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From the occult-infested mind of Dead Snow director Tommy Wirkola comes another craptastic orgy of gore — one that's way better than it has any right to be. Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the leather-clad Hansel and Gretel, now grown-up bounty hunters, this film dispenses Grimm thrills in equal parts fantasy splatterfest and clockpunk police procedural. Wirkola wastes no time kicking off the action, hurling the witch-killing siblings into a candy cottage worthy of Guillermo del Toro: a grotesque chalet featuring vile coils of lollipops and a door studded with giant teeth. Actually, those chompers foreshadow the scenery about to be chewed by Famke Janssen, whose witch works her black magic with panache. Amid the 3D arterial spray (and flaccid one-liners), a gallows humor pokes through — for example, Hansel's got diabetes from his childhood sugar-eating. The Gingerbread Hurt Locker it ain't, but this exuberant mess of empty calories is weirdly tasty.

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ARTICLES BY SHAULA CLARK
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