After his first movies, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) and The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015), both of them with a high dosage of horror and supernatural happenings, New York City-born filmmaker Oz Perkins, sometimes credited as Osgood Perkins, is returning with his most ambitious movie to date, Gretel & Hansel (2020). The movie is a new take of the popular European folklore fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, written by the Brothers Grimm, who has scared children since it was published back in 1812. Only this time the movie is aimed at a more adult audience and unlike other adaptations of the tale like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), this time the theme of the movie is deep horror.
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. This new adaptation is written by Rob Hayes, together with the director Oz Perkins.
According to the 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 on the 31st of January 2020. And after seeing the new trailer one can think this movie could have more similarities with obscure titles like Robert Eggers’ The Witch (2015) than other recent fairy tales adaptations like Maleficent (2014), Red Riding Hood (2011) or Beauty and the Beast (2017). Watch the trailer here:
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