Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Connections: Little Red Riding Hood

The modern-day descendant of Little Red Riding Hood brings her fiancÚ home to meet her family and reveal their occupation as werewolf hunters, but after he is bitten by a werewolf, she must protect him from her own family. --IMDb
Felicia Day
Felicia Day
Kavan Smith
Kavan Smith
Stephen McHattie
Stephen McHattie
Greg Bryk
Greg Bryk
Rosemary Dunsmore
Rosemary Dunsmore
Review by Crispy
Added: February 08, 2015
Red Riding Hood has always been my favorite fairy tale, so when I saw Syfy's modernized adaptation, turning her bloodline into a family of werewolf hunters, it was only a matter of time before I fired it up, despite their questionable reputation.

FBI agents Nathan Kessler and Virginia Sullivan are driving to a small town in the middle of the woods, and for Nathan it might be the most stressful trip of his career. He's not up against terrorists or drug runners, but rather he and Virginia have been dating, and he's going to meet her family. When they get there, he gets along well enough with her grandmother and her brother, Jake, but butts head with her other brother, Marcus. He's got bigger things to worry about though, because that afternoon a man runs up the driveway covered in rips and tears. He only mentions a single word, "Gabriel" before collapsing onto the ground. Nathan runs in to grab his girlfriend's family, but by the time they get back they just find a pile of smoldering ashes where the body was. Even more perplexing, the Sullivans don't seem very surprised about the whole thing. Now that Nathan's been thrown in the middle of things, they have no choice but to let them know about their family secret. Nicknamed Red by her family, Virginia's entire bloodline is a clan of werewolf hunters. They've made a truce with the local pack, and the man that Nathan found was actually its leader. Naturally, this is a bit much for him to digest, so he goes for a walk to clear his mind. Out in the woods, he meets a strange man who talks to him in riddles before transforming before his very eyes and attacking him. While he survives the assault, the curse has been passed onto him. As the full moon approaches, it's a race against the clock to kill the wolf that bit him and bring down that pack that's obviously ignoring the truce.

So, if you go in with the right expectations, namely low expectations, Red: Werewolf Hunter offers a fun ninety minutes. It's got a simple plot that moves things forward, yet enough twists to not make this a flat, cliche run. It kind of plays out like a low-budget Blade, and I do mean low-budget. These wolves looked like something a sophomore computer design student would put together in their spare time. However, even with the crappy CGI, I still enjoyed the visuals they went for. The transformations started with the mouth and worked their way out and they would often zoom in to watch their organs transform. Even though the animation was sub-par, it still looked cool, and fit the tone of the action scenes very well. Plus, it ends on a decidedly somber note. I've always been a fan of noirish endings, and this one was no exception.

Likewise, our assembled group of actors top out at "acceptable." Felicia Day and Greg Byrk (Red and Marcus) were both fine when they were fighting off werewolves, but things fell apart quickly during the more emotional scenes. Kevan Smith was pretty flat throughout the entire movie, but being Nathan is kind of a meat head, I'm not quite sure where to place the blame. I did like David Reale as Jake though. I guess you'd call him the comic relief character, but they actually gave the character a chance to prove himself a bad ass, and Reale handled both sides very nicely. It's too bad he was a tertiary character. Things were completely different on the werewolf side of the table however. As Gabriel, Stephen McHattie knocked it out of the park. Obviously channeling Lance Henrikson, he nails that soft-spoken villain that's bordering right on the edge of sanity. Most importantly, he gave off the air of being a credible threat, even to these experienced hunters.

Basically, Red: Werewolf Hunter was exactly what I expected. It's nothing spectacular, but a decently enjoyable ninety minutes. Hell, I'd definitely pick it up if I spot it in the five dollar bin one day. Give it a shot on a rainy night. You could do a lot worse. 6.5/10.
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