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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters by Atli Örvarsson (Review)

posted Feb 8, 2013, 7:15 AM by Kaya Savas

I’m sure you saw the trailer to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and probably scoffed, and in all honesty no one would blame you for doing so. However I’m sure some of you saw it as it opened in first place for its opening weekend. Even I myself was surprised that the movie was... well, fun. No one was expecting Lawrence Of Arabia going into this one, but I was thoroughly entertained. Atli Örvarsson’s score was even more entertaining and it truly tied the package together. There was so much visually and stylistically at play that it gave Örvarsson a truly open canvas to work off of, and he definitely crafted a score that was damn entertaining and tons of fun. 

The score opens with a bang and that track is played over an incredibly vivid opening titles sequence. In that track we get a great theme, the character and tone of the score, as well as a bit of the modern twist that’s embedded into the music’s DNA. I don’t like to use the word “twist” and maybe it’s the wrong word to use, but in a sense Atli does incorporate lots of fantasy elements into the score and adds a dash of modern elements that turns the score on its side. Sure there’s plenty of electric guitars for that rock n’ roll mentality, but it never feels out of place. It works perfectly with the art direction and stylized world that the film creates, and the music feels right at home with all of it.

This isn’t a complex score, but it’s something very fresh even if the movie doesn’t seem like your cup of tea. Atli Örvarsson once again demonstrates his knack for action scoring while making the music stand above the rest. The soundscape has such a rich character and flavor that it will leave a lasting impression on you. There’s fanciful mystery with plenty of propulsive action, but nothing about the score is “mindless”. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is another great example of Atli Örvarsson’s unique voice as a composer and his ability to pump life into a film.