It doesn’t feel that long ago we had a Hansel & Gretel movie. In fact, it was the campy classic Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which proposed that not only do the candy-craving children escape their fate, they grow up to become Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton and pursue all witch-kind in retaliation. How do you top that, really?
We’re not sure we can take this story seriously again, but Orion Pictures is going to try. Gretel & Hansel plays things a bit more by the ancient book, with one exception…you might have noticed the names of the characters are reversed. That’s because Gretel takes more of a starring role than Hansel does.
You can guess how the first half of this movie goes: kids get kicked out of their cabin, become lost in the woods, and find this amazing house made of candy. The house is a trap created by the witch who lives inside, because kids are her favorite meal. But while she’s heating up her oven, the two kids shove her inside, cooking her to death and saving their lives.
This time, it’s just Hansel who becomes trapped in the house. Gretel is a bit older than him and wise enough to recognize a trap. And the witch, this time, isn’t after Gretel for food. She believes Gretel could be the next witch! Gretel doesn’t seem okay with that, especially with the whole kid-eating aspect.
Gretel & Hansel stars Sophia Lillis as Gretel, Sammy Leakey as Hansel, and Alice Krige as the witch. It will be released January 31 from Orion.