go to the theater to watch it. I enjoyed every stupid minute. But seriously, this is a really stupid movie.

5 Responses to “Movie Review – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”

  1. Kenneth Harkin says:

    I agree, mindless and entertaining. I have to be in the right frame of mind for this tripe but when I am this hits the spot.

  2. Scott Everts says:

    I quite enjoyed it too. I was especially happy to see it was R rated which allowed them to really ramp up the violence! Though wish we got to see more of the white witch, it was so brief! :)

    A friend mentioned he heard it did well enough and it was cheap enough they are thinking of doing a sequel.

  3. nonya says:

    I loved the movie and would not change one word in it you guys are crazy not thinking so

  4. Matt Drake says:

    OK, two things. 1) Nobody said they didn’t like the movie. And 2) not liking a stupidly violent and intellectually devoid film does not mean you are crazy. It means you have good taste. Obviously, I do not have good taste, because I loved this movie.

    Maybe you meant to post this comment on a YouTube video?

  5. maicatena says: