Fairytale? 'Hansel & Gretel' rating goes from PG-13 to R

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 4:15 p.m. MST

"Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" will be in theaters Jan. 25.

Paramount Pictures

The tale of Cinderella has been adapted many times, recently starring Brandy Norwood, Hilary Duff and Selena Gomez. Snow White took her turn last year as Hollywood came out with two new renditions: "Mirror, Mirror" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Now director Tommy Wirkola has tackled a different storybook.

"Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," starring Jeremy Renner, will be released Friday, Jan. 25. But this fairytale is not a bedtime story for kids. In fact, it's gone from a PG-13 rating to R.

Paramount Pictures announced a "ratings change" this week. "Hansel & Gretel" is now rated R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language. It had previously been listed as PG-13 on several websites.

Writer Adam Chitwood on the Collider website stated that two versions of the film had previously been made to test how much violence to include.

"The discrepancies between the cuts may have been a result of the studio trying to see if audiences prefer a more graphic version of the fairy tale over a tame cut," Chitwood wrote.

Several critics of the witch hunting film believe that blood and guns were not the way to go.

"On the surface, it’s a great high concept," said Graeme McMillan from Time magazine. “'What happens to Hansel and Gretel after they grew up?' is a question that poses all kinds of interesting questions that could shed light on the original fairytale and its aftermath. However, the answer 'They grew up and became action hero vigilantes, kicking magical butt and taking names' is… perhaps one of the least ambitious directions that the project could have taken."

Roger Moore of McClatchy-Tribune News Service gave the movie one out of four stars.

"An R-rated horror-action-comedy fairy tale — how’s that for genre bending?" Moore states. “'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' is more Gatling guns and grenades than The Brothers Grimm."

Stuart Klawans with the Nation described the film as "bodies being pierced, stabbed, shredded, beheaded and splattered like gore-filled water balloons."

Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.

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