25+ Gretel and Hansel Reviews – A Clever Binomial Misses The Mark

Gretel and Hansel ⭐️½

Two words: too long.

…congratulations to director Oz Perkins for overturning what had previously been an irreversible binomial with his new film Gretel & Hansel. I can now look forward to such remakes as Furious & Fast, The Chocolate Factory & Willy Wonka, Louise & Thelma, Guy Ritchie’s RollnRocka, and of course The Two Dwarfs & Snow White & the Other Five Dwarfs. But seriously, this flipped title is just Dumber & Dumb.

Movie review: When it comes to the new movie titled Gretel & Hansel, it’s a matter of leave it or love it | Vancouver Sun

Let me speak up for director Oz Perkins with the reversed title choice. The characters in the story have some of their traditional character traits reversed. Some reviewers picked up on this. The one above appears either not to care, doesn’t like clever titling or ___ (fill in the blank). Whatever, no shade thrown here either way. You can like a movie or not, like a title or not, whatever you want to like you like — or not. Personally, I do like inventive titles, though.

… SPOILERS are ahead, you’ve been warned ….

Great looking, less filling

There was more thought put into the cinematography than the script. A lot more. That weird triangle house just oozes evil by design. Why didn’t these kids look at that strange shaped house and say, “hmm, something isn’t right here?” They were so hungry that the feast sitting on the table was all that mattered.

In the fairy tale the kids started by eating the house, whereas in this tale a bountiful feast magically spread across a table inside the house. This isn’t accidental, the director did not want the house to be edible. As a moviegoer it would have been cooler if that weird triangle was like the inside of Willy Wonka’s chocolate river area. Eat anything on there you like. Windows, gutters, just seeing those kids gnaw into the structure would have added weirdness. Missed opportunity.

Cannibalism at PG-13

I’m a hardcore horror fan, so I can’t really get with the crowd that wants PG-13 horror for a movie that deals with cannibalism. Fundamentally, this is a broken concept because everything graphic and gory has to be subdued.

I’m not saying a good PG-13 horror movie can’t be done, but I can’t name even one. Can you? Use the comments to recommend one.


Feeling a bit broken recordish, but this story belongs in an anthology show. There isn’t enough that happens to warrant barely warrant 30 minutes of screen time. 20-25 minutes is more than perfect for this short story. We don’t need or want backstory on the kids or the evil woman, we want them to stumble hungrily upon the house in the woods, be trapped and face the evil.

Reviews by Others

Let’s check out what others have to say reviewing Gretel and Hansel.


  1. Becky Taylor Art & Photography (4/4): “I highly recommend this. It’s a slow creeper, and it’s worth viewing every moment. It lifts the level of horror for the year”
  2. Chaz Evans / Patrick Beatty Reviews: “I think it’s worth watching to see the performances, the cinematography, and the sequences of psychological terror, because those really help the film shine and makes up for what it lacks in some parts. For a January horror release… this is pretty badass.”
  3. Gimmick Reviews: “…will be a delight to seasoned horror fans even if it doesn’t have a kill count or compelling story. It deserves ten fold the praise it’s receiving.”
  4. Good Movies for Bad Guys (7/10): “…it’s not a slow burn or a fast pace like so many horror movies. It is a tone. An eerie uncomfortable and beautiful tone.”
  5. Griff’s Picks (Grade: B): “…can bring grateful rewards for those who tap into its unusual wavelength: as this aesthetic showcase brings lush beauty and new intelligence into an age-old nightmare.”
  6. Horror Reviews By The Collective: “Osgood Perkins is the right person to re-imagine a Brothers Grimm story, and he did it very well by adjusting the story to fit the heavy giallo/folk influence here. Gretel & Hansel is a great adult update of the story, even if it lacks a bit of impact during some scenes.”
  7. Jason Bleau / Cinema Spotlight (4/5): “With better writing this could have been the first great horror film of the decade, but as it stands it’s the first truly GOOD horror movie of 2020 that sets the bar for what’s yet to come.”
  8. Logan Coleman Reviews (7.5/10): “Costume and hairstyle design were excellent for the film. The direction of the film was good for Oz Perkins. My only complaint was the film needed one more rewrite, in a way it needed to be a little bit longer.”
  9. Kate Sanchez / But Why Tho? (8/10): “…is everything I wanted from this grim undertaking. It was both everything that I expected and something from Perkins and Hayer that subverted the ideas I had going in.”
  10. Literary Dust: “The atmosphere has that slow moving, creepy, and beautiful quality that I love so dearly! And the movie was just deliciously weird in general!”
  11. Modern H.P Lovecraft: “The movie is worth a watch if you enjoy the horror genre at all. It’s PG-13, so it certainly isn’t a blood bath. A few gory parts, but nothing intolerable. The story makes up for any grotesque scenes, and does justice for its Grimms’ Fairy Tale heritage.”
  12. MonsterZero NJ: “…this is a very spooky and unsettlingly dark version of a classic fairy tale. Most such tales had subtle meanings and dark centers and here Perkins expertly brings them to the surface.”
  13. Stan The Movie Man (3/5): “…didn’t make me feel much of anything. It is an interestingly shot film with a great deal of potential. Focusing on Gretel, as the title suggests, is a good idea from co-writer and director Oz Perkins, son of “Psycho” himself, Tony Perkins. It is a shame that so little came from it.”
  14. The Critic’s Sanctum (8.2/10): “…is a beautiful looking, slow-burn telling of the Grimm Brother’s fairy tail. The changes feel fresh and I appreciate what the movie was trying to do.”

Not Recommended

  1. Alex Brannan / CineFiles Movie Reviews: “…is more of a daydream than a nightmare, a film whose spell you fall in and out of in equal measure.”
  2. Eliah de Castro: “…satisfies the eyes, but never stimulates the brain.”
  3. EYG / Doc: “I really disliked most of the film.  The performances were decent.  Sophia Lillis was solid with what was given for her to do.  The music was good too.”
  4. Lilyn G / Sci-fi & Scary: “It was a very beautiful movie. As in, aesthetically pleasing even with the yawn-worthy scenes that have been done ad nauseam. Beyond that, it didn’t have much going for it.”
  5. Matthew Liedke (2/5): “So much of what’s good in “Gretel & Hansel” is cancelled out by its execution. It’s an unfortunate situation where the film had a clear artistic identity, but at the end it doesn’t come together.”
  6. RockAtTheMovies (5.5/10): “There are times throughout where I lost interest and was disappointed that the film didn’t do more with what it had. What we got was a forgettable horror film that was boring.”
  7. RogerInOrlando / Movie Nation (1.5/4): “…all this beauty and detail serves a heavily-narrated, dramatically-thin war of the wills tale, where we and Gretel figure out that there’s no such thing as a free dessert cart”
  8. Stream to Big Screen: “I actually think making the movie only PG-13 may have hurt it in the long run. The horror elements could have been pushed further, but I realized they were targeting a specific age range with this movie that I’m not in anymore.”
  9. Society Reviews: “Despite its PG-13, this is not a children’s movie and you should probably skip this even if you are an adult. Gretel & Hansel is every bit that visually aesthetic buffet that tastes like a bucket full of rotting entrails.”
  10. Startled Sloth Reviews (5/10): “I guess I just don’t know why we needed another retelling of the Hansel and Gretel storyline in the first place. I always figured the franchise peaked in its absurdity with “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” anyway.”
  11. The Monster Lady (6/10): “I guess my biggest disappointment with this adaption was that the trailers made this out to be a lot more sinister and horror based than what we actually got. In MY honest opinion, there was a lot of missed, unused potential.”
  12. Your Intrepid Host: “It is trying so hard, but it isn’t investing enough in true substance to be totally worthwhile. Could the visuals make up for that? Depends on the viewer. For me, Gretel & Hansel was a one and done.”

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quote from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Rhythm Section, Gretel and Hansel

Week #5 of 2020 (1/30-2/2/2020) offers a woman tortured by the loss of her family turned into a spy hellbent on revenge and a film retelling a story of two children who encounter a woman in the woods that is not at all what she seems.

We saw both films on opening day, Thursday, and choosing the one that was more entertaining was fairly easy.

#1 is ….

The Rhythm Section ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

Starring Blake Lively in a number of different wigs, hairstyles, hair colors, makeup and outfits and training to be a modern day spy.

Blake Lively flexes her muscles in The Rhythm Section

This isn’t your average revenge spy flick. A fair amount of time and effort is spent training an every day regular woman into a spy killing machine. Some might think the transition is too fast, others might enjoy the effort and spotlight into explaining how and why this tortured woman could and would become a spy. We are in the latter camp.

From the creative team at Eon, behind the James Bond films and an adaptation of a novel series by Mark Burnell. The screenplay was written by the author. Haven’t read the book, so the review doesn’t evaluate the merits of the adaptation.

Blake Lively on how she prepared for each day on the set to film The Rhythm Section

Some of the early critic and audience reviews are not as positive on this movie as both Kara and I in our review and rating. This is one of those “depends on what you genre you are expecting” movies that is best evaluated as a drama-thriller instead of a spy action movie. It’s not a very good action movie, but it’s a much better drama-thriller. You can tell Blake Lively is giving everything to this script. She gave so much to her performance that she had a serious hand injury that shut down and delayed filming for months. The video above details her daily grind for 8 months to make this film.

So, if you go to see this, try and think of it as a drama-thriller for the optimal viewing experience. Blake Lively is very good in this film, but since it was a dump month film, it will probably be forgotten as the year goes on. Too bad, it doesn’t deserve that sort of apathy.

Gretel and Hansel⭐️½ 

Why was this made? I’m tempted to start a list of remakes/reboots/adaptations that should never have been made. Gretel and Hansel doesn’t deserve a feature film treatment, but could have been an awesome short in an anthology horror show.

Gretel & Hansel tells a very familiar Grimm fairy tale

Just too long. There is a good deal of effort put into establishing a dark, foreboding atmosphere which I appreciated, but it becomes painfully aware that the story is unnecessarily padded. This is one of those horror tales that works better as a quick and nasty bite, not some long, slow bloodletting.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

Opening 1-30-2020 in Theaters: Gretel and Hansel, The Rhythm Section

Wednesday! Week #5 (1/30 – 2/2/2020) is upon us. The final assault, er, unveiling of new movies in January carrying over into February involving a new take on a very old Brothers Grimm tale and Blake Lively going into revenge mode (think Jennifer Garner in Peppermint?).

Before getting to my final thoughts on these two films, I’m going to be glad to see January 2020 gone. There have been some truly awful films this month. The studios are thinking wrong by not putting up better films in January. If this is the competition, it should be really easy to put up a great film and be on top for multiple weeks on the box office. I don’t get the logic behind dumping films they don’t have as much faith in this month.

I do understand that Oscar hopefuls don’t likely happen in January, but they should be chasing box office revenue more than gold statues. Just saying.

Gretel and Hansel

These past two months the studios seem to be mining stories from the 1800s. Little Women in December, The Turning (based on The Turn of the Screw) and now Gretel & Hansel (based on the 1812 Grimm Fairy Tale). Sure, these were good stories in the 1800s, but why aren’t we making adaptations of more modern stories? It seems that studios think the gold is in the already adapted vs. first time adaptations. It’s like give us another Spider-man instead of exploring a different superhero or antihero.

That said, any horror tale with cannibalism in there has the chance to be disturbing. I’m also curious why the title was inverted? Was it to differentiate somehow from Hansel & Gretel? Like the title change as I’d be less interested if it was the traditional way.

Movie titles are important to me when I don’t know much else. The trailer isn’t blowing me away with the story. Where this all leads is mild anticipation for seeing this film this week.

Anticipation: 4/10

The Rhythm Section

My initial and ongoing interest in this film is Blake Lively. I keep saying she is ready for a breakout role in something. Based on the trailer I’m not sure this is going to be that vehicle. Revenge flicks don’t get much Oscar love, but this is a different type of role than I’ve seen her in, so maybe if she has a strong performance here and gives her momentum for a more ambitious next film.

I keep mentioning Peppermint starring Jennifer Garner, because this reminds me a bit of that film. It’s a different story, perhaps not as brutal and action-oriented and more thought-provoking. A plane crash that wasn’t accidental wiping out her family and her character seeks revenge upon those who caused it. Clearly from the trailer, Lively’s character isn’t seeing passive means to enact revenge. Am curious where this will lead?

This is the film other than 1917, of course, that I’ve most looked forward to seeing in January 2020. Hope it delivers. Will find out very soon.

Anticipation: 7/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #5: 1/30/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 1-23-2020 movies? Those marked with asterisk are not available in our area this week, so will carryover in future weeks until available to watch in our area.

  1. The Rhythm Section – 7/10
  2. Gretel & Hansel – 4/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

Both movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area so will be watched, rated and reviewed.  Probably one on Thursday 1/30, the other on Friday 1/31.

Upcoming Friday FIRST LOOK

This Friday 1/31/2020 will be FIRST LOOK for several comic books/superhero movies coming in 2020. There are 8 comics/superhero movies being released in 2020 with the first being Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) [FIRST LOOK] next week. Two are based on DC Comics, Five based on Marvel and one on Valiant.

FIRST LOOK: Gretel and Hansel

Is January a good month for a new take on an old cannibal tale?

The 1812 Brothers Grimm fairy tale of Hansel & Gretel involves a brother and sister kidnapped by a witch who lives in a tasty confectionery world and plans to dine on their flesh.

This film inverts the famous character names but seems to (somewhat) update and follow the popular tale:

A long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside, a young girl (Sophia Lillis, It) leads her little brother (Sammy Leakey) into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.

Rotten Tomatoes movie info
Gretel and Hansel official trailer.

The hanging shoes and what is burning in that small fire(???) are the most unsettling images in the trailer. The sound effects are also good.

Gretel & Hansel opens wide in theaters January 31, 2020.

11 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in January 2020

Coming to theaters in January 2020 – there are some films shown above not below and vice versa

The following are movie trailers and my early thoughts for all films tentatively scheduled coming to theaters in January 2020. If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is updated throughout the year).

The list below does not include independent films and/or streaming original films from Netflix and Amazon. I would like to keep track of those as well, but trying to target specifically wide theater releases (or what appear to be wide releases) so most readers can see these films worldwide in a major chain theater (hopefully) near your home. New streaming films being released will be handled separately based on the service, most likely, as already doing for Shudder.

SIDENOTE: I have nothing against small, independent theaters (we have a good one called The Grand Cinema close by), but am trying to focus on the films I have the greatest likelihood to see, review and rate each month. Obviously, with release schedules that change based on location, sharing any kind of coming soon movie list is not an exact science. Any errors and/or omissions are mine.

Movie release dates are subject to change by the studios, so it’s possible within the next 45 days or so one or more of the movies profiled below will have its release date moved.

As of this posting, there are 11 movies scheduled, presented in order of scheduled opening date below. 10 of the 11 have trailers, so I’ve added my anticipation (10 = most excited as possible to see, 0 = not interested at all). Can’t promise I’ll do this every month, but am going to try and do so, probably posted sometime around the middle of each month for the next month.

This is a reference for FIRST LOOK and PREVIEW posts. I try and FIRST LOOK and/or PREVIEW films that either we’re personally most interested in seeing and/or have very popular interest by others.

January 2020 Movies

The Grudge

The Grudge (2020) official trailer – opens January 3, 2020

This one looks like it might be scary. I’ve never seen any of the original Grudge movies and not sure I’ll be doing so before this comes out in a few weeks. I look more forward to seeing truly scary horror films over horror-comedy films and this looks like the former.

Anticipation for The Grudge: 6/10

Like A Boss

Like A Boss official trailer – opens in theaters January 10, 2020

Have seen this trailer as preview in the theater more than any other in this list of January 2020 movie releases. I’m sort of luke warm to cool on what’s happening here. I don’t find anything Tiffany Haddish has starred in as funny. Her voice is grating on me. The plot seems not very interesting to me either, what little we know from the trailer. The trailer didn’t even make me smile, although admittedly some have laughed at the goat milk spit out scene.

Anticipation for Like A Boss: 3/10


Underwater Official Trailer – opens in theater January 10, 2020

Got to wipe away Kirsten Stewart from my mind in Charlie’s Angels and any movie deep on the bottom of the ocean is off to a good start. We don’t know what is living down there and while this has been explored in several other stories, it’s an interesting and often scary place. All that pressure under miles of water. Yes, I’m interested.

Anticipation for Underwater: 6/10

The Informer
RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Jan 10, 2020 to March 13, 2020 (LIMITED)

The Informer official trailer – opens in theaters March 13, 2020

Seems like standard fare thriller from the trailer. Nothing stands out as super creative or amazingly fresh to me. Could be how the trailer is cut. Not that excited by this trailer.

Anticipation for The Informer: 2/10

Bad Boys for Life

Bad Boys for Life official trailer #1
Bad Boys for Life official trailer #2 – opens in theaters January 17, 2020

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return as buddy cops for this third entry in the franchise. I found the first two to be funny in parts. They have good chemistry together, but aren’t as fun as say Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours. Haven’t been many buddy cop trilogies that I was clamoring to see the third one. Martin Lawrence is my favorite of the two by far in this comedy team. I just don’t find Will Smith that special. Yes, he has been in some good films.

Anticipation for Bad Boys for Life: 3/10


Doolittle official trailer – opens in theaters January 17, 2020

The trailer barely grabs my interest, except for the fact that Robert Downey, Jr is starring. Not sure about his accent, kinda reminds me a bit of the one he used in Tropic Thunder (!). He makes just about every film he is in better. I’m worried about this being a terrible and unnecessary reboot movie about a man who talks to animals. Have seen the story told several times before and Downey Jr. isn’t a comedian, so not sure if his potentially(?) serious/ironic take on Doctor Doolittle will be exciting. Very apprehensive about this one, but, again, interested because of the main star. I heard he was paid $20 million for top bill in this one. Will see next month if it was worth it. Worried.

Anticipation for Doolittle:: 3/10

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen official trailer – opens in theaters January 24, 2020

Like the mystery/detective vibe, but wonder if it’s more thriller? Not feeling super compelled toward this one as a thriller, but more interested in a mystery. Can’t decide based on trailer which it is. Do like Matthew McConaughey, so that bumps up curiosity a little.

Anticipation for The Gentlemen: 3/10

The Turning

The Turning official trailer – opens in theaters January 24, 2020

January 2020 will be the first time I’ve ever paid that attention to everything being released. Already noticing that there are more horror movies being released than other types of movies. January could be an October-like month for me as I like horror movies. As for this one? Has a V.C Andrews groove to it. What’s with the children? Yeah, sign me up for this one!

Anticipation for The Turning: 5/10

Nowhere (trailer yet) to Run?

RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Jan 24 to May 8, 2020

…is a thriller starring Sarah Paulson and is scheduled to open in theaters January 24, 2020 (UPDATE 1/18/2020: Release date has changed to May 8, 2020). No official trailer has been released by Lionsgate as of this writing.

The mystery around an intentional lack of marketing (see: Is @Lionsgate Run (2020) screening WIDE January 24, 2020 – if not, when?) — or inferior/incompetent marketing, whichever it is — is increasing my intrigue. Seems like a trailer is pretty important for a movie that released in like 45 days. I mean, yesterday we got the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer and that isn’t out for another six plus months!

Can’t give any anticipation based on the trailer without one.

Gretel and Hansel

Gretel and Hansel official teaser trailer – opens in theaters January 31, 2020

Oooo another spooky one! Seems odd to title it backwards (do the kids eat the adults in this one? Now that sort of reverse cannibalism would make heads turn). If it’s pure horror and not comedy horror than it gets at least a 4 from me. Fairy tales can be cool, especially the grim variety. Will pump it up one more for that. Hoping it’s not too cliched, but fearing that almost as much as the potential subject matter.

Anticipation for Gretel and Hansel: 5/10

The Rhythm Section

The Rhythm Section official trailer – opens in theaters January 31, 2020

Read the FIRST LOOK that is linked above to see my detailed comments on this one. Of all 12 films being released in January 2020, I’m most looking forward to seeing this one.

Anticipation for The Rhythm Section: 7/10

Ranking the January 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)

Keep in mind that my anticipation for a film can change daily, even hourly, based on new information that I read about the film or see in a video. Therefore, the anticipation is merely a number I’m applying to my feelings today, right now, and it is very subject to change. In the next post, tweet, video or an hour from now. Only here for comparison purposes as I do this with the Opening Week posts. Those numbers are within a couple days of seeing the movies.

  1. The Rhythm Section – 7 / 10
  2. Underwater – 6 / 10
  3. Gretel & Hansel – 5 / 10
  4. The Turning – 5 / 10
  5. Doolittle – 3 / 10
  6. The Gentlemen – 3 / 10
  7. The Grudge – 3 / 10
  8. Like A Boss – 3 / 10
  9. Bad Boys for Life – 3 / 10
  10. The Informer – 2 / 10 (release date changed to March 13, 2020)
  11. Run – No Rating (release date changed to May 8, 2020)

What movies in January 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?