The rationale behind the villain Lilith in “Hansel and Gretel” makes no sense. She traps Hansel and Gretel in a bear trap and lures them to her house, she feeds Hansel a meat pie, and traps him in her basement to make him in to her pie, and then asks Gretel to take control of the shop and run it for her, in spite of the fact she’s about to turn her brother in to a meat pastry. She then gets angry when Gretel refuses? Turning her relative in to food is not exactly incentive for her to stay and help you in the shop. And did she continue to intend turning kids in to meat pies if Gretel took hold of the shop?
Was she going to retire? Why did Lilith begin making human meat pies, again? Why does Gretel go through a spiritual journey in the finale of the film involving ghosts and battling her own self-confidence? “Hansel & Gretel” really isn’t the worst film The Asylum has ever churned out, but it’s not at all remarkable or entertaining. It’s forgettable, and in the typical tradition of The Asylum, nothing makes any sense, the writing stinks, the characterization is nonsensical, and there’s not a lot of rationale behind any of the moves the characters make. I mean, no one even wonders where Lilith gets the meat for her pies, in spite of the fact she lives in a small town and runs a candy shop called “The Gingerbread House.”
When Gretel refuses to run the shop, Lilith subjects her to living the way Lilith does, and then locks her in the basement, forced to stuff herself stupid and eventually become food. But when she teams up with her brother and two other survivors, there’s plenty of whining and screeching and no scares, whatsoever. I also didn’t buy Dee Wallace as this evil old woman, since most of the time she seems much too young to be remotely bought as this eccentric curmudgeon. It also doesn’t help that Lilith seems more mad than evil, most of the time. The script doesn’t know how to write its villain, thus Wallace doesn’t know how to play Lilith. It doesn’t help that Lilith is given two mongoloid sons that she’s desperate to conform to normality, thus making her seem even more tragic and less mustache twirling evil.
Deriving from “Last House on the Left,” the parents of Hansel and Gretel are on their tracks to see where they’ve gone, as well as local police, and both sub-plots go absolutely nowhere. Seriously, no one can outrun, out maneuver, or overpower a sixty year old woman with a knife? Why not just out run her until she tires out? And what the hell does the ending mean? So Gretel takes up the ownership of the shop? Did Lilith possess Gretel? Did Gretel suddenly love the taste of long pig? What about Hansel? What if he begins asking questions? I like ambiguity, but in excess it can be annoying. “Hansel & Gretel” is unscary and irritating, but it’s also a very watchable horror film from the Asylum. Dee Wallace is the only reason to watch what is another ho hum modernizing of a classic fairy tale featuring the Asylum’s trademarks of bad writing, hammy acting, and nonsensical plot twists.