1/2 StarTwins Jonah (Booboo Stewart) and Elle (Fivel Stewart) are sent off to boarding school. Jonah is invited to join a clique of students, who happen to be witches. As his powers grow, Elle snoops around the campus and discovers her parents used to be witch hunters. All the while a creepy headmaster (Eric Roberts) watches the kids by peering around corners. There’s also a guidance counselor (Vanessa Angel) who’s taken an interest in Elle. It seems that the kids at this school are offering up the souls of their classmates to an evil witch. Now Elle must convince Jonah to abandon his new friends and help her stop the witches.
Lionsgate is distributing this, and if you think The Asylum is the only one that preys on other major Hollywood releases you’d be wrong. Lionsgate has in the past acquired incredibly low-budget flicks, retitled them and spruced up some artwork to make them seem more like the theatrical release. Yes, Lionsgate isn’t above the tactics that get The Asylum sued from time to time, and here they are at it again. Interestingly enough the filmmakers here are straight out of the Charles Band Full Moon school of hard knocks, which is a pretty on par with The Asylum.
It pains me to say that Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft is a horrible piece of trash. I grew up on Full Moon and do love a lot of their films, some directed by David DeCoteau. DeCoteau has essentially been shooting soft-core porn, and while the gay undertones of his previous work (the incredibly gay soft-core franchise 1313) are missing here, this is porno-quality. It literally looks like a well-lit home video. The man has a directorial style of a film school student, this is a ‘get it done’ situation in which no one cared how the final product looked, just as long as it was feature-length.
To be fair to the other actors this movie made Eric Roberts and Vanessa Angel look like hacks. It’s no wonder Roberts doesn’t have this listed on IMDb (at least as of the time this review was published). He’s so over-the-top as he teaches Gretel how to fight – and by fight I mean he tosses some balls towards her and she bats them away with her hand, all the while he’s wearing a ridiculous grin and dancing about. That’s the extent of a training montage that prepares Gretel to kill witches. This entire movie is a joke.
The bad acting really comes down to a terrible script with abhorrent dialogue mixed with bad or rather what seems like non-existent direction. The special effects are laughable and look like they were done by a twelve-year old on a laptop from 1995. This movie is a complete let down in every aspect of filmmaking and should be required viewing in film schools for what not to do. It’s the kind of flick you feel embarrassed for even while watching alone. Until DeCoteau starts taking filmmaking seriously again, he shouldn’t be allowed to direct anything else.
Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Vanessa Angel, Eric Roberts, Fivel Stewart, Booboo Stewart