Film Review: Red Riding Hood 2011

Friday, April 01, 2011

This movie was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who also helmed the first Twilightfilm. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you know that BEFORE seeing this movie. Otherwise, you’ll be horrifically unprotected as you walk through a story of nearly thinking that you’re watching Twilight Saga itself.
Red Riding Hood is obviously the latest in what’s becoming a long line of fairy tales that Hollywood is giving a “modern day re-telling.” It’s a period piece set in a small village. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is in an arranged marriage to a blacksmith named Henry, even though she loves a woodcutter named Peter. All the while, the village is haunted every full moon by a vicious werewolf, who we later learn wants to take Valerie away from the village.
With help from the somewhat deranged Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), the village attempts to rid itself of the sadistic beast.

But the pressing question is, just WHO is this werewolf that haunts the village? The answer will change Valerie’s life forever. Similarly, this film will change your life forever, as you’ll never get these 120 minutes back. LOL. But seriously, since I’m a big fan of Amanda Seyfried, I will let it pass. Is it just me or do I just feel the Twilight vibes throughout the movie. Honetly speaking some of the characters here acted really lame especially the Peter guy.

The only actress that comes out of this movie looking decent is Amanda Seyfried, and that’s because she’s the only one whose character has more than one dimension to it. Everyone else’s character is simply defined by their relationship to Valerie (i.e. they want her, they’re related to her, they want to take her away, etc). The Valerie character was the only one who had any depth.
In any event, I get the impression that all these problems with the actors can be traced back not to their talent level, but the film’s writing and directing. The dialogue makes it feel like a daytime soap opera aimed at teenagers, I’d rather watch Mara Clara or Temptation of Wife. But it’s not just the words that are said, it’s the WAY the actors are saying them, which brings me back to Catherine Hardwicke, who was obviously trying to use her Twilight formula on this film. It’s laughable at times. Where’s Regina George when you needed her? Twilight fans, please don’t hate me, I’m stating a fact.

One of the few positive things I can say about this film is that it has very effective music. Brian Reitzell’s score is most certainly worthy of a horror film, and it does give some much needed enhancement to certain scenes. The problem is, this film induces the wrong kind of horror. The costumes are also decent, but nothing terribly memorable. I can think of a much appropriate costumes for this movie like the ones they used in the Robinhood movie or something like that.
Still, Red Riding Hood isn’t a total loss. If you like to go to the theater and have a good “What were they thinking?” chuckle, this film is definitely up your alley.  To say the least, the fairy tale deserves MUCH better than it got from this film. I would still love to watch The Big Bad Wolf of Walt Disney, cartoons but hey, I know I’ll enjoy it. I still love you Amanda Seyfried :)

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