A few weeks ago, Paige and I watched Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts as the Evil Stepmother. Remembering there was another less kid-friendly version of Snow White that had come out, I said, "I'd rather be watching Snow White and the Huntsman." If you are renting a movie for your young daughter, then Mirror, Mirror is the right movie. Otherwise, skip it. I enjoy movies that have at least an ounce of reality. This movie had none, but this post isn't supposed to be about that movie; so, I'll move on.
Having gotten a Redbox code for a free rental, I decided to get Snow White and the Huntsman to see if it was any good. I enjoy movies that portray an empowered fairy tale character, like Ever After, which is a different type of Cinderella story than the usual. I was hoping SW&H would be like Ever After. The film begins with a very long backtory. It left me wondering how much time would actually be left in the movie for the action. Through the backstory, you learn that the evil stepmother, played by Charlize Theron, is nothing more than a witch. She is truly evil. They don't downplay this as the movie progresses. She becomes increasingly evil and repulsive as in one scene she transforms back into a human being after being a flock of crows or ravens by the intermediary step of black goo.
Snow White was played by Kristen Stewart, known for her role in the Twilight movies. I kept thinking, "Come on, she can easily kill the witch, she's a vampire for goodness sake." Don't you hate it when you confuse movies? Somebody should make a movie like that. Have the actors play roles from other movies they've been in. They could base it off of some other fairy tale. That'd be a hoot! Anyway, she is placed in the tower as a child after her father is murdered by her stepmother. This leads me to a question I always have in these types of movies. Why does it take evil people so long to get rid of their enemies? No wonder the good guys always win. The bad guys are so slow. They always have to talk before they carry out their evil plan.
So, after 10 years or so in the tower, Snow sees a bird. It must be the first bird she's seen in 10 years because she cries and goes over to it. She happens to look out the window. Again, must be the first time in 10 years she's thought to look out of the window in her cell because she sees a nail on the outside of all things. Oh, if she had only found it 8 years ago! She uses this nail (I won't share how) to escape from her cell. She finds a magical white horse. Well, not so magical if you consider it dies in a mud pit right in front of the Dark Forest. I suppose if it had survived she would not have had to walk through the Dark Forest and encounter the evil that abounded in there. I almost turned the movie off at this point. While in the forest, she inhaled some type of gas that was emitted from the ground and then began to hallucinate. I think she spun in circles for 10 minutes, seeing all kinds of creepy crawlies in her mind. This movies goes overboard with the evil. It is too much for the story and completely unnecessary.
Of course, this movie adds more to the Snow White story than the original version. There are people made of glass shards, Snow escapes through the drainage system of the castle (they must have seen Shawshank Redemption). The Huntsman in this version actually falls in love with Snow White. Snow's childhood companion, William, learns that she is still alive and tries to find her because he has been in love with her all this time. It leaves you wondering, will she be in William's camp or the Huntsman's camp. Reminds me of another movie she played in...Edward's camp or Jacob's camp. I digress. You may be wondering, "What about the apple?" Oh, it's there, but it's been a long time since I've seen such a melodramatic and unrealistic death scene. You want to shout at the TV, "Seriously? Would you just die already," but that's not a very Christian attitude is it?
There is no shortage of black magic in this movie. This, in my opinion, was the biggest disappointment. The cinematography was beautiful. They did a great job capturing the beautiful scenery and the majesty of all of the horses riding together on the beach toward the castle, but the evil really cast a shadow over anything good in this movie.
I would save your money. If you have a code for Redbox, I'd see something else. I most definitely wouldn't let your kids see this movie. It left me feeling uncomfortable in my own home. There is enough evil in this world without letting Hollywood fill our minds with it. Hope this helps.