Aside from say, “Kill List” “Haywire,” and to a more subjective extent “The Grey,” good films are not meant to be released in January and 9.999999 times out 10 they are not. It’s a dumping ground season for bad romantic comedies that have tested poorly (“Bride Wars“), lame spoof movies (“Meet the Spartans“) horror-action dreck (“My Bloody Valentine 3D” and the like), wackjob oddities starring Nicolas Cage (“Season of the Witch“) and whatever else needs to be released, but the studio has pretty much zero confidence in other than appealing to those that actively look at a bail-bond business rom-com starring Katherine Heigl and go, “Wow, that looks tremendous.” And let’s face it, January might be critical death, but it always does decent business at the box-office.
In recent years, studios have tried to change January (and its often terrible cousin mouth February) into a slightly more respectable season, by throwing shelved, delayed and unwanted stepchildren projects that once had heat/buzz on them into this frame (see “The Wolfman,” “The Green Hornet,” “Edge Of Darkness“) and hoping they’ll stick with audiences that actually paid money to see some of the aforementioned gash in the first graph.
2013 isn’t much different. While Noreweigan director Tommy Wirkola earned a lot of plaudits for his 2009 zombie/nazis movie, “Dead Snow,” his Engllish-language feature-length debut, “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” has been delayed and then dumped despite the ostensibly good cast of Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Famke Janssen. Here’s the synopsis:
After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches…their past.
So it already sounds and looks…. ungood and while the latest red-band trailer might appeal to fans of action, horror and gore, as well as filling out some of the backstory, there looks like there’s no salvaging this one. Sporting some sort of modern steampunk fairytale vibe, “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” also co-stars Peter Stormare, Zoe Bell and Thomas Mann. There will always be an optimist out there that goes, “C’mon, look at that cast, I bet the January release date has nothing to do with its quality,” but history shows that it usually does. Beauty, we suppose is in the eye of the beholder, but we know a turkey when we see one. “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” is due January 25th. Watch the trailer below; in the latest annoying movie marketing technique, you have to verify your age with Facebook.