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The Huntsman - Winter's War: Fantasy tale steeped in malevolence

Scheming Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) rules over her realm with a steely glare, aided by the shape-shifting magic mirror. Her younger sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), falls madly in love with the Duke of Blackwood (Colin Morgan) and falls pregnant with his child.

The Duke torches the infant in its crib, unleashing a wave of fury in Freya that transforms her into The Ice Queen. She kidnaps children from nearby villages to mould into an army of heartless soldiers.

Two of her finest warriors — Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) — defy her edict not to love and are punished. Seven years later Snow White has vanquished Ravenna, but the magic mirror continues to exert a malevolent control.

Three stars

Belfast Telegraph