Hollywood's makeover of fabled stories
By Bryan Reesman
Fairy-tale creatures are raging across the screen again, from the movie adventures of "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" and "Red Riding Hood" to the supernatural TV scenarios of "Once Upon a Time" and "Grimm." These are not your parents' Disneyfied stories but darker, more sinister fables designed to unnerve you even as they often preach moral lessons. There are some who would argue that these new, twisted fairy tales are actually closer to their dark roots than the family-friendly fare that's been traditionally served up on-screen. Director Guillermo Del Toro has noted that the origin of the horror story lies in fairy tales, which are full of violence and horror, and he has certainly shown that in films he has directed and produced. (The new "Mama" begins with a somewhat Hansel and Gretel-ish scenario.) Plenty of movies over the years have tread into the darker, more adult side of children's stories. Here are 10 titles that twist the myths forward, backward and sideways to create their own distinct renditions.
"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" is out in theaters Friday, Jan. 25.