We need Snow White and the Huntsman to be good. It's moved past mere desire to a full-on burning inflammation in our fantasy loins. Why? Perhaps it's because what we've seen in the trailers so far looks pretty damn good. We were raised on Beastmaster, Willow, Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, but there's been a fantasy dry spell in Hollywood for years (Return of the King came out in 2003, people). It's time for some good, new fantasy, sans Lion Jesus.
So we desperately want Snow White and the Huntsman to be good, because that would mean a victory for dark fantasy and potentially more fantastic bloody battles fought on the big screen. We're not sure if it will be. The only thing we can do while we wait is whip up a pro/con list, so here it is. Let's contemplate how Charlize Theron's Evil Queen movie could prevail, and how it could fail.
How It Could Prevail
Evil Queen Appeal
Charlize Theron's character doesn't just suck the life out of people — she stares her victims in the eye while slowly draining them of their youth. She doesn't just take a stylistically cool white paint bath. She takes the milk bath with her motherfucking crown on. She keeps the crown on.
This is the asshole we want thrusting a sword into the gullet of a Disney princess. This is the evil Maleficent type beast we only saw with pointy hats and green faces. Now she's real, and damn beautiful. We're rooting for this horrific creature. Bring on the pain, bring on the youth sucking and screaming (oh the joyous screaming!). She's a militant female leader without being a "bitch". She doesn't want to toy with Snow White and torture her — she just wants to eat her heart. Hoorah.
The look, the feel, the black magic ooze that the queen literally splatters all over her prey — it's all very different from the fantasy we're being currently fed, with the exception of Game of Thrones. In our interview with Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, he revealed he was inspired by "Pre-Raphaelite paintings, Victorian fairy painters who had been locked up in mental institutions," and it shows.
Grimm, Once Upon a Time and Disney have ushered in this strange mandatory cheese policy with the latest batch of fantasy. Storylines don't need to be dumbed down for children just because someone puts a giant stag into it. Screw the kids, don't they have enough?
Bob Hoskins, Chris Hemsworth, Toby Jones, Chris Hemsworth, and Eddie Marsan are just a few of our favorite people playing dwarves with dead eyes, angry hearts and names like Gort and Muir. No Doopey or Happy or formerly Dreamy and now Grumpy dwarves getting hatched out of dwarf eggs here.
Shit Like This
We know this is a music video/giant advertisement but it's been on loop all day in the office. In our wild haired warrior fantasies we sound like Florence And the Machine, and we're backed by a giant symphony. This is how a magical medieval magical battle should sound — screaming, witchy vocals! The fact that the studio or Rupert or whomever went after this particular sound is only confirmation that their aesthetic is what we want.
How It Might Fail
All that Awesome Queen Stuff Is Already in the Trailer
Our biggest fear is that all the best evil queen moments have already been presented in the trailers. After all, this movie is titled Snow White and the Huntsman, two characters we've seen maybe 10 seconds of in released clips and various trailers. Did the studio hype up the Evil Queen character's online screen time after the positive response Theron's screams received? Totally possible. But then again, we won't know until we see the film.
While io9 remains pretty pro K-Stew (Twilight haters to the left, please) the actress has her limitations. Can she play an awkward, lip biting teenager, yes (and very well). A Middle Earth type sword-swinging revolutionary, we're not so sure. Add that to the fact that Stewart is tackling an English accent in this film (which we've yet to really hear thus far) and well, it makes us nervous. The movie has her character's name in the title, and we've seen so little from her in just about anything marketing related. Feels like someone is trying to hide something.
A reviewer from Dog Ate My Wookie, who saw the film early, complained that it was full of shaky cam. And after Hunger Games, our shaky cam quota for 2012 is pretty full. Plus I'm not really sure how reality style TV shooting really fits into a medieval society that doesn't have television.
Mirror Mirror Was Really, Really Bad
Granted, no matter how awful it is, Huntsman will never be as bad as Tarsem Singh's Snow White movie Mirror Mirror, in which Nathan Lane gets raped by a grasshopper. So Huntsman has that going for it. At the same time, this could go against it. Mirror, Mirror proves that it's really hard to make a good Snow White movie, even with somebody famous playing your Evil Queen.