Wednesday , February 21 2024
Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft a sort of Gossip Girl meets The Craft, is watchable, but also quickly forgettable.

DVD Review: Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft

At first glance it may seem that Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft is just an obvious attempt to capitalize on the upcoming theatrical release, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. And it is, sorta.

The straight-to-DVD teen-centered film is set to be released (on January 22) just three days before the big-screen, more grown-up Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, starring Jeremy Renner as Hansel and Gemma Arterton as Gretel, is set to be released in theaters. But Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft has more in common with films like The Craft and the recently cancelled CW series The Secret Circle. This film is all about the horrors of high school cliques, with some supernatural elements like witchcraft and covens thrown in to jazz things up.

[Ella (Fivel Stewart) investigates her family’s history as witch hunters.]

Twin teens Jonah (Booboo Stewart, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2) and Ella (Fivel Stewart, The O.C.) are sent to an elite school in Salem, Massachusetts. Once there they are thrown in with the usual assortment of mean kids and teen cliques. One group, which isn’t just a clique, but a coven, seems set on recruiting Jonah to join, while Ella meanwhile tries to unravel the dark secrets behind the secret society.

A sympathetic teacher, Ms. Keegan (Vanessa Angel, Hall Pass, Weird Science), and the ever-lurking headmaster (Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight, The Expendables) are both keeping a close eye on the new arrivals, but maybe with differing agendas. Cherie Currie (The Runaways, Foxes) is also on hand as another teacher, Ms. Thoman.

The two soon discover that they are descended from a long line of witch slayers, starting with Hansel and Gretel, and they may have to step up to the plate and use their heritage to protect themselves and others at the school – if they can stop working against each other.

DVD special features include commentary with director David DeCoteau (House of Usher, The Frightening) and the cast, a well as a stills gallery. The the sound is 2.0 stereo and subtitles are available in Spanish. The video format is 16×9 widescreen (2.40:1). Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft has a total running time of 90 minutes and the film is rated PG-13 For some violence.

The film has definitely more of a Gossip Girl vibe than similarly themed television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the more recent Grimm. It should be entertaining for the tween/teen set, who will relate to the high school shenanigans. But with the slow pace – the movie takes its time setting things up and establishing suspense before any real action happens – and the lack of any real romance or terror, Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft is watchable, but also quickly forgettable.

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  1. so bad in every way

    How absolutely dreadful this was. Laughable at every turn. Cardboard acting and the direction was something that was worthy of a good flailing. The extras were a case of cut and paste – they should have been paid in Weetabix – well the better ones should have been anyway. Frizzy hair guy, pink rucksack girl and orange teen were omnipotent. I would love to know what those two girls, standing cross-legged in both schools, were talking about every day of the week – did they ever go for that wee? I can only guess that ‘the Stewart’s’ dad paid for a ‘vanity’ production for his kids. My eight-year-old daughter is more convincing as Gollum than any of the cast as witches or witch hunters – truly appalling waste of everyone’s time. Should be removed from shelves as soon as possible.

  2. Spillage Griffiths

    One of the worst movies I have ever seen! The complete EVERYTHING, was terrible! From the acting, direction, “effects” to the repetitive shots of the college, and the black kid with the massive, massive hairstyle, aimlessly wandering about in the background, (Once or twice, even wearing a hat to disguise said MASSIVE hairstyle!)
    Overall? Worse than a 12 year old’s Youtube video made on an iPhone! Seriously! The sound was recorded direct to camera, and the musical score was taken from an episode of Kojak! Absolute crap!