A demented take on “Hansel and Gretel,” this curious Shelley Winters vehicle is an underrated horror gem. While she was never a great actress, Winters had an undeniable screen presence that made her fascinating and perplexing at once, and never has that been more obvious than here: Playing a grieving widow and mother who dotes on orphaned children, Winters manages to seem both motherly and unhinged often within the same frame, always keeping the audience on its feet as to what, exactly, is going on here. It’s a unique genre entry with a terrific setting and an unsettling atmosphere, but really this is Winters’ show and she walks away with the movie. Although it’s hard to find nowadays, this is worth watching for horror fans and fans of this kind of strange, unique movie that used to be made with regularity in the 1970s.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)