‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (2012). Kristen Stewart plays the titular character in this dark fantasy re-telling. Text © Rissi JC

‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (2012)

June 8, 2012 Rissi JC 23 Comments

Whether it’s as close as our television screen or at the box office, fairy tales are making a triumphant comeback – and I love this. Earlier this year, the Snow White legend already tried its hand at the Grimm legend. Brought to the big-screen by universal with ambitions of being a trilogy, this version may have the big-name stars, beautiful special effects and the costumes, but I’m not sure it will win over the masses.

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) Film Review

One walk through the gardens and a wish from a beloved queen sets into motion a powerful destiny that predestines fame of one woman and the undoing of another. Gaining all the power in the land is what the powerful Ravenna (Charlize Theron) wants. Her plans to draw out a grieving king work, and now she has him just where she wants him. Marrying the king to get the kind of prestige she so desires is only one part of her evil plan. The second is his murder in their wedding bed. Once she wears the crown, she banishes his small daughter to the dungeon and rules without fear. For many years, Ravenna has everything she wants; beauty, the fear of the people and a kingdom and yet, she’s despondent.

Whispers of being the second “fairest of all” to another makes Ravenna furious with rage. For ten years Snow White (Kristen Stewart) lives with the knowledge that the queen murdered her father. Now fate offers her escape. Not wanting anything to stand in her way of the crown, Ravenna sends the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) after the girl. But as with every fairy tale, nothing goes according to plan.

Snow White and the Huntsman

This isn’t how we often picture the usual legend of this fairy tale. Universal’s take on Snow White is captivating to say the least. One of the most interest things is that the titular heroine gets less screen time than the murderous villain. That says something. I love to despise villains, but her presence being this is intense is still curious. This version has a lot going for it that the first Snow White (Mirror Mirror) doesn’t, but is it enough?  

FILM REVIEW | ‘Mirror Mirror’ (2012): Vibrant and Sweet Re-telling of ‘Snow White’
Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron star in Universal's ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (2012) #FWarchives #Fairytale Click To Tweet

Instead of cute dwarves, this one is more about the bond of an executioner and his prey. Kind of grim, right? Perhaps but in reality it’s more realistic of its original telling. I prefer lighter fairy tale fare, but I can appreciate filmmakers trying to show the story in a new way. Not only do I love the twist that is Snow White and the Huntsman, I also don’t expect it given the presence of Snow’s childhood sweetheart William (Sam Claflin). Mainly the story consists of everything we know but it uses a unique approach to the material and it often yields stunning results.  

The score is breathtaking and the scenery indescribable. These gorgeous landscapes provide a visual story for our imagination. Likewise costuming is stunning. Designed by Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, the sheer genius of the designs makes the movie more of a visual masterpiece than it already is. Charlize is the one who has the most costume changes and she looks darn regal albeit evil in each ensemble. But let’s move on from the glitter, and onto the question everyone poses: How is the acting? Naturally, Theron and Hemsworth rock their roles! Just as I suspect they would. Charlize gives us a villain to detest while Chris’ natural protectiveness of a young innocent is noble to the core. There is really nothing more to say about their acting because they prove to be the pros they are. The big debate is Kristen Stewart, and whether or not she pulls it off.

Snow White and the Huntsman

I won’t fib – I don’t like Stewart. To her credit, she does a decent “princess-ly” damsel. Her acting relies a lot on expressions and sometimes I want her to have more gumption (instead she aimlessly wonders the “dark forest” gasping in fear) but I give her credit for what she does in the end. Honestly, I didn’t expect her to give as good of a performance as she does; she and Hemsworth share a sweet, genuine if not dynamic chemistry (one of the best scenes is when he’s pouring out his heart to a lifeless Snow). However the contempt she should have for Ravenna is just not there.

Should producers pursue a sequel, I’d like to see Kristen return and prove that she has what it takes to make a memorable Snow White because this go-round makes me think that maybe she could do the role justice. Maybe not perfection (it does lag a time or two) but this film is beautiful. Its open-ended conclusion is a bit frustrating but that last gaze may say more than we think plus promise of a second movie will have to pacify those of us who uncovered the forming of a finely faceted jewel in this fantasy’s lover’s dream.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Find Snow White and the Huntsman digitally on Amazon Video

CONTENT: Many sequences are dark and feature creatures who pose a serious threat. There is a terrifying forest scene in which trees and rocks come alive and roots become snakes. Swords and arrows are driven through soldiers, many die; a woman walks through fire and survives and also transforms into many different shapes or beings. Ravenna teases her new husband in her wedding finery on their wedding night before she drives a dagger into his heart; another man fondles a frightened Snow [he caresses her clothed body]. We also see a woman sink into a white liquid naked [a backside shot] and emerge with her hands carefully covering her breasts. This is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Rachel Hipps June 8, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    I want to see this movie SOO bad! Trying to convince my older brothers. :)

  • Rissi June 8, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    I really hope you do, Rachel – it is definitely worth seeing on the big screen… in my opinion!

    Cannot wait to get your opinion! :-)

  • Rachel Hipps June 8, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Hoping hoping hoping. :)

    Just wondering, I REALLY REALLY want to know… does Snow White end up with the Huntsman (Chris) or the other dude?

  • Rissi June 8, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Well… I am hoping with you. :-)

    SPOILER ALERT: honestly, it is really all up in the air but… if I were to say, it would be the Huntsman. He and Snow share a knowing look at the end that says a lot plus it is his kiss that changes things. Given that there is a rumored sequel, that is left to the imagination but my two cents worth are these: Loved Snow and the Huntsman together. ;-) END

  • AnnaKate June 8, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    I think this movie looks interesting! I'd like to see it, if only for Chris's sake. ;)

  • Rissi June 8, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Chris is one of the best things about this movie, AnnaKate. ;-)


  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com June 8, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Awesome honest review. Sounds like you dug it for the most part and Stewart wasn't too bad.

  • Rissi June 8, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    Thanks, Juju – all I realized was that this was one loooong review. LOL!

    I did really like it – a great deal more than I thought which turned out to be awesome!! Plus, Stewart wasn't nearly as wooden as I expected from her which was equally great. :-)

  • eye_spy June 8, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    great review!
    now following your lovely blog :)

    follow back? eyespyy.blogspot.com

  • Trinka June 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I was kind of hesitant about this simply because Kristin Stewart played the lead role. But… I think I would like to watch this sometime. :)

    Ps: Have I ever told you how much I like these detailed reviews that you do? :)

  • his little lady June 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    yep, i definitely think that kstew uped her game. absolutely adored this movie! the special effects were beyond incredible!!!
    xo TJ

  • Ella June 9, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    I don't know how I feel about this movie;I like Chris Hemsworth,but not Kristen Stewart.

  • Rissi June 9, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    Eye_Spythank you! I appreciate you reading. :-)

    Thanks for the follow and stopping by; I hope you do so again soon! Checked out your blog, and am now following.

    Trinka – you and me both, girl! I do not care for K. Stewart BUT she pulls it off "o.k." I think I'd have liked someone else in the role but she didn't ruin it.

    Aw! Thank you! I hope I can continue to write helpful, informative reviews because that is my goal, so thanks for your kind words. :-)

    Stop in again soon.

    TJ – me, too. I don't think there wasn't another actress who could have done the role more justice but she wasn't bad at all. I really liked this one too; special effects… you said it.

    Definitely a "must-buy." ;-)

    Ella – I know just what you mean. I don't care for Stewart either but… she surprised me. I still would have rather someone else been cast but she did an admirable job.

    Chis = AWESOME.

    Nuff said. LOL!

    Hope you enjoy if you see it. :-)

  • Miss Jack Lewis Baillot June 11, 2012 at 4:50 AM

    I have one more show on the second season of Sherlock, the one where he dies. I know that one will be sad, so I'm putting it off for a little while.

  • Rissi June 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    You should really watch the last episode – you may be surprised with how it concludes. :-)


  • Charity June 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    For me, it was pretty to look at but empty. Movies need a "spark" for them to work. This one didn't have that spark, and unfortunately, I think a lot of it had to do with an inexperienced first time director who chose silence when he needed to invoke emotion through music, and who cast Kristen in the lead. I've seen good performances out of her here and there, but for the most part she has about as much chemistry with co-stars as a lampshade.

  • Rissi June 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I don't disagree that the plot could have been better or the pacing but overall, I loved it. The scene in the woods was a tad slow and Kristen wasn't the ideal heroine but that didn't stop the movie from being lovely and – for the most part, a "winner."

    Bottom line: I don't think Kristen is destined to be a great actress. But then… that is just my two cents. :-)

  • Kellie September 18, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Have to admit to being a huge SW&H fan!! I mean…Chris Hemsworth. 'Nuf said. Thanks for your reviews, and your comments on my page! I have found myself coming to your page alot lately to read reviews on movies I want to watch! Thanks!

    Kellie @ Cherry Coke & Popcorn Movie Reviews

  • Kellie September 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Oops. Make that http://www.cherrycokeandpopcorn.blogspot.com ;) Always forget that "blogspot" in there. ;)

  • Rissi September 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Yay! So many viewers are down on this film. I liked a lot about it though Kristen wasn't one of those positive assets. Chris and Charlize however were both BRILLIANT.

    Thank you! I appreciate that and the same to you: I've enjoyed my visits to Cherry Coke and Popcorn (great name BTW :-D). Visit often and I loved hearing from you today. :-) Thanks, Kellie.

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