GRETEL & HANSEL*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens with a story about “The Beautiful Child With The Little Pink Cap”. There was once a baby that everyone in the village found to be the most precious, but she had fallen terribly ill one winter. Her father took her to see an enchantress, who removed the illness but left a power within the girl. As she grew older, people in the village went to the girl, as she had premonitions of the future. Since she knew everything ended in death, she used her power to kill people, including her father. The child was taken into the woods to be left alone, but she lured other children her way to a grim fate.
Teenaged Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and her younger brother Hansel (Sam Leakey) are going to meet a man about a job as a housekeeper. Gretel meets with the man, but he makes his true intentions clear when he asks Gretel if she is still a virgin. The two leave without a job.
At night, the siblings’ mother chastises Gretel for not doing what she had to do to get a job and help provide for them. She tells Gretel that she and Hansel must leave since there is no room left in the house. The mother goes as far as threatening to hack Gretel to bits if they don’t leave immediately.
The siblings flee their home and find a hut to sleep in for the night. They then find a ghoulish man who lets out a horrible scream and makes the kids run away. He chases them outside and attacks Hansel. Gretel punches the man, whose eye appears to come off. Before he lunges at Gretel, he is killed by an arrow through his head. A Hunter (Charles Babalola) rescues the siblings and takes them into his home for the night, feeding them a rabbit stew. He tells them he will let them sleep there for the night and will also direct them toward others who can provide them with food and work.
The following morning, the siblings go out to forage and seek out work. They get frustrated when they find nothing until Gretel spots some mushrooms. They turn out to be “magic” mushrooms that cause the two to laugh hysterically. Hansel then wanders until he finds a house that has a cake smell coming from it. Gretel follows as she hears what sounds like a girl’s voice beckoning her, seen alongside the Beautiful Child being taken away in a carriage. Gretel tries to stop Hansel from going in, but he does so anyway and appears to be taken by someone. Gretel tries to start a fire to break inside, but she is greeted by Holda (Alice Krige), the woman living inside. She invites the siblings inside for a meal and allows them to sleep there in exchange for work.
Holda has Hansel go out into the woods to practice his skills with an ax, while she keeps Gretel at the house. Hansel enjoys his time there since they have plenty of food, but Gretel becomes suspicious of Holda’s intentions. Gretel starts to see a vision of the Enchantress and also hears children’s voices guiding her somewhere, but before she finds out what’s going on, she wakes up in her bed.
While Hansel goes out, Holda shows Gretel how to tap into her powers as a witch. Gretel goes into the woods and manages to use her power to bring a tree branch near her to she can take a fruit. Meanwhile, Hansel also sees a vision of the Enchantress and spots a satanic carving on a nearby tree.
Hansel also starts to grow suspicious of Holda, telling Gretel he wants to go home, even though they have nothing waiting for them there. Later in the night, Gretel makes her way into Holda’s cellar, where Hansel is sitting in a trance. The floor fills with goo, and a younger witch emerges, emptying buckets of guts onto the table before turning them into food, the same that Holda fed the siblings. Gretel realizes the food is made of children.
The next day, Gretel sits with Holda, who eats something and pulls a long strand of a child’s hair out of her mouth. Gretel pleads with Holda to let Hansel go, but she refuses, as she is saving him for Gretel to consume. She then tells Gretel the truth about the story of the Beautiful Child – Holda was the girl’s mother, and she resented her daughter after she killed her father, and she left the girl in the woods of her own accord. However, the child lingered in Holda’s mind, promising to share her powers with her if she trusted the darkness. With that, Holda devoured her other children and took on the disguise of an old woman to appear friendly and lure other children to their fates.
Holda keeps Gretel strapped to the table in the cellar as she assumes her youthful appearance to lure Hansel into a cage so she can cook him. Gretel manages to use her powers to send a staff toward Holda, sticking her to the wall over the flames. Her body catches fire and she writhes in agony until she is fully destroyed, breaking the trance on Hansel and letting Gretel go free.
Gretel decides to stay behind at the house while sending Hansel on his way with a horse. The horse brings him back to his old house, where his mother no longer stays. Gretel then sees the spirits of the dead children emerge from the trees, now free at last. Her fingers then turn black just like Holda’s did, but her voiceover states that she will be brave and trust in herself.
Gretel and Hansel are forced out of their home by their cruel mother after Gretel fails to get work to provide for them. After they are rescued from a creature by a hunter, he provides them with food and shelter and directs them on where to find someone who will help them with food and work.
The siblings come across the home of a witch, Holda, who appears friendly and provides them with food and shelter in exchange for work. Holda begins to teach Gretel how to tap into her own witch powers, but Gretel soon learns that Holda has been luring children to her home to kill and eat them, and she plans to do the same with Hansel.
Holda prepares for Hansel to be cooked, but Gretel uses her power to send Holda's staff toward her and cause her to burn to death. Gretel stays at Holda's home while sending Hansel away. The spirits of the children are free, but Gretel must now contend with her own witch powers.