2013 / Director. Anthony C Ferrante.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The Asylum's effort to cash in on Paramount's HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS was this so-called "Mockbuster". Thankfully (like many Asylum mockbusters) the title is about the only similarity between the two movies. Director Anthony C Ferrante (SHARKNADO 1 & 2) adopts a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale and his film follows two siblings as they are lured into a cabin in the woods. The cabin is occupied by a malevolent witch who has a basement full of missing teenagers. With the help of her feral-looking sons she fattens her captives with home-baked sweets... cookies & donuts mostly. In town the woman is known as the lovely old lady with the sweets & pie shop but of course her famous meat pies are really delicious fat kids. Once again this is an Asylum venture that steps above its mark. What promises to be a gothic horror story also descents into the grotty realms of torture porn and it sets out to shock from the get-go. From fingernails being torn off to a girl being skewered up the ass, there is no doubt that HANSEL & GRETEL is grotesque. The set design is nicely done and the use of sound stage lends it a false fairytale-like quality. Where it is let down the most is in its lighting design. The dungeon setting is overlit and consequently takes a lot of the edge off the hardcore horror intentions. Nevertheless coming off of the Asylum production-line, HANSEL & GRETEL is a worthy addition to their catalogue and should appeal to a wider horror audience. The film's biggest asset is the legendary Dee Wallace, who plays the evil witch. She's delightful on screen and totally relishes the opportunity to get really nasty. She commits a lot to the screen and keeps the movie credible. I am a self-confessed sucker for The Asylum and so I have a greater tolerance for their movies than most... having said that, if you weren't aware that this was one of their films it would probably fly under the radar and please most gore-hungry genre fans. It's good fun and pretty gross.
The entire film is available for FREE at Viewlorium. Click HERE to watch it.