Red Riding Hood (2011)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Movie Connections:
Little Red Riding Hood
> Little Red Riding Hood (1997)
> Red Riding Hood (2003)
> Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010)
> Red Riding Hood (2011)
Catherine Hardwicke Catherine Hardwicke
Amanda Seyfried Amanda Seyfried
Gary Oldman Gary Oldman
Billy Burke Billy Burke
Shiloh Fernandez Shiloh Fernandez
Max Irons Max Irons

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Fairy Tales & Legends, Horror, Werewolf Film
Valerie is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter, but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry. Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie's older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon, to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon's arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. As panic grips the town, Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast--one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect...and bait. --IMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: March 30, 2011
Little Red Riding Hood has always been my favorite fairy tale, and I've always wanted to see it given the same treatment Burton gave to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in 1999. Ever since I saw the first teaser poster for Red Riding Hood, I began to get excited, thinking maybe I was finally getting the movie I've been waiting for. It would have been too, if I was a fourteen year old girl.

The small mountain village of Daggerhorn would be completely anonymous to the outside world, if it wasn't for its bloody reputation that is. You see, every full moon, a wolf has been storming the village and taking the town's best livestock. But this full moon, something changes, and in the morning a young girl is found dead. This girl is Lucy, the sister of a girl named Valerie. Her and woodcutter Peter have basically been in love since they were eight, but in this time of arranged marriages, she's been promised to blacksmith Henry. Insert all the drama teenage love can muster. Anyway, the town's priest has called on the aid from the beast hunting Father Solomon. Back in the day, Father Solomon killed a werewolf, only to find the body transform back into his very own wife. He's confident that the wolf is living inside the town, and what's more; the moon and Mars are in such an alignment that the moon is giving off a blood red glow (Oh, OK). Known as the Blood Moon, anyone bitten during this time will have the curse passed on to them. And this wolf has taking a special interest in Valerie.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Red Riding Hood, and indeed one of the things I was hoping director Catherine Hardwicke would incorporate, are the visuals. The mountain village and surrounding forest is covered in snow and fog, and the bright red of Valerie's cloak and the moon contrasted the monochrome of the setting beautifully. As far as it being a "Little Red Riding Hood" adaptation, well it's not really. Valerie's grandmother gives her the cloak as a gift to console her after Lucy's death, and the questions take place in a dream sequence, but other than that it's its own story. Personally, this didn't bother me very much, but I could definitely see some people who didn't appreciate this approach.

You can basically break this movie into two halves: the werewolf story and the love triangle. The former is incredible. After Solomon tells the story of his wife, everybody in the town instantly becomes a suspect, and the movie takes a lot of cues from The Thing. Hardwicke further hams it up by purposefully laying out some blatant circumstantial evidence towards a handful of different characters. The wolf itself looks great, opting for the large, quadruped look. And damn was it mean; the attacks were a very nice sight to see. They weren't on the level of gore that the new Wolfman movie established, but it fit the feel of the movie. Likewise, the CGI is obvious but the way it was done it blended nicely with the distinct visuals. As for the wolf's main nemesis, Gary Oldman is obviously having a ball as Father Solomon, and undeniably walks away with the best performance of the evening, tongue firmly in cheek. Not that he had much competition as it were.

You see, that second half, the half that was obviously the focus of the movie, the half that took way too many cues from Twilight, the half that basically ruined the movie. That little love triangle they threw in there was hands down one of the most boring and brain-dead things I've ever seen. Let me clarify, I have no trouble with them adding in a love element. I'm not even saying it should have taken a backseat to the werewolf, even though I would have preferred it. My problem lies in the fact that every little twist of this particular story was so cliche and flat out corny I was literally sighing out loud by film's end. Making matters even worse is the fact that all three were fucking useless here; they couldn't have been more wooden if Pinocchio had been cast. I've never seen Shiloh Fernandez or Max Irons before, but I know Amanda Seyfried can do better. I guess she wasn't buying it either.

I'm sure the Twilight crowd will enjoy both facets of the movie, but for the rest of us, it definitely falls short. What with the wolf and the visual theme on display, I was so close to getting the version I've always wanted, but it seems the wait continues. 3/10.
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Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 03/30/2011, 04:41 PM
This looked horrible. Good review.
AttnDefDis #2: AttnDefDis - added 03/30/2011, 07:19 PM
I'm sorry you were disappointed, but your review is 90% positive and yet you gave it a 3/10. I'm a little confused about that. I personally enjoyed this movie. I didn't mind the obligatory Twilight-esque love triangle because it seems to be a staple in movies like this. Though, I could do without it, I didn't find it distracting or over-powering. The movie isn't brilliant by any means, I figured out the ending in the first 10 minutes. What I liked so much about it were, as you say, the visuals. CGI, lame, but everything else was great and I love pretty much everyone in the cast. Which, was a big draw for me. True, I wasn't blown away by anyones performance, but I didn't find anyone as unbearable as you seemed to. My favorite thing about this movie was that it remained true to the Red Riding Hood story. Apparently you disagree, but all of the elements were there, they just added some things. It's difficult to turn a brief fairy tale into a full length feature and I liked most of the elements that were added. What exactly was missing for you?
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 03/30/2011, 09:59 PM
The way I read it he enjoyed the first half and the last half completely destroyed anything good about the movie.
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 03/30/2011, 11:38 PM
half was a bad word maybe. i didnt mean half the running time, i meant half the aspects of the movie. To me, the triangle seemed to be what hardwicke put the most emphasis on, and it absolutely killed it the movie for me.
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