Red Riding Hood

red-riding-hood-poster2 Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Writer: David Johnson
Producers: Leonardo DiCaprio/Jennifer Davisson/Killoran/Julie Yorn
Starring: Amanda Seyfried/Gary Oldman/Billy Burke/Max Irons/Shiloh Fernandez/Lukas Haas
Year: 2011
Country: US
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 100 minutes

With the latest theme in Hollywood being the re-telling of fairytales, they have now set their sights on Red Riding Hood and all that can be said is my, what big flaws it has. The trouble with Red Riding Hood is that it tries to be so many things and it fails. The thing that makes this movie fail is mostly the script, five minutes didn’t go by without one of the characters saying something cliché or cheesy and you just shaking your head in disbelief over what you just heard the character say. Everything that was said in the movie didn’t have any meaning to it nor did it have any authenticity, it just felt lifeless and sometimes, even a little bit awkward. You could imagine the possibilities that a darker version of Red Riding Hood would hold and it had quite a bit of potential if it was in the right hands. However, all we get is a ‘whodunnit’ horror soppy love story and it really doesn’t work that well as the two blended horribly. The movie starts decent as we see Valerie and Peter hanging around the woods as kids and when we see them grow up and they see a tragedy, that’s when it starts to go downhill and spiral out of control and into boredom to the point you didn’t even care what happened because it wasn’t thrilling enough to make you care. The characters in the movie were one-dimensional, boring and above all, just awkward. You have Valerie who was supposed to be the heroine of the movie but she’s just too bland and you just couldn’t care what happens to her at all. The three main characters were very forgettable and didn’t have any qualities about them to make them stand out from the dull and flat tones of the movie.

Although Red Riding Hood has a bland story, one-dimensional characters and a bad script, the acting was the only thing that was good about the movie but even that was limited. Amanda Seyfried makes the movie watchable with her great performance as Valerie and Gary Oldman was very good as Father Solomon but the rest of the cast let them down entirely. This isn’t really the fault of the actors but more the fault of the writers as the characters didn’t add any personality or any relevance to the story. Half of the time, the characters would say or do something and it didn’t have any kind of connection to the story at all and were just there to extend the runtime of the movie, making it a complete waste of their time as well as the audiences’. There were quite a few unnecessary scenes and scenes that lasted longer than they should have, such as the party in the middle of the town that lasted about five minutes, adding nothing of importance to the story. Director Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight, tries to cash in on her experiences of directing Twilight by doing the same thing; having a teenage girl in a love triangle with two guys who act oddly, one who she’s in love with and who loves her back and the other who loves her and would do anything to help her. Some of the scenes didn’t make some sense and there were some plot holes but you were too bored to really care. Red Riding Hood isn’t any good at all and really cashes in on the supernatural love story gig that is so popular today with a modern, gothic fairytale twist. You may like this if you like the concept of a teenage girl in a love triangle with two guys who could be a werewolf but if you’re bored of the likes of stories such as Twilight then this one isn’t for you.

Of all of the fairytales to choose to do a romantic, horror, gothic Twilight-esque movie, Little Red Riding Hood should be very low on the list. From the first five minutes of the movie, you could predict what would happen. From the opening scene where we see Valerie and Peter as children, you knew what would happen in the end and seeing the actual ending was just silly and better in your imagination. Red Riding Hood had so much potential to be a good dark and twisted adaptation but alas, it fails miserably. It would have been a lot better if it didn’t include romance. The movie tries to merge romance with horror but unfortunately, this doesn’t work and instead we get an alternate version of Twilight. Overall, Red Riding Hood has two good things about it; Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman and everything else is just terrible. Red Riding Hood fails as a romantic movie and as a horror movie but it could very much pass as an unintentional romantic comedy. If the movie was actually supposed to be a romantic comedy, it would be the best one of the year.



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