Starring Sophia Lillis ( It ) and Alice Krige ( The Sorcerer’s Apprentice ), and directed by Oz Perkins ( I am the pretty thing that lives in this house), Gretel & Hansel, despite the name switching in the title, does not attempt to claim the Fairy Tale by the Grimm Brothers under the light of feminism, but rather pretends to reinterpret the story from a darker point of view, which curiously takes some borrowed things from Robert Eggers’s 2015 horror film, The Witch , with quite interesting results.

Now, if after seeing the ending of the movie you still have doubts and questions about it, do not worry, because now and without further ado, we will explain Gretel & Hansel (2020) in depth.

1 ^ Does Gretel & Hansel have post-credit scenes?

Although the film actually might open the door for other kind of realistic and darker adaptations of fairy tales, it doesn’t really have any post-credit scenes.

2 ^ In what country and at what time does Gretel & Hansel take place?

According to the synopsis from Orion Pictures – a division of MGM – the story takes place “a long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside” therefore we can assume that it takes place in some alternate reality that closely resembles Medieval Europe … of course, a Medieval Europe where people speak English with an American accent, which seems to be Ireland, where the movie was filmed.

3 ^ Why did Hansel and Gretel’s mother hate them so much?

Essentially because after the death of her husband, she entered a pathological depression, in which she rejected any responsibility towards her children, to the point of hating them. This condition, if it reaches extreme levels, can cause the mother to kill her children in what is known as a filicide.

Fortunately for Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and Hansel (Sam Leaky), the woman did not kill them, but simply threw them out of the house, to survive alone in the forest, at the mercy of the tiger and the plague… yes, so considerate of her… !

4 ^ What is the story of the girl in the pink cap?

The story of the girl in the pink cap was a story that Gretel thought she had heard. And to that part of thought we will return later. The story begins with a desperate couple – their newborn daughter is sick and without any chance of cure. In a land and at a time with no doctors available and without any resources, both parents decide to take the baby girl with a witch in a forest.

The witch agrees to heal the baby, but in the place of the disease she leaves a special gift. We’ll be back to that later, too.

The gift consisted of the ability to see the future, however, the villagers began to fear, since the futures the girl saw were always tragic and sinister. Soon, the girl showed signs of having powers beyond clairvoyance, and began killing animals. The girl’s father, terrified by the monster he had hatched in his house, decides to put a red-hot iron within his mouth, ending his life.

The girl was left in the forest, to her fate, where the story tells that she invited hungry children to play using her powers.

5 ^ Why is the story of the girl in the pink cap so important?

First, because it is the first indication of Gretel’s powers, and Second, because it allows us to know an important piece of the witch’s backgrounds. 

Initially the story seems to be the origin story of the witch of Hansel and Gretel, after all, we saw how the children were drawn to a kind of light that flows from the earth, and that seemed to be version 1.0 of the Witch’s house made of sweets and chocolate. But later in the movie, we learn that is not the case.

6 ^ Who is really the Witch of Gretel and Hansel?

But Holda (Alice Krige), better known as The Witch, is not the girl in the pink cap. She is the mother of the girl.

Holda explains to Gretel, that after her husband committed suicide when he saw the monster that her daughter had become, she threw her into the forest to survive alone. However, soon she herself began to awaken these powers, and began to mature them, beginning with her most cruel act: to eat her own children.

Eventually, and fleeing from the populated centers, she decided to take refuge in the forest, where she continued to feed her powers, eating hungry children, abandoned by their parents, attracting them to their home. For the children to trust her quickly, she decided to take the form of an old woman.

7 ^ What happened to the girl in the pink cap?

We can assume that once abandoned in the forest, if the girl failed to dominate her powers, she simply died from hunger, beasts, poisonous plants or the plague. If she succeeded, she probably would have used his powers, just like his mother to attract children and eat them. Or maybe if she woke them up and are in contact with nature, she will follow a much brighter path.

8 ^ How did Gretel wake up her powers?

First, Gretel seemed to have some control over his abilities, after all, she was able to talk to nature, she could see the past and see far beyond what was seen with the naked eye. However, it was her contact with Holda that took her powers to another level.

Here it can be said that, the movie implies that the contact of a any woman with a witch, awakens in them that gift. It happened with the girl in the pink cap, when she was a baby and was taken with the witch of the triangle, with her face covered. And then it happened with Holda, when she came into permanent contact with her daughter.

9 ^ Does The Witch actually eat children?

As Gretel saw when she found Hansel in The Witch’s basement, she used the parts of children, preserved in resin, to convert parts of dead animals, as well as rotten fruits and vegetables, into banquets. In other words, she mixed the parts of the dead children with leftovers and using magic, she obtained edible food. In other words, yes, the witch ate children.

10 ^ Will Gretel end up eating children?

Unlike Holda, Gretel’s powers manifested long before coming into contact with another magical being, so it is assumed that she was much more powerful. This was even demonstrated when Gretel murdered Holda, even when she was tied.

Gretel’s level of power allows her a unique contact with nature, which, as we saw in the scene where she manipulates the tree, can provide all the food she needs, without the need to kill anyone.

11 ^ Why did The Witch want Gretel to eat Hansel?

Here it is notorious that although Gretel did not need to eat his brother to gain control of his powers, Holda made him believe so. Actually, what Holda wanted was to manipulate Gretel to come into contact with the same black magic she practiced, and thus consolidate herself as a role model for her.

By becoming a mother figure for Gretel, a witch with enormous potential, Holda guaranteed her future security. Fortunately, Gretel had other plans.

12 ^ What does the ending of Gretel & Hansel mean? Why did Gretel’s hands turn black?

In the end, we see that Gretel sends Hansel to the place where he can achieve his dreams, although these are as simple as becoming a lumberjack. She, on the other hand, will begin to use her powers for good, beginning to bring the souls of children killed by Holda to the light, and thus stop wandering in sorrow for the house, which is now Gretel’s.

Thus, Gretel gets what she was looking for from the beginning: complete control of his life, far from what others, such as her mother, Holda, or the old pervert man, would dictate to her; and better yet, she will have the ability to use that control in a positive way, which is the best sign of maturity. Now Gretel has stopped being a girl, and has become a woman, a powerful woman.

Now, on the hands. Some seem to think the fact that Gretel’s hands changed to black, just like Holda’s, implies Gretel is now evil. This is not the case. The change of color in the hands, indicates that the woman in question is connected with magic, something similar to the appearance of pubic hair and facial hair, when a boy reaches puberty. What these women do with this magic is not related to the color of their hands, it is related to the good or bad decisions they end up making.

13 ^ What is the message of the movie?

Sometimes, when we face difficult situations, in which we believe we have no way out, we are tempted to make wrong decisions, which then make us a different kind of person. That was what happened in the film with Gretel’s mother and Holda, however Gretel decided to remain faithful to her essence and although it was difficult and risky, in the end she was able to emerge strong and victorious, being herself.

More questions, doubts, or insults? The comments section is open just below. If you liked the post, please share it on your social media. See you at the next Ending Explained, here on El Sabanero X.

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