As the title makes abundantly clear, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters follows the siblings familiar from the Brothers Grimm fairytale years after a witch in a candy house attempted to eat the innocent kids. Those kids are now grown-ups, played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, who roam the 19th Century German countryside killing witches for both fun and profit. They run into a small village with a particularly troublesome witch problem, one that may get the best even of the pros.
This new trailer, which premiered at Collider today, also reveals that the movie introduces a wrinkle to the original story. Rather than simply being abandoned by their parents, Hansel and Gretel were instead orphaned when the villain, played by Famke Janssen, killed their parents, providing the duo with even greater incentive to, you know, kill her.
Perhaps it's just the shock of that new Evil Dead red band trailer talking, but this Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters joint feels pretty tame. There's an exploding witch in the end and two instances of bad language, one with Gretel saying, "shit" and another with Hansel musing, "One thing this job has taught me over the years: Don't eat the fucking candy."
Like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, this action-horror movie doesn't appear to be going for the obvious comedy of the premise. Instead, it's playing up the action movie elements, and more than anything, trying to elicit a stunned "Cool" from audiences. This desire for coolness is clear in the dialogue, the leather get-ups, the ornately anachronistic weaponry, and all the slow motion shots of our heroes disposing of witches.
It's all very reminiscent of Timur Bekmambetov, but he didn't direct this bad boy. The actual director of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is TOmmy Wirkola, best known as the writer and director of 2009's Dead Snow, which got a lot of attention based on the novelty of zombie Nazis.
Wirkola's first big studio picture arrives in theaters on January 25th.
Oddly, Hansel's name consistently makes me think of Owen Wilson's vacuous male model in Zoolander: