European folklore is a very rich source of material for movies to rely on. The candy houses, evil witches eating children and traveling on flying brooms, and the old times where kids were not overprotected creatures but very curious beings constantly getting in trouble in the forests where the deep is equal to death. Fantasy and horrors come holding hands. Princes and princesses, magic, evil, the supernatural living together with the daily deal. Sleeping Beauty, The Frog King, Father Frost, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood are just some of those tales that have been adapted for the big screen with more or less success. Now it’s the time for a new version of Hansel and Gretel. If a few years ago we could enjoy a kind of free adaptation version of the tale with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), now it’s the time for Gretel & Hansel (2020).
Gretel & Hansel (2020) is the upcoming movie by Oz Perkins (sometimes credited as Osgood Perkins), a filmmaker who has proven his interest in supernatural horror with a classic touch with his previous movies I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) and The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015). This new adaptation is written by Rob Hayes, together with the director.
Taking the plot from the source given by Orion Pictures, the story is described as being set a long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside and focuses on a young girl who leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil. Regarding the obvious fantasy touch, and the fact that this is supposed to be a children story, Oz Perkins has taken a more mature style orienting the movie into the terrains of a horror thriller.
According to director in an interview, the title was changed because this version focuses on Gretel, who is older: “It’s awfully faithful to the original story. It’s got really only three principal characters: Hansel, Gretel, and the Witch. We tried to find a way to make it more of a coming of age story. I wanted Gretel to be somewhat older than Hansel, so it didn’t feel like two twelve-year-olds — rather a sixteen-year-old and an eight-year-old. There was more of a feeling like Gretel having to take Hansel around everywhere she goes, and how that can impede one’s own evolution, how our attachments and the things that we love can sometimes get in the way of our growth“.
Sophia Lillis, popular for playing Young Beverly Marsh in It (2017) and It Chapter Two (2019), is Gretel. Together with her, Alice Krige, Jessica De Gouw, Charles Babalola, Samuel Leakey, Ian Kenny, and Loreece Harrison form the main cast of the film.
Gretel & Hansel (2020) is scheduled to come out the 31st of January 2020 in the USA, although other territories might have further release dates. Here you can watch the official trailer:
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