Hansel & Gretel, a 2007 South Korean horror/fantasy film directed by Yim Pil-sung concerns a man, Eun-Soo, who, when driving and arguing with his pregnant girlfriend on the phone, swerves off the road. He passes out but is woken up by a strange girl who leads him to a beautiful house deep in the forest. It is lovely, cozy, and has everything a child would want. However, Eun-Soo must get back to his family, but is unable to leave. Soon, he unravels the dark secrets of the house and its inhabitants… Some elements of interest include a religious fanatic, Christmas spirit, rabbits, trinkets, implied rape, and of course, fairytales.
The characters have their own strange quirks. The atmosphere is very unsettling throughout. It makes no use of cheap jump scares, but plays out like an emotional and heart-wrenching horror story similar to J.A. Bayona’s The Orphanage. There are also minor elements of fantasy, and the film makes use of whimsical background instrumentals similar to Danny Elfman’s compositions in Edward Scissorhands. And also, there is finally, a male protagonist! Filmmakers prefer to seek out female protagonists who are able to convey their emotional and caring side, however, in this film, a male character is equally capable of such “feminine” emotions.
This film is not particularly scary, but it is enjoyable and very intriguing. Every anomaly makes the viewer wonder what exactly is going on in the household, and will keep their attention to the end. The cinematography is well done. It is a very colorful film, perhaps too colorful, and the plot is fresh and new, as there are no obvious cliches. I recommend horror fans to watch this with a different perspective.