Red Riding Hood

2011-03-18 16:20
 
What it's about:

Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is a beautiful young woman who lives in a village stalked by an evil, man-eating wolf. On the day the wolf takes a human life for the first time in years, she learns that she will not be allowed to marry her childhood sweetheart Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) and that she has been set up with the wealthier (yet equally hunky) blacksmith Henry (Max Irons). The story follows the village’s attempts to capture the wolf and Valerie’s realisation that she might be closer to the beast than she could’ve ever imagined.

What we thought:


Red Riding Hood is a reimagined, retelling of the well-known fairy tale of old. But alas, there are so many differences and add-ons to this unconvincing, wannabe horror chick-flick that the very last ounce of allure held by the original tale is all but lost.

Director Catherine Hardwicke has seemingly found her niche as a pop-culture director able to cater to tween tastes and young girl fantasies. Famous for her work on the first Twilight film, Hardwicke clearly envisioned a similar feel for Red Riding Hood as she indulges in a plot simply begging to educe panting from all young actors concerned. Yet, most of the intense chemistry which was, for many, Twilight’s saving grace – is sadly lacking in the Hood as the cast fumbles along and fails to ignite even the tiniest of spark. Save perhaps for one brief scene which features little Red and Peter enjoying a quite literal roll in the hay.

That is not to say that the young actors cast are not hot – Amanda Seyfried’s gorgeous palour, offset by those unworldly saucer-eyes, gives her a cinematic magnetism which is at least visually arresting. The leading boys who vie for her attention are not so bad themselves and Hardwicke makes sure to highlight this. But as the un-scary drivel drags on, it becomes certain that the performances are rather lacklustre to say the least.

Veterans Gary Oldman and Julie Christie are meant to serve as an antidote to all the naive dilly-dallying of the young folks, but strangely fall into the same trap of seeming over-the-top and fake. Although Oldman does seem sufficiently creepy as the sinister Father Solomon come to rid the town of their werewolf problem, it is the character and the story that surrounds him that ultimately brings him down.

Perhaps the script is to blame here for the half-baked deliveries, for it is plagued by a string of clichés and inane jabber that would have any sane person howling at the moon. Less talking, more showing would’ve worked better here - barely a moment is set aside for creating suspense as the actors chat away, slinging accusations and making declarations of love.

Yes, the only scary thing about this movie is the frightfully bad CGI. The computer generated wolf that terrorises the medieval villagers seems ridiculous after that entire hullabaloo. This along with an unconvincing script takes most of the bite out of the whole affair.
Red Riding Hood was meant to be scary, sexy and dark but turns out to be boring, awkward and dumb. Howling at the moon is not going to help.

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not anyone who's going to be enduring this dark tale, that's for sure.
Read more on:    amanda seyfried  |  gary oldman  |  review  |  movies

Kim 2011/03/22 12:42 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly about this film - it was sad indeed - could have been so much more but my daughter, a teen, loved it
Brad 2011/03/24 11:29 AM
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Didn't like it at all, it was boring as hell. The trailors made it look like a dark sinister film, but I was sadly disappointed, all it turned out to be a was sad copy of twilight.
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