Released in January, Gretel & Hansel was one of the few horror flicks to receive a legit theatrical release in the Year of the Plague. Judging from its middling box office returns, even horror enthusiasts weren’t particularly taken with Perkins’ bold re-imagining of the classic tale of a brother and sister stumbling into the home of a cannibalistic witch. Those that were continue to debate the film’s merits on Reddit.
The popular opinion about Gretel & Hansel‘s perceived shortcomings is that in fronting atmosphere, it alienated audiences searching for cheap thrills. Redditor u/nderhjs obviously believes as much, posting “Because it does style and atmosphere SO well, it really appeals to the crowd who value style/atmosphere over script.” User jamai36 quickly backed that opinion, “Oz Perkins puts big emphasis on atmosphere and this goes for something very specific that won’t appeal to everyone.”
While Phinsfan17 enjoyed Perkins’ stylish approach, they found his script lacking, and were clearly turned off by the film’s slow-burn approach, “Love the set pieces. I’m a sucker for highly stylized sets. Atmosphere is great. Story was boring and predictable, felt like a bad young adult novel. It feels a lot longer than it is, which to me, says a lot about a movie.”
For the record, Gretel & Hansel runs for a paltry 87 minutes. While Perkins’ glacial pacing does make it feel a bit longer, a scene-devouring villainous turn from Alice Krige more than keeps the action moving, and the film only further cements Sophia Lillis’ status as a major star in the making. Gretel & Hansel is unquestionably one of the best looking movies of 2020 too, by the way. But if you want to form your own opinion (and you really should), it’s now available to stream on both Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.