We’re only a few weeks into 2020, and yet already Hollywood has made many attempts to scare the hell out of audiences this year. So far, we have seen a series of horror titles make their way into theatres this month — including THE GRUDGE, UNDERWATER and THE TURNING — and now the latest work hitting the big screen will try to freak you out with a classic fairy tale: GRETEL & HANSEL.
The witch-centric feature opens this week, and here are four reasons why you should be excited and buy your tickets now.
The original fairy tale makes a perfect base for a horror premise
Although their primary audience is meant to be small children, classic fairy tales are quite often seriously messed up and disturbing, and that absolutely applies to the classic story of "Hansel and Gretel." Not only does it begin with a couple of kids being abandoned by their parents in the woods, but its conclusion features a showdown with a cannibalistic witch. It shouldn’t take much effort for GRETEL & HANSEL to transform that concept into scary cinema, which only makes us more excited.
The trailer is seriously freaky
Simply hearing "horror movie version of 'Hansel and Gretel'" sells the movie as an intriguing concept, but the extra bonus is that the official trailer looks seriously scary. Director Oz Perkins seems to be making impressive use of the creepy period setting, and the scenes with the witch (played by STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT’s Alice Krige) are definitely disturbing.
Sophia Lillis is a burgeoning scream queen
At the age of 17, Sophia Lillis is still very much at the start of her career, but should she make more horror movies going forward, she could easily become the next great scream queen. Audiences have already fallen in love with her as Beverly Marsh in IT and IT CHAPTER TWO, and while she was part of an ensemble cast for those two movies, GRETEL & HANSEL is putting her front and center (as signified by the name-swap in the title). It’s been exciting to watch her grow as a performer, and this new film looks to be a pivotal step for her.
Horror movies are seriously clicking right now
Horror movies have seen their profile raised in a major way in the last few years (thanks in part to the aforementioned IT), and studios have been investing in and releasing some thrilling, scary films. Recently, we’ve seen a fantastic wave of genre titles hitting theatres, and the possibility of GRETEL & HANSEL riding that swell is exciting, and could perpetuate even more great horror titles to follow.
GRETEL & HANSEL is in theatres Friday, January 31.