The original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales were exceptionally dark but have been watered down over the past century or so to be turned into children’s stories. Now, a new horror film is bringing one of their most popular tales back to its terrifying glory days in Gretel & Hansel, and the first trailer looks like the movie won’t be holding back on the original tale’s horrors.
The movie stars It‘s Sophia Lillis and newcomer Sammy Leakey as the titular sister and brother who run afoul of a witch (Star Trek‘s Borg Queen, Alice Krige) in the woods after getting lost. The movie, which is from Orion Pictures, looks to have a similar vibe to A24’s moody and atmospheric horror offerings such as The Witch. There’s a creepy score, a tremendous sense of foreboding and isolation, and loads of disturbing imagery. Trust us, this is not a story you would read to your kids at bedtime. Check out the trailer below, but be sure to lay out a trail of bread crumbs first.
This is not the first time we’ve seen Hollywood put a unique spin on this particular fairy tale. The 2013 film Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters starred Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as a pair of action hero bounty hunters who kill witches for a living. It was absolutely savaged by critics but became a box office success, showing that people are at least willing to pay money to see unexpected adaptations of centuries-old stories even if they’re not very good. But judging by how awesome this new trailer is, we’re guessing Gretel & Hansel won’t have any issues appealing to either critics or audiences.
Gretel & Hansel, directed by Oz Perkins, hits theaters on Jan. 31.