Sophia Lillis anchors the trailer for the horror movie retelling of the German folklore story, Gretel and Hansel. Lillis, who's far from a stranger to haunting material after her performances as teenager Beverly Marsh from IT and young Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects, stars here as Gretel, a 16-year old girl who leads her brother Hansel (Sam Leakey) into the wood of a distant countryside, desperate to find work and food to help their struggling parents. And of course, who should the pair encounter along their journey but a witch (Alice Krige) who conspires to kidnap them for her own terrible purposes.
Directed by Oz Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter) from a screenplay he wrote with Rob Hayes (Chewing Gum), Gretel and Hansel was shot in Ireland, and will be one of the first horror movies out of the gate in 2020. Its marketing only kicked off recently with the release of a first-look image of Lillis as Gretel, carrying a lantern around in what may or may not be said witch's house in the forest. Now, Gretel and Hansel has gotten a proper trailer that places a similar emphasis upon the "grim" aspect of this particular Brothers Grimm fairy tale re-imagining.
The Gretel and Hansel trailer went live this morning, ahead of its premiere in theaters this week with IT Chapter Two (where Lillis reprises her role as young Beverly in flashbacks). You can check it out below, followed by the film's poster (which only just dropped yesterday).
Rather than recapping the famous story that most everyone already knows, the Gretel and Hansel teaser focuses more on establishing the creepy mood of Perkins' decidedly darker spin on the already spooky story. It does cover a few plot details, though; for example, in this version of the fairy tale, the witch portrayed by Krige (or, as many still know her, the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact) doesn't live in a candy house, but instead uses tasty delicacies to entice starving kids (like Gretel and Hansel) to enter her home. From there, the trailer shifts into a montage of disturbing imagery that hints at the witch's habit of eating children, among other horrors to come in the movie proper. The gorgeously bleak visuals by DP Galo Oilvares (a cinematography collaborator on Roma) may be worth the price of admission alone.
Instead of adding more action like other fairy tale re-imaginings released over the last decade (a la Snow White and the Huntsman, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), Gretel and Hansel seems more intent on recapturing what made its story so terrifying in the first place. The final result appears quite promising so far, with the film's trailer bringing Robert Eggers' The Witch to mind, as well as Perkins' previous work on atmospheric supernatural horror offerings like I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. With a little luck, Gretel and Hansel will keep Lillis' track record of success in the horror and thriller genres going strong when it arrives.
Source: Orion Pictures
- Gretel and Hansel (2020) release date: Jan 31, 2020