Hansel and Gretel (2013) – Review

3 Stars

The latest mockbuster from The Asylum is a modernized version of the Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. This isn’t to be confused with the Paramount film starring Jeremy Renner of a similar title. The Asylum’s offering is a pure horror film, whereas the other is an action horror mash-up. Here we find Gretel (Stephanie Greco) working at a local restaurant called The Gingerbread House. The owner is Lilith (Dee Wallace), a grey haired kind eyed old lady. When Hansel and Gretel’s father announces his intent to marry a younger woman, the stoner Hansel (Brent Lydic) throws a fit and runs off into the woods. Gretel follows and after Hansel stumbles into a bear trap the two travel to a nearby cottage for help. There they discover Lilith, who lives there with her twin sons. But something sinister lurks in the basement, and the two soon uncover why the meat from The Gingerbread House is so delicious. Can Hansel and Gretel make it out of the woods alive?

Check out our review for Paramount’s big-budgeted Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters starring Jeremy Renner.

This is a straight forward horror flick with a cold open featuring a woman trying to escape the grasp of some evil pursuers. While not surprising in any way there’s a lot of charm and fun in this low budget scare. While the script and dialogue are bland, the acting is quite good. Dee Wallace is plays the kind old Lilith with just enough creepiness to give us the hint of evil in the beginning, but knows when to dial it up. Stephanie Greco and Brent Lydic work well together. Greco (who’s also great in The Haunting of Whaley House) comes off as a more talented Lea Michelle look-a-like. Sara Fletcher, playing a supporting role of another captive, is worth mentioning as a strong performer as well.

The second half of the film is a basic escape and chase plot, but The Asylum does keep it interesting with decent death scenes (nothing too special in that department though) and some very odd hallucination sequences. The only part about Hansel and Gretel I don’t like is the inability of anyone to fight back against their aggressors. I’m not talking trying to fight back and then being unable to fend them off, the characters simply allow themselves to be stabbed and slashed with little to no physical interference. It doesn’t play out realistically on the screen.

The Asylum really has the look of their films down now. Yes they have that cheap digital look, but they are now easily TV movie quality and most would look fine in a theater. Overall the acting was great, camera work solid and the storyline was quick and to the point. I was a little impressed with this outing, as I was sure it would be a huge bore. More often than not the smaller the movie the better it is with The Asylum. I’d recommend Handel and Gretel to the average Syfy viewer as well as low budget horror enthusiasts.

Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Brent Lydic, Stephanie Greco

2 thoughts on “Hansel and Gretel (2013) – Review

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Ooph…the script and dialog are bland? That one hurt. But where’s the review for THE HAUNTING OF WHALEY HOUSE??

    • January 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I havn’t gotten around to writing a Whaley House review yet, but since the writer/director has asked I’ll put one out. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a two word review – awesome fun.


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