Thursday, 8 August 2013

FRIGHTFEST: Hansel and Gretel & The 420 Witch

HANSEL AND GRETEL & THE 420 WITCH *


The two siblings take a funny turn in this stoner comedy, but has the modern retelling of the Grimm brother's fairytale gone to pot?


When the opening credits comprise the lyrics ‘Do You Wanna Get High?’ playing over a sequence of pill pots and cannabis leaves, you know this isn’t going to be your traditional bedtime story. The Grimm brothers’ Hansel & Gretel has become a feverish modern theme, recently cropping up in a number of action and thriller renditions and comedy parodies. This fairytale horror stoner comedy is the latest to hone in on the crumb-filled path and sees a teen Gretel (Molly Quinn) on the hunt for her missing boyfriend Ashton after he fails to return from a scavenge for weed.

Little old lady Agnes (Lara Flynn Boyle) lives in Pasadena and grows the best weed around. But there’s nothing sweet about this granny pothead. After luring teenagers to her home with the lethal home-grown stash she dubs ‘Blackforest,’ she eats them alive and inhales their youthfulness to make herself younger.

The references to the classic tale provide slight entertainment, but the distracting deplorability of the embarrassing acting and idle dialogue serve to provide fewer laughs. Its gory outset is short-lived and the tale’s sweetness is replaced with nearly two hours of cheesiness, the only hint of sugar being found in the skittles that are placed by Gretel to guide the way to safety.

For a relatively high-profile teen horror, starring Twilight’s Michael Welsh and Castle’s Molly Quinn, as well as Hollywood has-been Lara Flynn Boyle, it has limited highs. Cannibal witch Agnes’ emerging sassy character simply makes a few minutes of lesbianism and bitch scraps possible, and just when you think it can’t get any more potty, slasher and stoner gimmicks get downplayed by an absurd concoction of gangster drug lords, trashy cops and – wait for it – one zombie.


VERDICT: It’s a constant relapse of spoofs that would be – I imagine – intolerable to even the most stoned viewer. If you seen this, you’ve seen it all.


(Visit www.horrortalk.com for more of my published work, and for horror news, reviews, comment, reports & competitions)

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