Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
Gary Oldman—Father Solomon
Lukas Haas—Father Auguste
Michael Shanks—Adrien Lazar
Julie Christie—Red’s Grandmother
|Director:||Catherine Hardwicke—“The Nativity Story” (2006), “Twilight” (2008), “Lords of Dogtown,” “Thirteen”|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Believe the legend. Beware the wolf.”
In Catherine Hardwicke’s version of Red Riding Hood, melodrama and painfully long, silent expressions poses more screen time than any semblance of actual plot. In a remote village, tucked deep into the mountain forest, its inhabitants live in fear of a wolf which has plagued them for two decades. Believing themselves safe, if they offer up livestock sacrifices during a full moon, everyone lives under this cloud of terror.
Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), is a young girl in love with her childhood friend Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) while tragically betrothed to the blacksmith’s son Henry. Peter and Valerie make a plan to run away together, but just as they are about to leave the village bell rings to signify that someone has been killed by the wolf. When the two lovers learn that the victim is Valerie’s sister their plans unravel and the next few days change the course of each of their lives, (Valerie, Henry and Peter) in incredible ways…
I have typed and retyped this line over a dozen times. Nothing I can say does this film any sort of justice. Ethical issues aside, this movie is horrible. From the very first scenes the dialogue is spotty. There is zero character development before the film jumps off into melodrama so thick and syrupy that it makes daytime television look relaxed. If you are a fan of Twilight and the camerawork/imagery, then you will probably like the look of Red Riding Hood. If you enjoyed the abrupt nature of the soundtrack jaggedly dispersed throughout Twilight, then you will probably like that same style in this film. In fact, those two technical qualities considered, they could be the same film. The very small amount of storyline that Red Riding Hood has going for it is predictable and could likely be squeezed into a 30 minute television show and still be awful. The performances are unrealistic and disconnected. The only aspect of this entire movie that has any sort of chemistry is the scenes of sensual/sexual nature and even those aren’t good.
Violence: From the wolf-scratched dead body very near the beginning, there are scenes of a mob hunting the wolf, many bodies scattered throughout the film, as well as shooting, stabbing and torture scenes.
Sex/Nudity: While there is no nudity, the sexuality is the only constant theme throughout the film. Every scene that Valerie and Peter have together is either wrought with blatant sexual torture at not being able to touch each other, or very lust-driven exercises, complete with lots of touching and more.
If it weren’t for the sexual spark between the two main characters, there would be no connection between any of the characters, at all. Without any exaggeration, I can honestly say this is one of the worst films I have ever sat through. There is not anyone I to whom I could recommend this movie.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.