Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) | 4K Blu-ray Review


Paramount Pictures has been diving into their catalog to offer more up on 4K as of late. One of the films that I didn’t expect to see was 2013’a Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. While this film can be very hit-or-miss in terms of the content and depending on your expectations going in, it certainly has the right pieces to make for a decent 4K. It already has a decent Blu-ray, so let’s find out if the 4K gives fans of the film enough to want to pick this up.


If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, 4K Blu-ray cover art

Tech Specs:

Format(s):UltraHD/4K Blu-ray (BD-66)
Blu-ray (BD-50)
Digital code
Released By:Paramount Pictures
Release Date:Sept. 14th, 2021
Video Format / Codec:4K: H.265 (HEVC)
BR: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Resolution:4K: 
Upscaled 4K, 2160/24p 
(3280 x 2160 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)

BR: 
Full HD, 1080/24p 
(1920 x 1080 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)
Digital Intermediate (DI):4K (from digital RAW)
High-Dynamic Range (HDR):Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect Ratio:2.40:1
Audio Format(s):English (4K): Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English (BR): Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Additional tracks also available in Czech, French, French (Canada), German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin), Thai
Subtitles:English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, Dutch, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Traditional), Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Thai, Turkish
Packaging:Dual disc snap case w/ slipcover*

*Slipcover may only be available on initial pressing
Region Coding:4K: Region-free
BR: Region A (locked)

Video Review:

Captured in 2K, this version takes that source material and upscales the resolution. On the whole they did a nice job preserving the already pretty clean, but slightly soft picture. There is an uptick in detail present front scenery to costume details, but the image does still lack on the sharpness side of things. As a result, those new details will not wow as much as they could have and for a casual observer may not be overly impressed.

This was filmed digitally and therefore does not have film grain, however some light digital noise is present. That said, you will have to look closely to observe it and should not serve as a distraction.

The colors come in the form of Dolby Vision and HDR10 encoding. Though not a drastic difference between the two, they are definitely a step up from the Blu-ray with reds in particular standing out as richer and more impactful, but also are not consistent. There are times where the colors almost become too much, and then scenes where they back way down and look comparable to the Blu-ray. The black levels are also much better served with additional detail being preserved. Highlights are well-managed, but do seem to get a bit blown out here and there.

Video Score (4K): 3.9 / 5

The standard Blu-ray included is from the 2013 release and was only assessed here for comparison sake, so no score was provided.

Audio Review:

Nothing new here. This disc features the same 5.1 mix we received on the older Blu-ray. IIt is a lively, active and impactful mix, with most of the action comes from panning effects which provide a good sense of immersion in the front half of the room. The dialog is clear and well handled by the front stage even amongst all the action. 

A real strength of this mix comes in the LFE channel with explosions and gunfire packing some serious punch and even fist fights sound superhuman. While effects are well supported, the higher bass levels do cause a little muddiness in the musical score, but all of the action will likely distract you from its shortcomings.

On the downside, this movie could have gone up to demo-quality as it misses an opportunity to really impress. Even with a capable upmixer it just seems to leave the surrounds and heights a bit lacking, and sounds like you are listening to a 5.1 mix. I guess if you are a purist of this 8 year old flick, you may be OK with this, but in contrast to upgraded films of the same vintage, this just feels left behind.

Audio Score (4K): 3.7 / 5

The standard Blu-ray included is from the 2013 release and shares the same audio track.

Special Features and Packaging:

We don’t get anything else new here as well. The artwork is the same we have seen on most other past releases, and the only nice addition being a slipcover. The special features are also rehashed and included on the Blu-ray only. If you don’t own a past release, the features can be enjoyable but are probably not anything to re-visit more than once.

We do get the Theatrical version on the 4K, and the Unrated version on the Blu-ray. I did not find either to be a pro or a con for this release.

Features Score: 2.4 / 5

Buy/Upgrade-worthiness:

If you love this film and don’t yet own it, this is definitely a worthwhile pickup. That said, I do not think it impresses enough to really justify either upgrading, or paying full price. I was lucky enough to get this for under $9 due to a pricing error during pre-orders on Amazon, but right now it’s running at $20 which in my opinion is too much to make it worth it. That said, if it drops down to low teens or sub-$10, definitely pick it up if you either don’t own it, or your 4K desires demand it. 


Buy/Upgrade Recommendation: Possibly…

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Summary and Overall Scores:

A bit of a surprise that this one actually got an upgrade over other many more worthy films, they did do a nice job at least making visually appear to be superior to the Blu-ray. Unfortunately, given the same audio track, and the visuals only being a slight step up, it feels almost like a bit of a cash grab rather than a true collection-worthy release.

Experience Score**: 3.6 / 5  (Very Good)

** Experience score does not take into account the quality of the film itself, just the technical presentation, packaging and included features.

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