Gretel e Hansel: A Dark Twist on a Classic Fairy Tale
Gretel e Hansel is a 2020 horror film directed by Oz Perkins and starring Sophia Lillis, Samuel Leakey, and Alice Krige. It is a dark and twisted adaptation of the German fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” collected by the Brothers Grimm.
The film follows Gretel, a young girl who leads her little brother Hansel into a dark forest in search of food and work. There, they encounter a witch who lives in a house made of gingerbread, cake, and candy. The witch welcomes them with kindness, but soon reveals her sinister intentions of fattening Hansel for her dinner. Gretel must find a way to save her brother and escape from the witch’s clutches.
Gretel e Hansel is a visually stunning and atmospheric film that explores themes of female empowerment, witchcraft, and the dark side of human nature. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its cinematography, production design, and performances, but criticized its slow pace, lack of scares, and thin plot. The film was released in theaters on January 31, 2020, and grossed $21 million worldwide against a budget of $5 million.
The film also features a strong performance by Sophia Lillis as Gretel, who portrays her character’s journey from innocence to empowerment with conviction and charisma. Lillis, who previously starred in the horror films It and It Chapter Two, proves that she is a rising star in the genre. Alice Krige is equally impressive as the witch, who is both creepy and sympathetic, and who shares a complex bond with Gretel. Samuel Leakey, in his debut role as Hansel, is also convincing as the naive and vulnerable brother who depends on his sister for survival.
However, not everyone was impressed by Gretel & Hansel’s artistic approach. Some critics and viewers found the film to be too slow, boring, and lacking in scares. They also complained that the film’s plot was too thin and predictable, and that it did not offer anything new or original to the fairy tale. Some also criticized the film’s voiceover narration by Gretel, which they felt was unnecessary and intrusive.
Gretel & Hansel is a film that may divide audiences depending on their expectations and preferences. It is not a typical horror film that relies on jump scares and gore, but rather a moody and stylish film that explores deeper themes and emotions. It is a film that requires patience and attention, but also rewards those who appreciate its artistic vision and message.
One of the most distinctive aspects of Gretel & Hansel is its visual style, which creates a haunting and surreal atmosphere. The film was shot by cinematographer Galo Olivares, who previously worked on Alfonso CuarÃ³n’s Roma. Olivares used a 1.55:1 aspect ratio, which gives the film a square-like frame that evokes old paintings and photographs. He also used anamorphic lenses and filters to create distorted and dreamlike images that reflect the characters’ psychological states.
The film’s director, Oz Perkins, also revealed some of his influences and inspirations for the film in various interviews. He cited films such as The Shining, The Witch, The Wicker Man, and The Company of Wolves as references for his approach to horror and folklore. He also mentioned artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Francisco Goya, and Remedios Varo as sources of visual inspiration. He said that he wanted to create a film that was “more like a poem than a story”.
Perkins also discussed his interpretation of the witch character, who he compared to Darth Vader from Star Wars. He said that he wanted to make her a sympathetic and tragic figure, who was driven by anger and pain after suffering a great loss. He said that he wanted to explore the idea of “the witch as a woman who has been wronged by the world”. He also said that he wanted to show the connection between Gretel and the witch, who both have latent powers that they need to learn how to use.