Robert Eggers Directed A Silent, Black-And-White Hansel And Gretel Short — Watch It Now

Robert Eggers is ready to plunge us into a good-old Nordic revenge drama with the upcoming "The Northman," but while you wait, here's a 2006, black-and-white horror-ish short film shot by Eggers for your consideration.

One of the first shorts by Eggers on his IMDb resume, "Hansel & Gretel" is a 26-minute adaptation of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, shot in eerie, German expressionist, retro horror style. This was filmed roughly 10 years before his acclaimed folk horror, "The Witch," which now emerges as a natural, refined, enhanced continuation of his unique vision of narratives entrenched in folklore after his ominous take on "Hansel & Gretel."

You can watch Eggers' "Hansel & Gretel" in its entirety below, available on the Famous First Films YouTube channel.

Two naughty children lost in The Wood

"Hansel & Gretel" follows the old fairy tale beat by beat, as it is a rather straightforward adaptation of the morality fable, albeit with a treatment towards the end that is quintessentially Eggers' style. The silent film is replete with black-and-white title cards that help provide written context to the story, providing cues as to when the tale takes a dark turn for the eponymous children.

The short opens with a grainy close-up of a house, in which Hansel (Luke Allison) and Gretel (Isabella Pease) are playing, deciding to go into The Wood, as indicated by the text cards interspersed in between. The Wood is supposed to be a dangerous area, not suitable for unsupervised children (obviously), but the two venture inside anyway, bored and motivated as they are to have a fun time. Soon, they encounter The Witch (Kelly Eggers), who seems kind at first, but things soon take a murkier turn as night falls.

The last 10 minutes of Eggers' "Hansel & Gretel" is especially dark, upping the creep factor considerably, complemented by the witch's practical makeup, which is credited to Eggers himself. The short offers a glimpse into the director's mindscape before his full-fledged features that terrify and fascinate, namely "The Witch" and the wildly chaotic, cathartic "The Lighthouse."

Eggers seems to have also directed another short based on Edgar Allan Poe's heart-thumping short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," which might be available for viewing sometime in the future. As this particular short story has more material to flesh out and can be subject to diverse interpretations, it will be interesting to see Eggers' take on the same.

Eggers' "The Northman" will hit theaters on April 22, 2022.