A Trail of Breadcrumbs and an Automatic Weapon

Math has never been my strong suit, which might be why the following equation doesn’t make sense to me:

Classic Work + Supernatural Stuff = Fresh Idea

Call it the Mashup Theorem. It gave us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I know was very popular, but still seems a little silly to me. It also gave us Little Women and Werewolves. (Exactly.) Thus, while I understand why smart people revel in the absolute nature of mathematics, I have to insist that even established theorems should not be applied to every situation.

To wit: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, in which Gretel’s a head-butting, crossbow-wielding girl in tight clothing (Gemma Arterton in a role that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace apparently decided to forgo) and Hansel’s Jeremy Renner. (Never mind, Jeremy, we’ll always have The Hurt Locker.) The writer-director is Tommy Wirkola whose previous credits include Dead Snow. (Two words: Nazi zombies.)

H+G:WH is set to come out in January 2013.

Does the concept add up for you?

Hat tip to Filmofilia


  1. Angela Korra'ti

    There was a particular strip in Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin is fantasizing about T-Rexes flying F-14s. He’s seen to exult, “THIS IS SO AWESOME!” And Hobbes is all “This is SO stupid.”

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and indeed the entire classics + monsters mashup genre, is exactly like that. The trick is to get the awesome parts to outweigh the stupid parts. P&P&Z mostly pulled that off, though it had bits that didn’t.

    I’m not convinced that Hansel and Gretel as grownup monster hunters quite fits into the classics + monsters genre, though…? This strikes me more as a straight-up fairy tale reinterpretation, something which was not at all uncommon in speculative fiction even before the mashups craze came along. And you could make a decent argument that the original Hansel and Gretel story certainly has monstrous elements to play off of–after all, that witch was eating kids! Grimm’s fairy tales in general are great for that.

  2. Dana King

    Anna beat me to the good parts of my comment. I’ll just say things like this–Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes to mind–can be a lot of fun, if they’re treated that way. Start taking things at all seriously and the creator is staring down the barrel of a colossal stupid.

  3. Laura K. Curtis

    This strikes me as more along the Van Helsing line than the P&P&Z line. But I do take your point.

  4. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    If I remember correctly, the way Hansel and Gretel finally do away with the witch in the Grimm story is pretty gruesome. So yes, it is definitely monstrous. The cross-bows and head-butts in this seem silly to me. If it’s played for laughs though, maybe it works.

  5. Allison Brennan

    I love supernatural crime shows … GRIMM, SUPERNATURAL, and to a lessor degree (because some of their storylines are silly), ALPHAS.

    I’ll see Jeremy Renner in anything; I can’t wait to see how they spin this classic fairy tale.

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