The film opens on a bombastic overture and a stiltedly staged group text that will retroactively become important. We are then whisked onto a luxury jet where the liberal rich are feted and random poor conservatives from different parts of the country have been drugged and tucked out-of-sight in the back of the plane. The next scene opens on the kidnapped victims waking up gagged and heading towards a mysterious box in a field, like the cornucopia from “The Hunger Games.” Once their restraints are off and the shooting begins, the most dangerous game’s afoot.
With “It’s” Sophia Lillis in the lead role, Gretel & Hansel has switched the order of those titular names for a reason. In this version, Gretel is a diaphanous, wise-eyed 16-year-old, and her brother Hansel (Sammy Leakey) is a cute but helpless eight-year-old whom she’s been tasked with protecting. Set in a geographically unspecified storybook realm – British accents, like modern idioms, cycle in and out of usage – these two have been left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother slips into a deprivation-related madness, ordering her children off to the woods.