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As successful remakes have proven, the key to rejuvenating the classics is to tap into their original audiences and seduce a new generation at the same time.

And, judging by the recent crop of Hollywood offerings, fairy tales are a good place to start. With their timeless formulas, they are perennially attractive to children, and witty revamps such as Tangled, Puss in Boots and Shrek have given parents further reason to keep their kids well versed in the classics. The trick is to keep those tots interested once their hormones kick in.

In the past decade, studios have tried to tempt the much-coveted teen demographic with MTV-style reboots such as Sydney White, A Cinderella Story and Beastly.

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But it was not until last year that they discovered the secret to casting a spell over mature audiences.

Forget poison apples, spinning wheels or rabbit holes, the new adult-friendly fairy tales beguile with sex, violence and unadulterated action.

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Special to The Globe and Mail

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