Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997) short review

It’s an interesting proposition: take the classic Grimm fairytale but go back to its horror roots, put good actors like Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill in starring roles, and go for a semi-authentic medieval look. Parts of it work, especially the early stages as they set up the story (new beautiful step-mother in town). Unfortunately, they fall into the classic fairy tale trap of not giving our heroine — Lilliana/Snow White — much to do (in fact, she never seems to figure out that her step-mother is the source of the problem, until somehow she just KNOWS). Weird attempts at romance with Gil Bellows as a nice bandit, and a TERRIBLE wig on his competition (Gutenberg), plus not enough extras (definitely reads as a made for TV movie). Some of the costuming is actually really good! Although I am by no means an expert in this area, Lilliana’s nurse wears what looks to me like Really Really Good lower middle class German mid-1500s attire. And Sigourney Weaver’s costumes are pretty and suit her character. But they put Lilliana into weird pseudo-medieval outfits and Sam Neill just looks dorky. I would only watch it for free on cable, and then only if I didn’t have something else to watch.

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About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

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