The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a 2016 dark fantasy adventure film that serves as both a sequel and a prequel to the earlier released Snow White & The Huntsman. Based on characters from the German fairytale Snow White, the film features such talent as Chris Hemsworth, Rob Brydon and Emily Blunt.
While the film received an overall negative response and was considered to be a box office disappointment, it wasn’t bad enough to be considered a box office bomb. At the end of its theatrical run, The Huntsman: Winter’s War grossed approximately $164 million worldwide against its $115 million budget.
The Movie Itself (1.5/5):
While I am overly grateful to have been given the opportunity to review this film as it helped me to gain an understanding as to why it had the negative response that it did. As I watched The Huntsman: Winter’s War, I found myself question exactly what it was that I was watching. While I am familiar with the bits and pieces of the original German fairytale, just wasn’t a good movie. It felt as it was all over the place, and horribly long and dawn out.
Having seen Snow White & The Huntsman, when it was first released, at least that film was visually entertaining throughout. I’ll go more into the visuals of this film in the next section, but this movie didn’t look good. Ben Kendrick of Screen Rant is quoted saying “Every single piece of The Huntsman: Winter’s War underwhelms – resulting in a strained prequel/sequel/spin-off fairytale with very little magic.” And I have to completely agree with him. This film felt forced from the cast, aside from Emily Blunt’s performance, and ultimately had very little to offer.
Picture Quality (2.5/5):
I decided to be a little generous with The Huntsman: Winter’s War as the only thing that I enjoyed watching were the special effects. The included computer imagery really shined with this release and I found myself in awe as they played out on my television screen. However despite my admiration for the effects, this film didn’t shine at all.
Sporting the 4K (2160p) resolution with HDR, I was really excited for a colorful presentation despite the story’s dark nature. Expecting to see some beautiful scenery, I found myself let down by the visual aspects of this film. Sure, there were a few outdoor scenes that looked good, however they were few and far between.
Audio Quality (4/5):
Sporting two different DTS tracks, while watching The Huntsman: Winter’s War, I made use of the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. Ultimately I couldn’t hear much of a difference between that and the DTS:X track when filtering through the audio options. But, with that all said, this film sounded absolutely phenomenal when it played through my home theater. Making use of all possible angles, I felt as if I were really inside the story as the film moved forward.
Throughout this movie, there are various battle scenes that take place, and it was really noticeable when my SB-2000 subwoofer from SVS audio hit. As the bass sounded, you couldn’t help but feel the impact of the strikes those people endured.
The Packaging (5/5):
The Huntsman: Winter’s War comes packaged in your standard amaray case for 4K UHD release. Contained within the case is your UHD Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray and Digital Redemption Pamphlet so the film can be used from your personal streaming provider. Also included with this release is a redemption pamphlet for a free movie. While I’m not completely sure as to what free movies are available to select yet as the website hasn’t listed them. The inclusion of this free movie made up for the bad taste this film left in my mouth.
Special Features (x/5):
The 4K UHD release of The Huntsman: Winter’s War boasts some additional content on the UHD Blu-ray however the majority of this are standard with a UHD. Included on the UHD are:
- 4x sharper picture than HD
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) for brilliant brights and deepest darks
- Immersive Audio for a multi-dimensional sound experience
- Director’s Commentary with Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Like most UHD releases, the included Blu-ray disc includes the majority of the additional content. Included with the Blu-ray disc on this release is:
- Deleted scenes with commentary
- Gag reel
- Two queens and two warriors
- Meet the dwarfs
- Magic all around – A look at the visual effects
- Dressed to kill
- Love conquers all – Behind the scenes with the cast
- Director’s Commentary with Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48 kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: DTS 5.1
French (Canada): DTS 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
Original Film: 114 Minutes
Extended Edition: 120 Minutes
As you can see after reading my experience with The Huntsman: Winter’s War, I wasn’t very pleased with what it had to offer. While it had an overall dark storyline, the dark scenes weren’t presented very well, however the audio presentation was done really well. When looking at the visual aspects of this film, the CGI effects were really well done and extremely beautiful.
With not being 100% familiar with the original German fairytale, and only knowing of a handful of references, this film left a lot to be asked for. There wasn’t anything magical about the portrayal of this fairytale. The general plot was extremely underwhelming and I’m extremely disappointed in what this movie had to offer.
If you are interested in checking this film out, I would personally advise against going 4K UHD because it felt as if it didn’t add anything to it. The standard Blu-ray release would work if you were grabbing this movie; however if you are like myself and trying to future proof with upcoming releases, the 4K UHD is available on Amazon for $27.99.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.