Saturday, June 16, 2012

Snow White: A Tale Of Terror

There have been many adaptations of the Snow White fairy tale written by The Brothers Grimm and the most recent Snow White And The Huntsman took more of dark approach to the movie but it was not the first. Snow White: A Tale Of Terror has the title of being the first of the much more grim versions of the fairy tale must of us first saw thanks to Walt Disney's animated masterpiece. This film is nothing like the version your grandmother saw when she was a little girl and is, in my honest opinion, even darker than Snow White And The Huntsman. Of course we all know how the story goes and ends so this time I don't feel so guilty about telling you most of the plot so instead...

Once Upon A Time In This Version
Named after her deceased mother our Snow White of this tale is Lilliana Hoffman. Her father Fredric is a nobleman around the 14th century in some undisclosed European country and after many years he is about to be remarried to the very beautiful Lady Claudia who at first is not as evil as you think but after marrying Fredric and trying to get on Lilli's (as she is called) good graces has become more of an overbearing stepmother. All of that changes when Claudia ends up miscarrying the son that Fredric always wanted and an evil presence from her mirror convinces Claudia that it is all Lilli's fault for reminding her husband of his late wife proving that he may have only married Claudia to conceive a son which now after her miscarriage she can no longer provide.

Claudia orders her mute brother to kill Lilli but she escapes into the woods and finds herself amongst seven miners who are by all means not dwarves (except for one while the others range from scary to medieval equivalents of modern day grunge rockers) but outcasts from the church and society in general. They begrudgingly offer her shelter and in the beginning Lilli is frightened and mildly hostile to the men who are below her station. The dynamic begins to change once the mirror shows Claudia that Lilli is still alive and she begins to use dark magic to destroy her stepdaughter and ends up killing the miners in the process and now they are Lilli's only protection when her father becomes injured while looking for her and becomes incapacitated and isolated thanks to Claudia's dark magic.

Lilli soon becomes attracted to the unofficial leader of the miners- a young man named Will who is tall, dark and handsome yet also tortured by his past. When it appears that Will returns the same mounting attraction for Lilli, the timing couldn't be worse because Claudia is now given a means to destroy her enemy by the evil darkness that possesses her mirror and it may be a temptation too sweet for Lilli to refuse and a power too dark for her to resist. There may not be a happily ever after for this tale but it is far from over...

Okay so I lied a little about divulging the whole plot because even though its the same old tale no version is ever told the same and the most climatic scenes are at the end and they are the best part of the film!

This may be a Snow White movie but as always the evil Queen is the character that takes the spotlight and though not a Queen Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of Lady Claudia is pretty much the movie. I've noticed that a lot of actors and actresses like the villain roles because it gives them a chance to overact and indulge and when you win an Emmy for that role you have done your job very well and Sigourney Weaver did just that. She has a very nice evil cackle much closer to maniacal laughter and when she becomes the bearer of the dreaded apple, her old peddler woman makes me a little uneasy at how creepy and ugly they can make such a beautiful woman as Sigourney Weaver become with a little special effects make-up.

Our Snow White Lilliana played by Monica Keena is a very assertive and rebellious Snow White and in the beginning a little haughty but she breaks out of that if not completely but she still is a genuine person to be the heroine of our story. I wish that Sam Neill's role as Fredric Hoffman was much larger because he is a distinguished and charming actor but the role of Snow White's father is always absent by either death or war so I can't really blame the screenwriters for something the Grimm Brothers wrote hundreds of years ago. When he is onscreen, Neill of course is genius in his role as loving father unaware of his new wife's evil until it is too late and he deserves some praise as well.

Gil Bellows plays Will who becomes an object of Lilli's affection and I have to admit that I can see why because I do love the tall, dark and handsome ones myself! Coming back from drooling over him to talk about his acting, Gil Bellows is part intimidating, part compassionate and his character is an interesting addition to the film to show that Snow White is not always so young and naive and they build up tension and romance through the story (if you didn't catch that Will is kind of the prince of the tale but he isn't the only one to show up in a not so blatant way.) The other actors who play the miners get little screen time and the only other character to get any face time is David Conrad who plays Doctor Peter Gutenberg, who is suppose to marry Lilli but as I stated above...he doesn't get the girl in the end.

Though it wasn't really a blog meant to compare Snow White: A Tale Of Terror with Snow White And The Huntsman, I already stated that this film is darker and I will also say that if you were disappointed by what you saw on onscreen June 1st this film will more than make up for it. I enjoy both of these films but if I had to pick one then this terrifying tale of Snow White will always be the fairest for a horror fan like me and also for the fantasy freak in me as well. Truly evil queens, assertive heroines and a romantic interest who does more than just rescue a damsel in distress but helps her grow as a person make Snow White: A Tale Of Terror a film worth watching. Don't think I'm hating on Snow White And The Huntsman because I did enjoy it and its interpretation of the story but I guess the gorehound and even the romantic in me just wanted a little more.

So in conclusion, if Snow White is a favorite story of you ladies out there or even if you are a gentleman who loves horror then this film is for you. If you love the twisted versions of fairy tales for a darker palette, then Snow White: A Tale Of Terror is a delicious apple you just have to try. Are you tempted enough to find out for yourself just how good this movie really is? Trust me, I would never try to steer you toward bad movies intentionally...I just like closing out on an awesome line every now and then.

Next Blog: Tales From The Darkside: The Movie


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