09 November 2011

6 Nov - "Does my face scare you? ...Scares me, too."

Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997)
dir. Michael Cohn

Sigourney Weaver (Alien, 1979)
Sam Neill (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (voice), 2010)
Gil Bellows (The Weather Man, 2005)
David Conrad (Wedding Crashers, 2005)
Monica Keena (Orange County, 2002)
Anthony Brophy
Chris Bauer (Fools Rush In, 1997)
Andrew Tiernan (300, 2006)

I've talked about this movie before, I'm sure of it. I'm a big fan but hardly anyone has even heard of this movie because the studio pushed it straight to video. This year there are two Snow White adaptations being released and I feel it's time for this movie to be revisited and review it's full due. It's set in Dark Ages Germany, and the Crusades along with the bubonic plague, are referenced to give it all a little bit of temporal context. As I think will prove to be the case with the upcoming films, the evil witch, played by Sigourney Weaver, is the real star of this movie. It's definitely dark, which perhaps added to it's dis-appeal back in '97 but makes it a sure-fire hit these days. It has elements of a horror film without ever quite pushing it that far. Even though I've seen this movie at least three times I still have a bit of a hard time understanding this witch character. She's definitely twisted, tormented, and the way the film portray's her magic is even a little sick without being so gory.

My criticisms are that the lead was not given to a strong enough actress, Monica Keena. Her acting is, at best, reactionary, but she effectively gets us from scene to scene. Sam Neill's role was not strong enough for his talents. There are two stars in this movie, Weaver and the Dark Forest.

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