With this one i didn’t check any of the “discourse” or reviews from the american press beforehand, i just guessed it was a retelling of the Brothers Grimm’ fairytale focusing on Gretel’s viewpoint, and it’s not as gratuitous as it may seem at a glance, since Gretel is indeed the one to figure out the witch’s plan and ultimately kill the cannibal old hexe.
While many aspects of the story are changed or done away with as with the abandoning routine (among other things, but i’ll keep it spoiler free), the focal points are mostly kept, so we see the two siblings wandering in the woods in search of food and shelter, stumbing upon a house where a kind old woman treats the two to delicious banquets, gives them a place to stay at, and teaches them how to chop wood, how to treat illness, etc. Especially to Gretel, which might have the same epiphany as Ichigo Kurosaki…
It’s a horror retelling that leans even more into the supernatural elements, as to further enhance the absolute misery of medieval poverty, of sickness and dirt, and centers on Gretel mostly, basically turning the fable into a coming of age story, with magic, axes, great photography, amazing atmosphere, pretty good character and great acting. And as it’s the usual, any theme of feminist empowerment is made better by baskets of guts, with some grisly imagery that’s not overused.
The bigger issue would be the pacing…. i guess, Oz Perkin’s take on this fairytale it’s not a fast moving one, but it’s not that slow as other people seem to think it is, it’s exactly as long and fittingly paced as it needs to be, i feel. Then again, i saw people arguing this “actually” isn’t a horror movie (yes, yet again), so…..