What exactly is a fractures fairy tale? It’s a classic tale with a new twist (whether it needs one or not.) Hollywood seems to be under some sort of fractured spell lately churning out revamped fairy tales by the dozen. I must say I am drawn to these movies like a moth to a flame. My expectations are high as my childhood memories get rewritten.
“Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” turns the table on a classic German fairy tale. In the classic, after being abandoned in the dark forest by their father, Hansel and Gretel escape the witch who lives in the gingerbread house (how quaint) just moments before she gobbled them up. (Can you say cannibal?) “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” fractures this tale by embellishing the ending. In this version the vengeful children kill the witch that held them hostage and become bloody, ruthless bounty hunters searching the world over for witches. Talk about revenge!
“Jack the Giant Slayer” is a totally twisted version of the English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. This new version exposes a fierce race of giants trying to reclaim the Earth that was once theirs before they lost it in a previous war. It would seem as though Jack inadvertently opened a portal between their worlds and now he and a princess are caught in the middle of this epic battle. (Stupid magic beans.)
“Snow White and the Huntsman” gives much more weight to the part the huntsman plays in this considerable darker version of yet another German fairy tale. In the classic, the huntsman is only mentioned briefly in the beginning of the story. The 2012 version makes the huntsman a focal player and he even gets the girl in the end. Hoorah! An additional twist is the much darker Queen who seems to be modeled after the historical figure Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The Queens devilish wardrobe was for me, the highlight of the film.
“Maleficent” is perhaps my favorite fractured fairy tale. It focuses on the antagonist telling the tale from her point of view. I love a story best when I can relate better to the antagonism than the protagonist. A sympathetic bad guy rocks. Maleficent’s back story is revealed as Sleeping Beauty takes a backseat to the dark fairy in this important prequel. Things are not ever as cut and dry as they may appear. What is your favorite fractured fairy tale?