Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (2013)

HanselAndGretel-WarriorsOfWBooboo and Fivel Stewart together at last! I’m glad they waited for that right cinematic project to get together and reveal their inner strength as an on-screen duo. Granted, Fivel Stewart is adorable, but “Warriors of Witchcraft” is one of the most uneventful knock offs of 2013. Especially for a movie with such a low budget, and the casting of Eric Roberts as a the school’s overly eager headmaster. The titular characters Jonah and Ella attend after Jonah is kicked out of his old school for fighting. Feeling the need to look after him, Ella follows Jonah to his new school, and before long discovers that this posh mostly bland private school is being run by witches.

Though the cover of the movie provides potential consumers with looks at two superheroes with leather, and fireballs in their mitts, the film itself doesn’t feature any kind of eventful CGI action until the final ten minutes. What “Warriors of Witchcraft” is, is just a lot of hokum about witches while character Ella spends the majority of the film running around trying to figure out the mystery of the school and its headmasters. When the movie can be an entertaining version of the monstrosity known as “The Covenant,” it instead opts for more suspenseful material in the vein of “The Woods,” where students from the school are being led off and consumed by witches, as Ella tries to anxiously figure out what’s happening before she and Jonah are eventually murdered. For some apparent reason the school run by the secret Witch coven known as “The Circle” sees something dark within Jonah and are anxiously trying to tempt him to join their group, while Ella fights to keep her brother on the light side.

In spite of never being quite sure what it is she’s fighting against or for. The writing for Jonah and Ella are basically broad, as they’re never given unique personalities to tinker with. They basically have to play off their charms, as the writing offers nothing for them to really act with throughout the duration of the story. The premise itself is paper thin with the goal clear cut and the writer working hard to rally the story elements to justifying why this movie is even given the tag of Hansel and Gretel. I’m also surprised Warner didn’t try for a lawsuit, since the movie revolves around a Circle of witches trying to entice two siblings much like their show “The Secret Circle” with almost the same premise. In either case, there wouldn’t be much profit to be had.

Eric Roberts has a basically thankless role (he is given a training montage with Ella that lasts all of five minutes), while Cherrie Currie is a banner name, but only for rock buffs, all things considered. Like most bargain budget movies, the writers save the big fight and CGI for the finale, and none of it is ever as entertaining as it can be. “Warriors of Witchcraft” is such a tedious affair; it’s a shame there couldn’t have been more tongue in cheek moments. When the producers cast actual siblings barely famous for the title characters, but pay little attention to entertainment value, you can tell the writers were simply going through the motions. A terribly lame and utterly tedious attempt at starting a franchise, director David DeCoteau’s talents are lost in a haze of bad writing, horrible plotting, stale acting, and a movie lacking any kind of entertainment value. Such potential should have been better realized, even with a small budget.