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Film / Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a 2013 action adventure film based on the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. It stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, and Famke Janssen. It's written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, the director of Dead Snow.

Taking place fifteen years after the classic tale, Hansel and Gretel have grown into vengeful bounty hunters dedicated to exterminating witches of any kind. When the Mayor of Augsburg, Germany recruits them to rid the town and nearby forests of an evil sorceress — who is planning to sacrifice many local children at the witches' gathering during the upcoming 'Blood Moon' in two days' time — the siblings fight to stop the witches, discovering a strange conspiracy along the way.

Watch the trailer here and the red band trailer here.


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters provides examples of:

  • Action Duo: The siblings, of course.
  • Action Girl:
    • Gretel.
    • Mina, when she uses the holy Gatling gun, effectively kills more witches in about thirty seconds than everyone else in the movie combined.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: When Hansel and Gretel find one another in their old house. Gretel has realized that their mother was a witch (and so is she), and can't bring herself to tell Hansel, while Hansel is busy exploring their old room. She tries and tries, but Muriel beats her to it.
  • Adaptational Badass: Hansel and Gretel, who were just two ordinary kids in the original story who managed to outsmart a single witch, are portrayed as gun-toting, evil-slaying witch hunters.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Hansel and Gretel's mother is nothing like how she is portrayed in the fairy tale. In the movie, she is actually a White Witch (a good witch) and her reason for abandoning her children is to protect them from an angry mob.
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    • The same can be said of their father, in the first and original version, he agreed to abandon his children without reluctance. But is given a noble reason for it in the film and most adaptations.
  • Anachronism Stew: It's unclear exactly when the movie is supposed to be set, but even aside from Hansel and Gretel's unexplained steampunk armory, there's a ridiculous variance in tech levels, especially among the more "mundane" firearms. Hansel and Gretel also occasionally use a lot of more modern expressions like "stay cool" and "friggin".
  • Anti-Magic:
    • Hansel and Gretel are immune to (directly applied) witchcraft. Being children of a Grand White Witch who had the foresight to lay protection on them has its perks. The witches are generally pretty clever about bypassing it via physical or indirect attacks though, such as when Muriel telekinetically throws logs at Hansel.
    • The magic of White Witches allows them to bypass the defenses of Black Witches and kill them with ease.
  • Apathy Killed the Cat: Hansel has no interest in what happened to their parents, why they were left in the woods, and why they have Anti-Magic.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Hansel's "sugar sickness".
    • While a witch's candy might be cursed to cause anyone who eats it to die from "sugar sickness" if they miss an injection (of presumably insulin), you can't get insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetes from eating too much mundane, non-enchanted sugar unless you gain a lot of weight; somewhere in the ballpark of two hundred pounds. Even if you could, a regular diabetic can go for several days without insulin and not keel over dead immediately; although they would likely become extremely ill from diabetic ketoacidosis.
    • Insulin, incidentally, was not identified until 1921. Before then, diabetes was a nightmare disease that was usually an outright death sentence.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The real town of Augsburg has never looked anything like the small village the movie takes place in. A prospering rich center of trade would be much closer to reality. It was so large that it would periodically be the seat of the Imperial Diet (the General Assembly of the Empire). Furthermore, Augsburg not only had its own military, but contained a key base for the Holy Roman Empire, and so was literally crammed with soldiers. The Witches attacking it before they gained immortality would have been suicidal. Also, while the movie was correct in that Augsburg was surrounded by forests, the Lech River which runs through the town is completely missing.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In-universe. Benjamin starts as a fan of Hansel and Gretel; he collects all their newspaper articles, has a lot of witch data, and his dream is to be a witch hunter like them. He gets his chance to help.
  • Asshole Victim: No one feels sorry for the Sheriff.
  • Attempted Rape: In the extended cut, after beating Gretel up, the Sheriff and his men declare their intention to rape her and pull off her jacket before Edward arrives and kills them. For viewers who only saw the original cut, this is the reason why Gretel's jacket suddenly disappears when Edward arrives.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The action scenes feature liberal use of electric guitars (in keeping with the Anachronism Stew).
  • Automatic Crossbow: Gretel carries an over-and-under version of this, which uses its own recoil to cock itself. It can also rotate to shoot bolts in opposite directions.
  • Badass Boast: Muriel is full of them.
    [as the mercenary crosses himself at her approach] "Don't bother. Even your God knows better..."
    "I Have Many Names... none of which you're worthy of pronouncing..."
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Gretel, three times!
    • Hansel a few times too, especially when he's stabbed and left to bleed out.
  • Badass Longcoat: Both the twins.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Hansel and Gretel have no magical powers other than their immunity to witch magic despite being the children of a White Witch themselves, but are very skilled at dispatching witches using conventional weapons and plenty of cunning. The latter makes them uniquely qualified to fight the the witches as the witches can't control or curse them. Gretel actually does have magic, she just didn't know about it and therefore never used it. She does pick up Muriel's wand at the end of the film, possibly hinting that she will begin practicing.
    • Ben and Jackson are more straight examples of Badass Normal.
  • Bayonet Ya: Hansel's shotgun has a retractable bayonet.
  • Beast and Beauty: Some vibes this way between Gretel and Edward.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played with. Hansel rightly points out that an evil witch cannot really hide their true, hideous nature as evidence that Mina isn't a witch. But Grand Black Witches can briefly hide themselves. Once she starts using magic, however, she takes on her evil form. White witches, however, are both altruistic and beautiful.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played with; Gretel is just as likely to get scrapes, cuts and bruises as Hansel is, and spends at least as much time grunged up as he does. Similarly, when they are injured, neither simply wipes the blood away and is perfectly fine, showing wounds lasting across the few days over which the majority of the movie takes place. In the final scene set some prolonged period later, however, only Hansel has noticeable scars, and they only add to his rugged handsomeness.
  • Being Good Sucks: Feel sorry for the White Witches, given that they are not allowed to hurt humans even when they're being burned to death. While they can use their magic to fight Black Witches, they're much better with non-offensive spells.
  • BFG: Hansel's gun and a few other toys.
  • Big Bad: Muriel the Grand Black Witch, who seeks to sacrifice a bunch of children to make all evil witches immune to fire.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Hansel and Gretel do this for a living. And Edward the troll does it twice.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Multiple times.
  • Blood Magic: What Muriel had in mind for the twelve missing children and Gretel.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents:
    • The patrons of the tavern when that unfortunate tracker explodes into Ludicrous Gibs. Hansel knows what's coming, and moves Benjamin in front of him.
    • Hansel ends up spraying several small children in the face with blood and brains when he executes a witch less than four feet from them.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Edward ultimately decides to side with the twins against Muriel.
  • Bond One-Liner: In the beginning, the witch complained that the fire wasn't hot enough. After she pushed the Gingerbread House witch into the oven, Gretel yelled, "Is it hot enough for you now, bitch!?"
  • Braids of Action: Certified Action Girl Gretel's hair is almost always braided.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Hansel and Gretel, though minus the usual bickering. At least largely minus it. Gretel is forced to swat her brother upside the head at least once when he's being annoying.
    Gretel: I fucking hate you.
    Hans: You look like shit.
    Gretel: So do you.
  • Bullet Time: During the epilogue, Gretel is seen shooting automatic weapons at a witch, who dodges the bullets in slow motion.
  • Burn the Witch!: Several witches, including Hansel and Gretel's mother are burned at the stake. Muriel's ultimate plan is to permanently make all witches immune to fire.
  • Chain Pain: Gretel wraps a chain around her fist at one point and near the end she tears a witch in half with a spiked chain. Hansel strangles Muriel with one.
  • Chekhov's Gun. Ben is handed a very fancy, fold up rifle (with incredibly complex ammo) and told to "wait here and shoot anything that moves". Later...
  • *Click* Hello: Gretel gives one to the Sheriff when stopping him from burning a suspected witch to death. The Sheriff also has an excellent Oh, Crap! expression right at this moment.
    Gretel: Let the girl go, or I'll blow your Sheriff's brains all over these fucking hillbillies.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Any fight with Muriel up until the end results in everyone getting stomped. Also, the Sheriff and his cronies versus Edward when he rescues Gretel. Including actual stomping.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: It's pretty fair to say that leaving your children in the woods to save their lives (and with full intent of coming back for them once the danger has passed but getting killed before you can) is an understandable reason for abandoning them.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Mina when she was about to be executed by the misguided townspeople.
    • Gretel is briefly captured by the Sheriff's men and then by the witches.
  • Dark Action Girl: Witches are female, so all the dark witches qualify.
  • The Dark Arts: They make the black witches hideous. See Beauty Equals Goodness.
  • Death by Sex: The white witch Mina and Hansel make love after she heals his wounds. During the final battle, the evil witch Muriel kills Mina.
  • Death of a Child: Early in the movie, a boy was killed by the witches and his remains were used to create a prototype version of the potion.
  • Disease by Any Other Name: Hansel is described as having "sugar sickness" from his time imprisoned in the witch's gingerbread house. To the audience it is obvious he is talking about insulin-dependent diabetes (commonly known as Type 1).
  • Distressed Dude: Hansel as a child.
  • The Dreaded: The reason Muriel just didn't outright assault Hansel and Gretel's home and forcefully take Gretel then and there was that she was afraid of their mother, Adrianna, the Grand White Witch. She took advantage of the fact that Adrianna would not harm humans, spreading rumors of her being a witch to the villagers so they would get Adrianna out of the way and leave Gretel vulnerable.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • Muriel. So, so much.
    • Also the Sheriff when he and his men have captured Gretel.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: With the exception of Grand Witches, who can change their appearance at will, you can tell when a witch has been doing evil witchy things because it causes them to mutate into an grotesque demon thing.
  • Exact Time to Failure: A biological example. When Hansel's alarm watch goes off, he needs his insulin within thirty seconds or so or he falls over.
  • Eye Scream: Hansel stabs a witch in the eye at one point.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: But because this is olden times, the drawings of the missing children are tied around milk bottles.
  • Fantastic Racism: Most people, especially Hansel, view all witches as evil crones (which a lot of them are). Good ones who go by the moniker of White Witches do exist, one of which he saves from being burned and tortured, the other of which was his own mother.
  • Faux Action Girl: Gretel is supposed to be a smart and competent hunter who's killed many witches, but the only thing she ever does on her own is headbutt a man. She's not even able to be able to get away from normal men trying to beat her up, let alone the witches, and spends the movie being rescued by her brother, Edward, and pretty much everyone else besides herself.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: The Sheriff's men fire a lot at the witches, not that it does them any good.
  • Flash Step: Muriel does this at one point, talking to Hansel and Gretel and then suddenly showing up behind them.
  • Flying Broomstick: Averted as the witches fly long crooked branches.
  • Foreshadowing: Gretel wonders why Edward saved her, given that trolls serve witches. It turns out that Gretel herself is the daughter of a Great White Witch.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Poor Jackson never gets so much as a mention after his black-magic forced suicide, despite risking his life helping Hansel and Gretel capture a witch.
  • Game Face: Inverted. Grand Witches can change out of their monstrous face and look like a regular (and beautiful) woman. Crosses back to straight since Muriel spends most of the movie looking pretty and dropping the disguise to affect a straight Game Face.
  • Gatling Good: A White Witch-blessed Gatling gun, to be precise.
  • Gratuitous German: Completely averted, which is odd considering the move takes place in Germany. Doubly so when some of the actors are German, but speak with American accents. The Translation Convention is in effect.
  • Gender Equals Breed: Presumably the reason why Gretel and their mother were witches, but Hansel and their father were human.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: How Edward ends the Sheriff.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Completely averted. Despite saving her life and getting steadily more awesome throughout the film, Ben's geeky devotion shows no signs of winning Gretel over — although she doesn't particularly show interest in anyone else either.
  • Glory Hound: The Sheriff angrily works against Hansel and Gretel because he wants to get sole credit for stopping the witches.
  • Godiva Hair: Mina, when she and Hansel go Skinny Dipping in the healing pond.
  • Going Commando: Mina wasn't wearing any underwear under her dress.
  • Gorn: The film is quite over the top with its bloodshed, decapitations and exploding body parts.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Hansel and Gretel's mother turns out to have in fact been a (good) witch, which here is treated as a separate species. Their father was a normal human.
  • Handicapped Badass: As a result of eating so much of the gingerbread witch's candy as a child, Hansel has improbably become diabetic and needs to inject himself with medicine every couple of hours or he will die.
  • Happy Fun Ball: The gingerbread house to Hansel and Gretel at first. The house actually does look pretty sinister and strange.
  • Harmful to Minors:
    • Hansel and Gretel were exposed to the evil of the gingerbread witch and it caused them to become witch hunters.
    • The children kidnapped by Muriel and the rest of the witches seem quite traumatized.
    • Also the boy who Muriel forces to shoot his own mother. He practically breaks down.
  • Healing Hands: An ability of Mina's. Likely Adrianna had it too. And Gretel if she starts practicing the craft.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Both of the siblings wear a lot of black leather. See the page picture.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Mina, a redhead, is the Love Interest of Hansel, one of the titular heroes.
  • High Concept: Hansel and Gretel grew up. And now they hunt witches.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: A spell imbues water with the ability to make anything it blesses bypass dark witch magic shields. Cue Hansel unveiling a cart full of weapons, including literal grenades.
  • Hot Witch: Only Grand Black Witches are capable of temporarily assuming this. White witches, however, can look perfectly human. Mina is attractive and so was the siblings' mother Adrianna. Gretel herself is stunning.
  • Human Shield: The Horned Witch grabs another witch for this when Mina is mowing down the witches with the Gatling gun.
  • Humble Brag: Hansel asks Ben if he has ever shot a gun, Ben kind of quietly remarks that he won a shooting contest at the county fair... three times. Hansel just smiles and helps him up onto his horse.
  • I Have Many Names: Muriel says the she has many names, but doesn't say what any of them are.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The witches.
  • Irony: The Sheriff runs around accusing multiple innocent women of being witches. Turns out he didn't realize it, but he was right every time. They were just benevolent White Witches instead of evil Black Witches, and thus he unknowingly aids the Big Bad.
  • It's All About Me: Sheriff Berringer has this kind of attitude. He sends several men to be horribly killed just to show up Hansel and Gretel.
  • Jerkass: Again the Sheriff and his cronies. To some degree the town people gawking and cheering when the Sheriff was employing water torture on poor Mina.
  • Just Between You and Me: Muriel narrates her entire plot to Hansel and Gretel during her Evil Gloating rant, while also describing how their parents died.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire is the greatest weakness for the witches. In fact, the Big Bad's main goal is to eat the heart of the Grand White Witch to make themselves immune to fire.
  • Knight Templar:
    • The Sheriff and his cronies want to protect the town from witches and thieves, but end up causing as much damage as the witches themselves, and eventually beat Gretel severely, before Edward stomps in to save the day.
    • In the uncut version, Berringer murders the Mayor in front of the entire town, and he and his gang planned to do a lot worse than just beat Gretel up before getting fatally trolled.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In this case, the nature of the film itself. When the opening scene after the titles involves having hand drawn pictures of the missing children pasted on milk bottles sold in the Ausburg market, you know the film is not going to be taking itself seriously.
  • Large Ham: Goodness, the original witch who tried to eat Hansel and Gretel. "THIS OVEN'S NOT HOT ENOUGH! MORE WOOD!"
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Mina with the Gatling gun. Benjamin when he shoots down Muriel.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The evil witches are inhumanly fast and strong.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Everywhere, but one of the trackers exploding after being forced to eat worms takes the cake.
  • Made of Iron: The amount of punishment Hansel and Gretel take throughout the film is incredible. Also the witches. Possibly justified as the witches aren't really human and both Hansel and Gretel are the children of a Grand White Witch. Who knows, though Hansel can't use magic he probably got the durability of a witch. Everyone else takes a lot longer to recover from any kind of damage.
  • Mage Killer: The twins' Anti-Magic let them take this up as a profession.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Gretel defibrillates Edward using a homemade, steampunk taser.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: In this setting, witches have the magic and the villagers have the tech in the form of rifles and pistols being common. Magic has the huge upper hand against technology, since witches have magical shields which deflect bullets, to the point that swinging a shovel at a witch is far more effective than using a standard gun on her. Even the more advanced tech used by Hansel and Gretel doesn't do that much except to help lead a witch to a place where the siblings can beat on her in melee. It's only when their guns are enchanted that they become a real threat to the witches (and even there Muriel soaks four shots without any ill-effects later).
  • Magic Wand: Used copiously by witches. Both Black Witches and White Witches. The ones of the evil witches tend to look sinister. Mina's is rather lovely and nature-inspired.
  • Man Bites Man: Gretel bites the Sheriff's nose.
  • Meaningful Name: Mina means "protection". She blesses the weapons that the hero team use on the witch sabbath. Benjamin means "son of the right hand". Edward means "guard". Gretel is a German version of Margaret which is associated with pearls and the color white. Hansel is the odd one out, as his name is a German diminutive of John, although John or Hans is one of the standard "hero" names in fairy tales.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The film naturally couldn't leave out the incident in their childhoods that prompted them to become witch hunters.
  • Monster/Slayer Romance: Hansel and Gretel have vowed to hunt down all of witchkind to avenge the death of their parents, but Hansel later falls in love with Mina, who's a White Witch. As it turns out, so are the two leads—their mother was a White Witch as well. Mina is eventually murdered in the climax by Muriel, the Grand Black Witch, for "betraying her kind".
  • More Dakka:
    • Besides the automatic crossbow and Gatling gun seen in the trailers and commercials, Gretel uses a pair of triple-barreled Gatling pistols in the end credits.
    • But the scene that best demonstrates the twins' love of this trope is when Mina offers to enchant some weapons with anti-witch spells, and Hansel responds by producing a large cart full of heavy weaponry.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Handsome, muscular Hansel is shirtless by the pool.
  • Ms. Fanservice: While Mina has a brief nude scene by the healing pond, Gretel fills up this role since she spends the entire movie in a very form-hugging corset and pants. Also, a very welcome view of Gretel's legs when she gets out of bed. Not to mention a very chesty shot when a bloody Gretel rolls over.
  • Mundane Utility: Muriel twice uses her black magic wand just as a convenient way to light a fire.
  • Murder by Cremation: How Hansel and Gretel killed the witch they encountered as kids.
  • No-Harm Requirement: While the White Witches are perfectly permitted to use magic against the evil Black Witches, they not allowed to hurt humans even when they're being burned to death. Made all the more problematic by the fact that most humans in that world despise all witches.
  • Not Bad: After Muriel sarcastically asks Mina if she's going to hit her with a love spell, she blasts a bolt of energy at her, which hits a tree next to her. Muriel says this.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Gretel wears one that allows for freedom of movement. Also Muriel clearly wears one, but she is sexy only in human form.
  • Off with His Head!: Another way of killing witches. Favored by Hansel and Gretel. Muriel suffers this.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Sheriff and his cronies all have this expression when Edward approaches and squishes each of their heads like grapes.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Famke Janssen seems to go from a British to Dutch to American accent throughout the film.
    • Gemma Arterton's American accent disappears when she shouts "HANSEL!"
  • One-Gender Race: Apparently there are no male witches. From the children of the Grand White Witch Adrianna, only Gretel is referred as a witch.
  • "Open!" Says Me: "Edward, wanna knock?"
  • Painted-On Pants: Gretel's leather pants are a bit snug, don't you think?
  • Parental Abandonment: In the beginning of the film, Hansel and Gretel's father leaves them in the woods. However, it is later revealed that both their parents needed to in order to save them from a mob of villagers, who most likely would have killed them for being children of a witch (though the good kind of witch).
  • Phrase Catcher: The candy house in the finale elicits the exact same reaction from the siblings, word for word.
  • Pride: According to Muriel, the reason why Adrianna chose not to run for it when the mob came for her.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Zig zagged as the story initially seems to be playing the trope straight, with Hansel and Gretel's behavior being justifiably better because of their more weathered judgement. However, even this early, the habits of the townspeople and the duo don't differ much. Hansel wanted them to burn Mina (and ALL witches for that matter) and it's implied that Gretel would've too had she had a little more proof. Once the revelation that the townspeople were RIGHT (in a sense) is thrown in the pair's faces, they are forced to reconsider their standards. It's unclear whether the townspeople are aware that they too may have faulty witch detection guidelines and are changing theirs as a result.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Muriel forces a man to shoot himself in the head.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Edward the troll, who only works for Muriel's coven because "trolls serve witches." Given the chance, he gladly betrays them to serve Gretel.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Muriel's human form.
  • Rasputinian Death: Muriel's death is very drawn-out and gruesome, including being decapitated with a shovel.
  • Reckless Gun Usage:
    • All over the place, but Hansel especially, since he's fond of slinging his shotgun over his shoulder for no other reason than that it looks cool. In one shot at the end of the film, it looks like it's pointing right at Benjamin's face.
    • Happens several times in the movie, the first time at the "burn the witch" scene with Sheriff Berringer. Hansel slings his BFG over his shoulder and casually flags one of the Sheriff's mooks. Of course, that might not have been accidental.
  • Rescue Romance: Gretel being saved by Edward.
  • The Reveal: Muriel reveals to Hansel and Gretel that their mother, Adrianna, was a benevolent white witch and that the reason why they are immune to black magic is due to being blessed by their mother with a spell of protection as children. Muriel needed the heart of a white witch as the final ingredient in the feast of the Blood Moon ritual, in order to make her and the rest of the black witches immune to fire. Adrianna was far too strong in the craft for them to overpower, so Muriel intended to have Gretel's heart instead. Muriel then spread rumours of Adrianna being a witch, causing the villagers to storm their home and burn her alive (not to mention hanging their father when he ran in to try and save her). However, their father was able to lead them into the forest and leave them there to protect them from the villagers.
  • Razor Floss: Hansel makes a web of blessed wires that slice through several fast-flying witches.
  • Recursive Ammo: The round Ben fires at Muriel unravels in mid-air spraying tiny pellets making a great anti-aircraft (or should that be witchcraft?) weapon.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Averted quite strongly by the sidekick and the heroes. When fanboy Benjamin gushingly introduces himself, Gretel is actually fairly polite to him and somewhat appreciative of his hero-worship, and actually a bit impressed about all the research he did on witches and them. Hansel is more irritated, and both are a little creeped out. When Ben gets his chance to gain a sidekick role, he actually does what he was told — to hide and stand guard for a few hours, leading to a successful ambush.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The entire concept is Hansel and Gretel hunting and killing witches. No wonder it doesn't take itself seriously.
  • Rescue Romance: Between Mina and Hansel after she's saved from an accusation of witchcraft.
  • Role Called: Hanesl and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
  • Rule of Cool: All over the place.
  • Say My Name: Gretel's scream of "HANSEL!" after she thinks he's been killed and/or seriously injured by Muriel.
  • Schizo Tech: It's not really clear when this movie is supposed to be set, but some of the technology is rather advanced for the medieval period.
  • Seen It All: There's not much that happens in the movie which fazes the siblings, up to and including a man exploding in the middle of talking to them. Realizing that there are White Witches and that they were born from one itself, though... Didn't See That Coming.
  • Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: When Hansel is beating up the evil witch Muriel, she takes on her beautiful form (Famke Janssen) and begs for mercy. Hansel says, "Nice try," and continues the attack.
  • Shirtless Scene: Hansel has one when he takes off his clothes to go swimming (see Mr. Fanservice).
  • Ship Tease: Gretel and Edward.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Ben can't catch a break, can he?
  • Shotguns Are Just Better:
    • Hansel's Weapon of Choice.
    • Also Jackson.
      Gretel: Are you a good shot?
      Jackson: No. [Gretel gives him a look] That's why I use a shotgun.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shovel Strike: Muriel uses a shovel in her final fight. The twins eventually decapitate her with it.
  • Solitary Sorceress: All witches, good and bad, seem to live this way. The bad witches' isolation seems to be justified in this universe by the fact that dark witches are inherently corrupt and evil, and they start to visibly decay, which makes them too obvious to stay around people.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Atli Örvarsson's music is less fairytale, more hard rock.
  • Spellbook: Being a movie with witches in it there are a few.
  • Spoof Aesop: Hansel delivers one to cap off the film's prologue:
    Hansel: We learned a couple of things while we were trapped in that house. One, never walk in to a house made of candy. And two, if you're gonna kill a witch, set her ass on fire.
  • Squishy Wizard: Played straight with white witches except Gretel, but completely averted with the standard witch.
  • Stalker Shrine: Ben made one of the siblings, complete with a painting of Gretel. Gretel is creeped out.
  • Stealth Pun:
  • Stupid Good: Adrianna, a Grand White Witch, basically allows the townsfolk to kill her. This is a being so powerful that an entire covenant of evil witches cannot hope to take her by force. It's one thing never using your magic to harm humans on principle, but it's another thing entirely to surrender to being burned at the stake. There's no indication her magical prowess couldn't have allowed an escape without hurting anyone. Instead she's brutally murdered, her husband is hanged soon after and her children are left orphans at the mercy of witches. This plays completely into Muriel's hands.
  • Super Strength: The witches and Edward the troll.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Ben cleans up an unconscious Gretel after a battle and surreptitiously wipes her breast. Gretel wakes up and is not amused.
  • They Fight Crime!: And unlike your official law enforcement, they do it well!
  • Too Dumb to Live: A group of hunters hired by the sheriff are at first reluctant to go to the woods at night in an attempt to save the children, but go anyway after they are offered more money.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: White Witches really get hit with this trope. Adrianna and Mina both end up dying. The surviving White Witch is more of an Anti-Hero.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Mina is shown entirely nude from the back she gets out of her dress by the pool.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • The trailer makes Edward the troll appear as a bigger threat. The scene in the trailer where he's stomping through the trees is when he's coming to Gretel's rescue.
    • Hansel's line in the trailer ("Some people will say that not all witches are evil, that their powers could be used for good. I say burn them all!") is a heavily edited version of his closing narration (paraphrased) "We know there are good witches. To the rest we say: burn them all!".
  • True Blue Femininity: Adrianna in flashbacks. A lovely and somewhat queenly blue dress is what she is wearing when the mob comes for her.
  • Truer to the Text: Played with. The opening sequence with Hansel and Gretel as children is one of the rare examples of a fairytale adaptation that doesn't spare the horror and brutality of the original. The rest of the film, on the other hand...
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Mina and Hansel get amorous while bathing in a pond.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Deconstructed. Hansel pulls this off at the climax. Then promptly gets hit by the bad guy right after completing it for his effort.
  • Unrated Edition: Extends scenes and includes lines like:
    Witch:"Why don't you two go fuck yourselves? No, no, better - fuck each other!"
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Muriel kills Mina, Hansel's subsequent assault is best described as this, culminating in him choking her with a chain and punching her body repeatedly while screaming in fury.
  • Use Your Head: Gretel headbutts the Sheriff when he won't get out of her face. This resulted in him being knocked off his feet with a broken nose. Towards the end of the movie, Gretel does it again, this time against Muriel.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Subverted. At the end, Hansel narrates how even though revenge won't change the past or bring their parents back, it still feels pretty damn good.
  • Villain Ball: The Sheriff approaches being an Anti-Villain through the first half of the movie... he's going about saving the children all wrong, with his biggest sin being not trusting Hansel and Gretel, but he clearly does want to save the town and the children. Then he goes completely off the rails after the witch attack, committing cold-blooded murder and having a long rant about breaking women like horses.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Muriel attempts to beg Hansel for her life when he is in the middle of unleashing an Unstoppable Rage Roaring Rampage of Revenge on her for killing his Love Interest Mina. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Both played with and played straight:
    • One of the mercenaries comes into the tavern and looks like he's about to vomit. Then he explodes.
    • Played straight with Benjamin when he sees the aftermath of the final fight scene.
  • Wham Line: "TROLLS. SERVE. WITCHES." Not that Gretel flickers an eyelid. More like her eyes slightly widen. She's a rather stoic lady.
  • Where It All Began: The location of the final battle against Muriel? The candy house in the prologue. Both twins lampshade this.
  • White Magic: White witches seem to primarily do healing and love spells, though remaining capable of attacking the evil black witches if necessary.
  • Wicked Witch: Or rather Wicked Witches.
  • Witch Hunter: Hansel and Gretel's stock in trade. They're far more heroic than your typical witch hunters.
  • Witch Species: The daughter of a white witch is automatically a white witch herself, whether she uses magic or not. Additionally, it seems that power is inherited as well; Gretel doesn't practice witchcraft (as of yet) and didn't even know she was a witch until halfway through the film, but simply being the daughter of a Grand White Witch — the most powerful type of witch there is — is enough to qualify her as one, as well.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • The sheriff and his cronies regarding Gretel.
    • Hansel regarding pretty much every witch in existence.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit:
    • Hansel uses a child-sized scarecrow and a music box playing the voice of a lost boy calling for help as bait to lure in witches.
    • Once Hansel hangs Muriel and proceeds to beat her up, she changes to her human form and begs for mercy. Hansel doesn't buy it.
  • You Are What You Hate: Muriel reveals to Gretel that she's a Grand White Witch, which she inherited from her mother, who was also a witch herself.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Hansel and Gretel near the end ("You gotta be fucking kidding me"), when they come across the Gingerbread House from when they were kids.
  • You Talk Too Much: Mina says it to Hansel as they're bathing together when he keeps jabbering. Hansel later says it to Muriel after a large dose of exposition.


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