It definitely has a lot in common with Van Helsing, no doubt about it. But where Van Helsing fails miserably, Hansel and Gretel succeeds by:
1) Not taking itself seriously at all!
2) Not relying completely on CGI. There are tons of practical effects and real world location work on display here. Van Helsing felt like all of the acting was in front of a green screen for the entire time.
3) Having a likeable cast.
4) Keeping the script simple and straight forward by focusing solely on witches. Van Helsing, in comparison, was completely convoluted with the need to throw every well known Universal Monster into the mix. It was just sensory overload and flat out didn't work at all.
5) Not having a legacy behind it. In the end this may be what damned Van Helsing the most. It took the Universal classic monsters we all grew up with as it's inspiration and then pretty much set upon bastardizing them by making the film an action film rather than a horror movie like it should have been. Hansel and Gretel in comparison is allowed to be it's own thing because it wasn't held to any real expectations of what it "should" be.
Last edited by maybrick; 06-24-2013 at 02:54 AM.