Most people are familiar with the children's fairytale of Hansel and Gretel. But what happens when the children are all grown up? Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a horror film which explores the fairytale long after the children escape the clutches of the cannibalistic witch. The brother and sister duo are now fierce witch hunters who save children and kill evil witches without batting an eyelash.
Gretel (Gemma Arterton) and Hansel (Jeremy Renner) spend their time traveling from village to village as hired guns until one day their past catches up to them. Just days before the Blood Moon, a sacred day for witches, the duo discover twelve children missing from a small town. The pair use booby traps and decoys to draw out the witches. Besides being shredded into small bits and pieces and pulled apart at the limbs, there is plenty of blood and guts to go around.
The special effects and violence in the film are worth paying the money for 3D, but the acting leaves something to be desired. Arterton comes off as the leader of the two, with quick wit and quite a diverse set of weapons. Two words: double crossbow. Renner on the other hand jumps right into the action but doesn't always come out on up, which leads to some rather comedic moments. Famke Janssen is stunning as the grand witch, but her physical transformation is quite horrifying.
The classic fairytale is modernized in this film, but through subtle ways. The weapons and language are up to date, but there are no German accents and the villages are rather authentic, making Hansel and Gretel almost futuristic. The film does make the story come full circle with a nice plot twist which is not farfetched and rather well executed.