Could Sophia Lillis’ next movie be even scarier than ‘It’? Anything is possible. Lillis stars with Sammy Leakey in ‘Gretel & Hansel,’ a film based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale (with a slightly altered name) about two young children who get lost in the woods. They find salvation (or do they?) when they stumble upon the home of an old woman (Alice Krige). Her house isn’t made of gingerbread and candy, but it’s still more inviting than the dark forest.
‘Gretel & Hansel’ was written by Rob Hayes and directed by Osgood “Oz” Perkins (‘The Blackcoat’s Daughter’, also the son of ‘Psycho’ star Anthony Perkins).
Perkins recently discussed his film with Entertainment Weekly, saying:
“It’s awfully faithful to the original story, it’s got really only three principal characters: Hansel, Gretel, and the Witch. 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 12-year-olds — rather a 16-year-old and an 8-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.”
Lillis may be a dream, but ‘Gretel & Hansel’ is the stuff of nightmares. Check out the trailer for yourself below:
‘Gretel & Hansel’ was filmed in Ireland in some frightening locations, including the Hellfire Club (not the one from the ‘X-Men’), the remains of an old hunting lodge that local legends say was frequented by the Devil himself.
Perkins described filming there, saying:
“The Hell Fire Club is this massive, foreboding stone structure, just all by itself, on the top of a hill. It almost feels like an old prison or something like that. I guess the story is that the Devil played cards there…. One night, [someone] drops one of his cards, and goes to pick it up, and one of his opponents has cloven feet.”
But Perkins was more concerned with immediate problems with filming there than any otherworldly visits.
“You’re just trying to make your day. That was a very very difficult day, actually. It’s cold and it’s super-wet. I mean, if you’re worried about any supersitition, you’re not paying attention.”
‘Gretel & Hansel’ is scheduled to open on January 31st.