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Snow White: A Tale of Terror


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Sam Neill, Gil Bellows, Taryn Davis, David Conrad
  • Directors: Michael Cohn
  • Writers: Tom Szollosi, Deborah Serra
  • Producers: Tom Engelman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 13, 2002
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000694XX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

If you thought Snow White was only a fairy tale, you're about to discover the truth, but lock up your children first. The real tale of Snow White, starring Sigourney Waver and Sam Neill, is a tale of relentless terror and unimaginable horror. When young Lillian's mother dies during childbirth, the father soon re-marries the well-intentioned Lady Claudia. However, Claudia's heart is ruled not by her husband, but by an evil mirror with the power to make Claudia Queen over all living things… until they are dead. A failed attempt to murder young Lillian leaves her wandering lost in a deep dark forest where she comes across seven dwarfs - but wait, you think you know the rest of the story? Far from it. Handsome princes and dwarfs cannot always save the day. This movie will prove once and for all that blood is thicker than water; and evil, like an apple, comes around.

Customer Reviews

This is no conservative fairy tale.
mizlauren
The acting was very good with all of the actors and the costumes were great!
G. Bradley Currie
I really enjoy films that make you think and draw you in.
L. Lanning

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on March 9, 2004
Format: DVD
The cutesy Disney cartoon this ain't. Although the BASIC story structure remains, SNOW WHITE: A TALE OF TERROR is an interpretation that is much closer in tone and mood to the original somber tale by the Brothers Grimm, and in many ways it is actually even darker. Instead of a kiddie flick, then, what director Michael Cohn and crew serve up is a top-notch gothic horror film.
In this gloomier version of the famous fable, many of the familiar elements are wryly skewed. For example, the seven men who house the heroine (here called Lilliana, or Lilli, rather than Snow White) during her sojourn in the forest are not cutsie dwarves--although one is actually dwarfish--but are instead a bunch of grubby, ruffians who earn their living working mines. At first they want to use the girl to obtain a ransom from her wealthy father, but they soon develop a sort of fatherly affection for her. Another clever twist occurs when the hero revives Lilli after she has fallen comatose from eating the cursed apple. Instead of awakening her with an enchanted kiss, he repeatedly pushes on her midriff out of desperation, thereby dislodging the piece of fruit with a sort of primitive version of the Heimlich Maneuver. Such changes in narrative and characterization are perceptively clever and make the tale much more realistic and believable than its animated ancestor. However, despite this deliciously sardonic tweaking, remaining at the story's core is its familiar and enduring moral, to wit, that basic goodness will always triumph over hatefulness and vanity because the latter are ultimately self-destructive.
In the role of the wicked stepmother (as well as her evil mirror's reflection), Sigourney Weaver delivers a superbly malevolent performance as she schemes to destroy her beautiful stepdaughter.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on May 28, 2004
Format: DVD
This version of the classic story stars Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill and is far from the cheery animated version you may be familiar with..
Sam Neill plays Lillian's father. After the death of his wife he marries Sigourney Weaver. Things are fine at first but the aging Weaver begins to feel jealousy towards her step-daughter. She feels she is in competition for her husband's affections. With the help of her mysterious magic mirror (a frightening piece of furniture if I ever saw one) she begins making plans to be number one.
But as Weaver makes her plans she also begins to sink into deeper and deeper madness as she eliminates the servants, her step-daughter and even her brother. But Lillian manages to survive and meets a band of outlaw miner's hoping to find a rich strike. She manages to win their hearts in time and eventually returns to challenge her step-mother.
This is a very dark telling of the Snow White story. It is more tragic than many tellings in that the step-mother is mad and not evil. The girl who plays Lillian is excellent. Her ability to show powerful emotion with a single look really adds to the atmosphere of this dark film.
If you are interested in seeing a good dark tale then Snow White could be just what you are looking for.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Torkvar on July 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film is easily one of my top ten favorites. The whole movie is amazing, with brilliant cinematography, beautiful lighting, and breath-taking scenery and use of color. The costuming is excellent. The film follows the Grimms' Snow White fairytale, but the story is told from a much more sinister point of view. This film pulls no punches and has a very dark, gothic atmosphere. Not a cute little Disney fairy tale. Some really good acting from Sigourney Weaver, and Monica Keena makes an excellent Snow White. (She is absolutely gorgeous! ) Lots of scenes shot on location in Czech forests, castles, churches, etc. Takes place during the late Middle Ages. A very exciting film with superb visuals and a very chilling atmosphere. Don't miss it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By AJ on February 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Snow White as horror movie, it sounds preposterous, but in fact it is quite a good idea. Grimm's fairytales can get pretty gruesome too. The creators of this movie made something special of it. Sam Neill is a bit insipid as the father, but Sigourney Weaver as the stepmother plays one of her best parts ever and obviously enjoys being evil. The whole atmosphere of the movie is very gothic and it looks great. It may seems somewhat degrading for horror fans to watch a movie named Snow White, but as the posters say: The Fairy Tale is Over! It is, but what we get in return is a lot better. Personally I am not much of a horror fan, but in this case I could watch this movie time and again.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Marie on March 10, 2005
Format: DVD
I wasn't "terrified" by this movie, but I do love it for what it is. The setting and costumes are charming and artistic, the casting very appropriate. The dark tone to the film is somewhat haunting, and yet at the same time there is an enchanting elegance to it. The native forest scenery is particularly breathtaking, and the castle presents itself as both lovely and ghastly.

The movie is altogether a welcome change from cloying animated fairy tales. I'm proud of this movie for going in the Grimm Brothers direction, and asserting that a story like "Snow White" is not necessarily meant exclusively for children, if at all.

Some may think Sigourney Weaver as the stepmother was over the top, or rather that the character was written to be too over the top. However, the viewer must remember that this is a fairy tale--it's meant to be over the top (particularly when madness is involved!). Fairy tales are defined by their use of magical elements in telling a story. This telling of the story manages to employ especially the use of the supernatural as a means of illustrating, with horrific hyperbole, the dangers of obsessive vanity and jealousy, emphasizing the versatility of fairy tale motifs.

I highly recommend this film for lovers of authentic fairy tales. Don't watch it expecting to be scared, but rather creeped out in a Grimm Brothers sort of way. Also, don't expect to be awfully surprised--there are plenty of plot twists in this movie that some find surprising, and others find contrived. However, in the end, you don't need to be surprised when you're watching a fairy tale, for these are stories nearly as old as time. A fairy tale newly told is more an experience of one person's artistic interpretation than a new story, and this movie is an admirable example of such.
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