Monday, February 25, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

2013, Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) -- cinema

It is with unreserved glee that I state out loud that I really liked this movie!  Sure, you might want to lump it into the same sub-genre as Van Helsing but I am one of the nine people who really enjoyed that movie too.  Sure its silly and over the top.  Sure its so antagonistically anachronistic I have to internally explain the presence of modern guns in an 18th (??) century setting by saying it all happens in a post-apocalypse age where society has collapsed to a semi-medieval state but technology has survived.  Pshaw I say to all the haters; just relax and enjoy leather bound monster hunters with cool weapons fight a plethora of creatively nasty witches.

So, plot, as if the one sentence above doesn't cover it all, is that Hansel & Gretel are led into the forest by their hunter father and left in the dark.  They follow their noses to a cabin made of candy and are capture by an evil witch.  But rather than lying down and being baked (that's the other movie) they kick ass and cook the witch.  Thus are born the legend making witch hunters.  But by now, shouldn't they be Hans and Greta? Anywayz, the movie begins with our heroes in a town where the witches are doing more than eating the odd child here and there. Some sort of prophecy is in action!

While Werewolf: TBAU claimed to be a failed followup to The Wolfman, it turns out to be this movie's mockbuster with the same plot structure -- the usual monster is not so usual, the town's established law & order do not trust the hired guns and the main characters have their history revealed.  But unlike TBAU it doesn't elicit cringes.  I am not sure if this is Tommy Wirkola's you-did-a-popular-foreign-film-here's-an-hollywood-script intro but he did a good job of blending traditional horror with humor in Dead Snow and he does a good job here as the guffaws blend in well with the, well, on-par action bits.  And it was nice to see Arterton lead the genre action for once, instead of just being the girly support for the hero. It was nice to note the female hero cried out in shock and pain as much as Renner did.