gretel and hansel image

It and It Chapter Two star Sophia Lillis is sticking with the horror genre for Gretel and Hansel, a dark reimagining of the classic fairytale. Osgood Perkins, director of the super slow-burn horror flicks The Blackcoat’s Daughter and I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, is helming what will surely be a creepy new take on a well-known story. The movie isn’t due out till January, but the first Gretel and Hansel image has just arrived, and it’s atmospheric as hell.

Sophia Lillis, the breakout star of the first It who will soon be seen in It Chapter Two, is going to have an unfortunate run-in with a very hungry witch in Osgood Perkins’s Gretel and Hansel. The spooky pic above gives us our first look at the film, and of Lillis as Gretel. Obviously, there’s not a whole lot to go on based on this image, but I dig it. I dig how atmospheric it is. I also like how it’s reminiscent of two other promo images for two other horror movies. The Witch:

And The Nun:

Clearly, these films are all part of the Young Women Holding Lanterns In Spooky Locations Cinematic Universe.

Described as a “dark reimagining of the classic fairytale we know and love,” Gretel and Hansel is set “a long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside,” and focuses on a young girl (Lillis) who “leads her little brother (Sammy Leakey) into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.”

Charles Babalola, Alice Krige, and Jessica De Gouw also star. Krige plays the witch that Gretel and Hansel encounter and the actress landed the role by sending in a highly memorable audition tape. “Alice Krige made the weirdest and most wonderful tape,” director Perkins told EW. “She wore this headscarf, her face floated, it looked like something out of Bergman. There was this weird kind of breathing, I don’t know if it was on purpose or not. It felt like there was a five hundred pound dog in the room with her. It was so atmospheric.”

Perkins also offered up some insight into the film’s story, which he calls “awfully faithful to the original” fairytale, adding:

“We tried to find a way to make it more of a coming of age story. I wanted Gretel to be somewhat older than Hansel, so it didn’t feel like two twelve-year-olds — rather a sixteen-year-old and an eight-year-old. There was more of a feeling like Gretel having to take Hansel around everywhere she goes, and how that can impede one’s own evolution, how our attachments and the things that we love can sometimes get in the way of our growth. Sophia Lillis is really fantastic. She has one of those faces that the camera immediately understands, which is something that rarely happens. For my style and for my taste, which tends to be minimalist and a little bit more mannered, she’s really a dream.”

Gretel and Hansel opens January 31, 2020.

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