Thursday, March 10, 2011


Written by David Johnson
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Starring Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandes, Max Irons, Gary Oldman
and Julie Christie

The Wolf: You're afraid of me.
Valerie: I'm not afraid. I simply have no interest in talking nonsense.

Filmed in British Columbia, RED RIDING HOOD opens on stunning aerial shots gliding through grand mountains, surrounded by thousands of fir trees, pristine lakes and feathery cloud formations. The shots distinctly reminded me of another supernatural “thriller” shot in the same location and, not coincidentally, by the same director. The director in question is Catherine Hardwicke and RED RIDING HOOD is her first film since she initiated the TWILIGHT series. The opening gave me reason for concern; I had no interest in reliving that tedious vampire series after all. Unfortunately, Hardwicke had other plans.

By the time we are introduced to little red, Miss “What big eyes you have?” herself, Amanda Seyfried, it is pretty clear that this attempt to recount the classic folk tale about a little girl in a red cape and the big, bad wolf waiting to devour her in the forest, is going to amount to nothing more than adolescent angst disguised as epic filmmaking. Seyfried’s mountain town is being terrorized by a werewolf but more importantly, Seyfried is being pawned off in marriage to one guy (Max Irons) while her heart belongs to another (Shiloh Fernandez). The sets, cinematography and score do their best to fill in the terribly thin premise but it isn’t enough to make us forget that Hardwicke has just made another other worldly love triangle tailored to a very specific demographic.

Pandering to a teenage audience is what ultimately takes all of the bite out of RED RIDING HOOD. By trying very hard to recapture that same desperate love at all costs tone the TWILIGHT series relies so heavily on, Hardwicke undermines the intensity of the more horrific story elements she has at her disposal. Seyfried is torn and to make matters worse, one of her suitors might actually be the wolf. Fortunately for her, loving the beast is fully acceptable behaviour for young girls these days. At least in the movies, it is.


Candice Frederick said...

i really wanna see this, but the twilight comparison do nothing for my interest :).

Black Sheep said...

To be fair, it is better than Twilight but not by much. The story and direction lack depth but it's very pretty and has its moments. It just gets somewhat silly when it descends into a whodunit to figure out who the wolf is, complete with numerous close-ups of shifty eyes!

See Jane Eyre instead.

InMovies said...

There has been a ton of talk over this movie resembling Twilight a tad bit too much. Same director, similar concept with the conflicting lovers. But why not follow the same feel to draw in the same demographic? For those to whom this movie appeals... it's perfect.

You're absolutely right though. It has beautiful scenery and even for those who aren't fans of this movie, it has it's moments (as you said).

Amanda Seyfried's performance was right on que! Apparently, she felt awkward re-watching some of her more intimate scenes. Haha, no one can blame her though!