Alex (Winslow Fegley) is a boy that loves to write scary stories. He is obsessed with all things supernatural. However, things get a little too real when he is kidnapped by an evil witch. Unlike traditional fairy tales tropes, Natacha (Krysten Ritter) is a young woman with horrifying powers that border on demonic. She has a thing for snatching up children and turning them into her servants. Alex ends up being one, along with a girl named Yasmin (Lidya Jewett).
I found this movie to be a real treat. It gives off that Goosebumps vibe with a little more edge. Natacha isn’t interested in eating kids, no, she prefers to choke them with a Force like ability. A surprisingly violent thing to see in a family film. There is a potential threat around every corner as Alex and Yasmin are stuck in an enchanted building that teleports. They also have to deal with dangerous monsters.
This is a reimagining of Hansel & Gretel for a modern-day audience. Overcoming your fears is a theme that never gets old. Alex struggles with confidence and if he will be accepted by others for being “weird.” There are some feel good moments that will keep you entertained. Although it is rated PG, I wouldn’t recommend for small children. Nightbooks is actually worth checking out if you’re a fan of cautionary folk tales. I give it a 6 out of 10.