02 Feb Review: 2020s Gretel and Hansel
2020s Gretel and Hansel
Gretel and Hansel is our latest entry from Osgood Perkins, son of the legendary Anthony and director of my favorite movie of the last decade: The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Our limited cast features Sophia Lillis as Gretel, Sammy Leakey as Hansel, and both Alice Krige and Jess De Gouw as Holda.
And now, to our friends at IMDB for our synopsis:
A long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.
A “nexus” of terrifying evil you say, IMDB? I do love your wordsmithery.
Our story begins with a tale of a young family, and sickly daughter, and the choice they make to save their daughter. Skip some years ahead, and we meet a young Gretel and Hansel of Grimm fame. With things not looking good at home, they head out to try and find a new life. After some hardship, mushroom trips and dark shapes in the night, they come across a home filled with food and a seemingly caring owner. Are things what they think? Is something darker lurking?
My opinion: this was exactly what I wanted it to be.
While based on the classic Grimm tale, Perkins takes things in a different direction, which I appreciated. I would have been totally ok with it sticking with the original story, but I really enjoyed that it did its own thing. It is still, largely, the dark fairy tale that so many of us are familiar with, but they made it their own.
The score was incredible, and almost every shot in the film is perfectly done. The cinematography on whole was fantastic, which I expected. The opening tale of this poor cursed young family was so good…
I try not to expect much with movies, and this was a tough one. As mentioned earlier, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is my favorite horror film of the 2010s, so my expectations were through the roof. I’m usually good about keeping a lid of that, and I didn’t feel disappointed.
There are some things I could nitpick, but I try not to do that much as I don’t feel it’s fair. Just because things don’t go exactly as I would like is a silly way to judge the film. We all have things we would change about everything, so it’s better to judge on what is there as opposed to what isn’t.
Gretel and Hansel is a lean and well-paced 87 minutes, and I would have gladly taken another 20 minutes or so to stay in the world that is being built in that strange little cottage. So yeah, that would have been great. But I still loved it even without that.
Great performances all around, and not that we didn’t know this already, but Sophia Lillis is a star. Its super cool to see someone so young really knocking it out of the park in these great horror roles. I expect that we’ll continue to see great things from her, and not just from It chapters one and two.
I hope that people get out to see this one. While I’m guessing it will be an incredibly-limited run, it would great to see this film be financially successful as I would love to see more movies in this style. There is so much great content from classic fairy tales that could be re-imagined, and you can sign me up for it all.
So, to me, Oz is three for three. I’m at atmosphere guy, and he just knows how to create it. Im a fan of his, so that could be part of why I enjoyed it as much as I did. And I’m ok with that.
I’m looking forward to a second watch when this drops, because then I’ll take a more analytical approach. But from just my first enjoyment watch, it nailed it.