The classic fairy tale of Snow White and her seven vertically challenged pals gets a decidedly un-Disney reworking in this grown-up drama that’s not for the under-twelves (it was also known as Snow White: A Tale Of Terror which gives you fair warning). Gone are the cutesy dwarfs – replaced by a group of disfigured outsiders who risk their lives mining for the gold they need to survive – and instead of an evil queen who’s wicked just for the sake of it, we have a beautiful woman (Weaver), twisted and bitter following a gruesome miscarriage, who finds refuge in black magic when she believes her husband (Neill) loves his daughter Lilli (Keena) more than her.
While the 15th-century Black Forest setting is all dense, dark trees and atmospheric flickering candles, this never quite gets beyond slightly creepy, despite a deliciously seething performance from Sigourney Weaver. Director Michael Cohn may have been trying for a Company of Wolves-style bloody fairy tale to have grown-ups hiding behind their seats, but instead he’s made a nicely acted, beautifully photographed but ultimately small-screen version of a well-loved tale, best suited to a rainy night in front of the telly.
Is Grimm Brothers' Snow White suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note that this film did receive a 15 certificate on its UK release. From the first scene, this has graphic moments – a pregnant woman dying in a carriage accident asking for her baby to be cut out of her, the stepmother’s miscarriage, various scenes of violence and the effects of plague. Not for the faint-hearted.