familiar feelings

We Figured Out Why the Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Trailer Is So Off-Putting

Photo: Youtube

Originally scheduled to come out in March 2012, the hilariously titled Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is now set to be released in January 2013 under the assumption that it will benefit from the higher profile of Avengers–Bourne Legacy star Jeremy Renner. Upon seeing its first trailer, we had a surprisingly visceral and negative reaction, completely non-commensurate to what is just another innocuous and ridiculous-looking action movie. We couldn’t figure out what it was that made us so uncomfortable. Until we finally landed on its offense: It was composed almost entirely of scenes, staples, and tropes that had popped up in this very underwhelming summer of movies, all in one trailer — an unintentional supercut of recent box-office crimes, if you will. Observe, and then let’s go through the checklist:

  • Famous childhood story meets monsters in a two-part title connected by a colon. (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)
    Are we approaching the end of the age of genre mashups yet?
  • Horror comedy. (Dark Shadows)
    Speaking of genre mashups, this Tim Burton movie proved that by and large — movies like Evil Dead 2 and Shaun of the Dead aside — it’s near impossible to spook people while also trying to make them laugh.
  • Reimagining a well-trod fairy tale. (Snow White and the Huntsman)
    Also known as “using public domain properties because they are cheap.” The money saved can then be taken and placed into explosions that characters walk away from in slow-motion.
  • A (literally) dark film shot in 3-D. (The Amazing Spider-Man)
    We’re not done with 3-D yet? Really? Fine, but this tendency to use the technology for films that have large swaths of screen time that take place in the dark, when we’re already wearing glasses that dim the picture significantly, is insane.
  • Too much leather (Rock of Ages)
    This hasn’t really looked that cool since The Matrix.
  • Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy)
    Renner is a really great actor, but coming this soon after his summer double feature, we can’t help but feel a little hesitant about seeing him in something else in which he runs around looking tough and not talking all that much.
  • Arrows (The Avengers, Brave, Snow White and the Huntsman)
    Thanks, Hunger Games, you jerk.
  • A seemingly endless amount of bullets. (Total Recall)
    Shooting, shooting, shooting, explosion, shooting, walk away unharmed.
  • Woman gleefully shooting a giant gun (Battleship)
    Hey lady, unless you’re going to say “mahalo motherfucker,” then take your hands off that thing.

Why the Hansel and Gretel Trailer Is So Annoying