“Gretel & Hansel,” not really scary…just creepy


Arthur Rackham, Public Domain

Illustration of Hansel and Gretel, a well-known German folktale from the Brothers Grimm, by Arthur Rackham, 1909. The fantasy, horror movie, “Gretel & Hansel,” released this year is based on the childhood tale.

Rayna Minix, Entertainment Editor

“Gretel & Hansel,” directed by Oz Perkins, a remake of the original fairy tale, left me with mixed emotions to say the least. Taking on the popular story of Hansel and Gretel, (duh), I must start by saying that I have not heard the original story. Well, if I have, I don’t remember. So I went into this without any expectations. There is not a load of jump scares in this movie, so I personally would not describe it as scary but more creepy. 

Two children are kicked out of their home as their mother has gone mad and they are forced to fend for themselves. They happen upon the isolated house of an old lady who provides them with more than they could have ever imagined. They start to question her motives and her generosity, wondering if there is something more sinister behind it. 

Let’s start with the negatives.

This movie had a hollow plot line. Some say that it was perfectly fine and this was only a problem to the people that need a plot line fed to them. I do not think this is true. There were elements of the story that were never revisited and simply lost in the story. Sure, some can be left to the imagination, but the entire story lacked direction. If you take out all of the random ideas that were never followed through with, it is an awfully simple plot line as well. In my opinion, the story needed more depth that actually added something to the plot line. Elements were just thrown in, hoping they’d stick. 

As for the positives, this movie was well done visually.

The effects were subtle but still powerful, but not too overbearing to make the movie cheap. The fact that the emphasis was not focused so much on the corny jump scares and more on the weird forces and mind games makes it different from other popular horror movies right now. It is not by any means an entertaining movie. It is slow and does not necessarily keep you on the edge of your seat. For some, this alone will ruin the entire movie. For others, they will love the unknown. There was also a ton of symbolism within this story as well as a big emphasis on pagan rituals. 

What it comes down to is taste. For those that already enjoy this genre, “Gretel & Hansel” is a 5-star movie. For others, it will be a lackluster film with no spoilers or any true entertainment. Do not go in thinking that it will knock your socks off. But it is for sure eerie and will leave you wondering for the rest of the night. I’d give it a 6/10 Greenfield’s as I could somewhat appreciate the hidden messages, but at the same time I do lack a long attention span and lost interest pretty quick.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Rayna Minix at [email protected].