Editor’s Notes: Hansel and Gretel Get Baked is now available on DVD.
Fairy tales get retold or rebooted quite a bit; it’s a crazy world we live in. They get a fresh spin, or a more adult twist put on them sometimes. Hansel and Gretel Get Baked channels the original grimness of the classic tale of the brother-sister duo, but also adds some freshness to it. Modern-day Hansel (Michael Welch, Twilight) and Gretel (Molly Quinn, Castle) are all casually hanging out with Gretel’s boyfriend Ashton, smoking some good stuff and making gingerbread men. You know, their usual Tuesday. When they realize they’re out of said “good stuff”, Ashton runs out to go get some more from this old lady. Rumor is, she’s carrying. He meets Agnes (Lara Flynn Boyle), a feisty elderly woman that will gladly sell him some. Her one condition: don’t eat HER gingerbread house. Well, he does and…he really shouldn’t have. Agnes turns out to be something of a witch, and her capture of Ashton sets off a series of events that lead a crazy, bloody battle of wits, and the munchies (no joke).
Hansel and Gretel Get Baked channels the original grimness of the classic tale of the brother-sister duo, but also adds some freshness to it.
After Cary Elwes’ brief cameo (it would be great if he actually just stopped by the set that day and said “I’ll be the meter man”), the movie kicks off with quite the creative opening credit sequence that gets a weird feeling creeping up behind you. That feeling that taps you on the shoulder and says “Hey…what if this won’t suck?” From that moment till the end is a viewing that turns out to be quite the surprise. Hansel and Gretel Get Baked is a lively and vigorous flick that takes great pride of its B-movie environment. It also takes great pride in bringing the dread in droves. A huge contributing aspect to that is the occasional display of its gory make-up effects. When it first hits, it comes unexpectedly, almost shockingly, and soon after that it makes itself right at home. The energy the effects team brings gets plenty of support from the strong writing and directing job provided from David Tillman and Duane Journey. Their combined efforts hit you with that nostalgia feeling of those guilty pleasures, those bad 90’s horror flicks that wanted nothing more than to showcase some attractive dread.
A little bit past the halfway mark, the movie starts to challenge itself to go down a darker, weirder path. The transition basically turns into a short-term goal to outdo its own first half.
A little bit past the halfway mark, the movie starts to challenge itself to go down a darker, weirder path. The transition basically turns into a short-term goal to outdo its own first half. Even though things start to get a tad bit convoluted, Tillman and Journey never lose their overall focus and they certainly meet their goal. As a result, Hansel and Gretel Get Baked turns into a B-movie fever dream with an abundance of glee. It also benefits from a great cast round-up. It’s certainly Boyle in a whole new light, and she seems to revel in that fact. She stands out from the rest but also doesn’t take away from any of the other performances, including a good show from Welch. It certainly washed away those bitter Twilight moments. When all is said and done, this straight-to-video gem ranks as one of the prime examples of not how to judge a book…or dvd…by its cover. Although the cool cover helps.
[notification type=”star”]73/100 ~ GOOD. Hansel and Gretel Get Baked is weird, dark, and a whole lot of fun. It’s a genuine surprise.[/notification]