I love this film! I’ve seen it half a dozen times. With the costumes, the rich setting, the new take on an age old fairytale, an ‘evil’ queen the viewer can relate to, played by Ms. Legend herself, Sigourney Weaver, and a hot love interest for Snow White who isn’t a prince, what’s not to like?
Frederick Hoffman’s (Sam Neill) wife is killed tragically in a carriage accident right at the start, and he remarries the beautiful Claudia (Weaver), but his daughter Lilli (Monica Keena) doesn’t take too well to the new woman in her life, who in all fairness does try to get along with her at first. Lilli grows up to be beautiful and quite rude to her stepmother. The spiteful Lilli even upstages Claudia when she’s singing in front of her kingdom, by prancing in wearing her dead mother’s wedding dress. Bitch! No wonder her stepmom has issues with her.
Claudia can’t help but notice Frederick’s adoration for his daughter who resembles his dead wife, and his total lack of attention for her musical performance. She becomes quite upset, and soon after goes into premature labour. Her son is stillborn, leaving her devastated, and it’s her wicked mirror that offers comfort, laying all the blame on the spoiled stepchild. Everything is Lilli’s fault, of course, and so begins the traditional tale of Snow White heading off into the woods, running for her life from the huntsman (in this case, Claudia’s brother), fleeing to freedom and finding refuge in a house in the middle of the forest. The seven men who live in the house are not too happy to return to find her sleeping in their home, and one or two of them have a seedy gleam in their eye when they gaze upon the princess. Will (Gil Bellows) immediately stands out as a potential love interest for Lilli.
Snow White: A Tale of Terror is a story for grown ups. It’s darker than the original fairytale, and much better than the recent adaptation with Kristen Stewart (in my opinion anyway). You may recognise Lilli from Dawson’s Creek. She played wild Abby who fell into the creek one episode after one too many drinks with Jen. The handsome Will played Billy in Ally McBeal, but he is much, much more attractive in Snow White. The spark between Will and Lilli is instant, but he’s not that into spoiled, prissy princesses, and Lilli doesn’t like dirty savages. Never fear; they get over these qualms in time.
I like my fairytales a little darker, and this does the job nicely. *****
Anyone seen this one?