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'It' star Sophia Lillis leads terrifying fairy tale Gretel & Hansel in first trailer

By Josh Weiss
Sophia Lillis Gretel and Hansel

The outlandish, witch-hunting hijinks of Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are gone. In their place is It: Chapter One star, Sophia Lillis, who wants to bring the Hansel & Gretel fairy tale back to horror basics in the first trailer for Gretel & Hansel.

Yes, you read that correctly — director/co-writer Oz Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter) used an Uno reverse card on the title of the classic Grimm Brothers story in order to immediately place the emphasis on Gretel (played by Lillis), who gets lost in the woods with her brother (Sam Leakey), "only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil," according to the official synopsis from Orion Pictures.

There's no house made of candy, but the witch — named Holda (The OA's Alice Krige) — is still here, and she's just as creepy as ever. Check her out in the trailer below:

Based on her performance as young Beverly Marsh in It, we have no doubt that Lillis will knock this role out of the park. In addition, it looks like Perkins and his DP, Galo Olivares, have crafted a haunting and atmospheric movie that is worthy of the "fairy tale" description. With a small cast and claustrophobic setting (helped by the curved and ominous trees in the ever-bleak woods), you've got the perfect equation for a creepy and character-driven horror flick.

Aside from the two kids and Holda, Charles Babalola (Black Mirror) plays The Hunter, a kind-hearted man who helps our two young protagonists when they fall into the clutches of the witch.

Here's the first poster, too:

Gretel and Hansel poster

Gretel & Hansel will follow its trail of breadcrumbs into theaters on January 31, 2020.