10 March 2007 | gavin6942
Despite the Stupid Name, A Great Movie
A wealthy man (Sam Neill) remarries years after his first wife dies during childbirth. However, the new wife (Sigourney Weaver) despises her stepchild and the daughter (played by the lovely Monica Keena) is forced to flee into the woods where she befriends seven miners (not dwarfs). Will the stepmother get away with her wickedness? My friend Jason had been suggesting we watch this film for a while and I couldn't bring myself to do it. With the movie being based on Snow White and the silly cover photograph, this just didn't seem like a decent horror film. And I know Sam Neill makes some decent horror appearances, but Sigourney Weaver? Come on! Then when I saw Monica Keena was in it (who I know from "Dawson's Creek" but many horror fans will know her from "Freddy vs. Jason") I couldn't get the DVD in the slot fast enough.
This film comes from director Michael Cohn, whom I've never heard of and I suspect neither have you. And despite his relative obscurity (ten years later and I still haven't seen anything else he's done) he can weave a very well-visualized tale. The man has a knack for the realm of fantasy.
This really is the film's strength. We are treated to a land of fantasy with witches and magic mirrors, but there is no silliness about it. This is not a kid's tale like "Labrynth" or "The Dark Crystal", but something much more adult and terrifying. There is even a scene where -- dare I say it -- we get hints of rape.
All the acting is strong, which should come as no surprise. Keena is great, and Sam Neill really cannot do a bad job acting even if he wanted to as far as I can tell. The effects were fine, the music was alright, and there was a scene where a horse did a back-flip, which was pretty intense. Don't be discouraged like I was about the title, this is a horror film worth seeing and a nice change of pace from the usual modern-day fare.