Hänsel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

HO – LY – SHIT. That one looks like it’s gonna be fun 🙂

Or… it could suck like all the other movies of that genre that try to re-invent fairy tale characters in a world tainted by the Twilight saga (“Red Riding Hood” comes to mind but also “Van Helsing” although it predated this decade’s vampire craze). But at least “Hansel & Gretel” looks like it’s going to be honest: no hollow claims of answering questions about the origin of life (“Prometheus”) or re-inventing time travel (“Looper”).

Just “this is what Hansel & Gretel would look like in a steam-punk movie for teenage boys. Hell yeah!” *

Who knows if it’s gonna be good. Maybe it’s witty like “Brothers Grimm”, maybe it’s trashy like “Underworld” or “Resident Evil”. But with stills like these, it’s definitely on my watchlist even though this mentality has led to disappointment most of the time 🙂

The VFX look much much better than in Resident Evil though. That hero shot at the bottom looks really well done. Light is engulfing the actors quite nicely and although a real explosion would be even brighter the actors are underexposed enough to sell the shot.

Compare this to a shot from the Resident Evil trailer I’ve criticized in the past where the integration of explosion and environment is abysmal.

For people who are not so much aware of what constitutes effects shots nowadays (and why movies get more expensive all the time…): I’m pretty sure the fog in the topmost screenshot was added later on in postproduction. Even if there was such a forest with the right kind of humidity at the right time of day to produce a suitable fog, no sane producer would allow a shot of the main actors to be restricted by such unreliable weather conditions. Doing the fog in post also allows the director creative freedom to add details like those godrays. All it takes is a matchmoving artist, a bunch of roto slaves and a 4-digit amount of dollars. If the director requests half a dozen versions until he’s satisfied with the color and density of the fog, the VFX company probably won’t break even. That’s the state of the industry.

*) yeah, I’m using the term “steam-punk” loosely. But any movie that mixes gatling guns with 18th century German timber-frame construction qualifies as steam-punk to me.

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