Fairytales and blockbusters aren’t two words you’d often expect to find side-by-side but the two have produced a slew of fun and often-fantastic films.
In fact, the veritable sub-genre will have a new entry this month with The Huntsman: Winter’s War. In honor of the occasion, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the film’s stylistic predecessors.
Into the Woods
This award-nominated film has a stellar cast and yes, they sing. Paying homage to several well-known fairytales with a touch of Disney and darkness.
The story centers on a childless couple (Emily Blunt and James Corden) who makes a deal with a witch (not a good idea) who had cursed them. The witch gives them a quest to find certain objects and then she will lift the curse. But this leads to serious consequences…
Fans of original fairytales (which are quite dark) would find this film exceptional.
It’s the film that has hyped people up and caused many to sing THAT ONE SONG for months. Inspired by Hans Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen follows the straining relationship between Elsa and Anna (Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell) thanks to the former’s suffocating ability to create and manipulate ice.
While there are some light moments, the story does have a dark element (that would probably ruin the notion that this is an animated movie for kids) with Elsa being a protagonist and antagonist, and some characters who are…not exactly what you think they are.
The Brothers Grimm
This 2005 fantasy adventure featuring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger envisioned the titular storytellers as con-artists who run up against a real supernatural threat. Damon and Ledger are well-cast as the rogues and Jonathan Pryce is hilarious as French General Delatombe. Game of Thrones’ Leda Headey even has a role!
As you’d expect of any film by Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Grimm has a very unique tone to it and established a lot of the “realistic fairytale” aesthetic that The Huntsman: Winter’s War and the other films on this list have used.
Red Riding Hood
Catherine Hardwicke‘s radical reimagining of the fairytale classic as a thriller well-deserves it’s place on this list. It’s an intensely stylized romp that blends elements of the original story with the folklore surrounding werewolves.
Amanda Seyfried plays the titular character (named Valerie here) with Gary Oldman emerging as the film’s antagonistic werewolf-hunter Father Soloman. It’s not for everyone but it’s sure to be a fascinating warm-up for The Huntsman.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Remember the story of a brother and sister who end up snared by a witch in a gingerbread house? Well Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters captures that iconic story but adds blood and gore and the art of badass-ery.
Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, the film goes deep into the characters who are no longer kids but are witch hunters for hire. They soon discover why they were so lucky to escape the gingerbread house.
Not as sophisticated as other fairytale-based movies, but the film is an enjoyable treat.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War releases on April 7th 2016.