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Hansel & Gretel



Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (Headless Horseman), the fractured fairy tale takes place in the modern day, with Hansel (Brent Lydic) and Gretel Grimm (Stephanie Greco) ending up prisoners in the fattening-up forest cabin of Lilith, the town’s seemingly kindly baker who’s actually a witch, played way over-the-top by Dee Wallace Stone, a long ways from her E.T. and Howling heyday.

When the sibs come to her for help, she drugs them and introduces them to her boys, who would be right in line as apprentices to Leatherface in the current Texas Chainsaw 3D. In fact, the film succeeds — by The Asylum’s low standards, mind you — by cribbing from such films. LIlith’s home is booby-trapped à la Saw; the woodsy chase and slaughter of the finale recalls a Wrong Turn sequel; and the soundtrack deliberately swipes a few notes from Psycho.

The acting is weak as expected — particularly from Lydic, for whose character you’ll wish a quick death — but I must admit that for a direct-to-video splotch of mindless horror escapism in 90 minutes or less, H&G did the trick. It’s still technically a bad movie, but leagues above the label’s usual level of dreck. Ferrante seems to care about delivering the best he can, rather than simply meeting a tight deadline. —Rod Lott 

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