Red Riding Hood

A revamp of classic fairy-tale Red Riding Hood put in the hands of the director of Twilight.

By Matthew Tyas | Last updated 3 May 2011

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A revamp of the classic fairy-tale Red Riding Hood has been put in the hands of the director of Twilight, a combination that on a lot of levels could be very promising.

Red Riding Hood is set in a small isolated town where the villagers live in fear of a werewolf that stalks the woods surrounding them. They believe it will leave them alone if they leave an animal sacrifice. But when one of the townspeople is killed, the villagers want its blood and go on a quest to kill it and request the help of a werewolf hunter, Father Soloman (Gary Oldman).

The story surrounds a young beautiful girl, Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) who is torn between two men, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) the man she has loved all her life, and Henry (Max Irons), the man her parents have arranged her to marry. As the wolf’s killings start to focus on Valerie and the people she loves, she must work out who the wolf is and why it wants her if she is to save more innocent lives.

Director of the film Catherine Hardwicke is best known for her work on the film Twilight. Red Riding Hood will not be able to get away from its Twilight comparisons as there are far too many to ignore. The love triangle in the film is soppy and over the top, a man with unrequited love having to watch on as she craves another man surely will be ringing some bells. The longing looks and passionate love scenes are so reminiscent to the point where, if you are not a fan of the Twilight series, it’s a safe bet that this will not be the film for you.

Aesthetically this film is very attractive, the bold colours of the red of Valerie’s cloak, Father Soloman’s green shirt and the grandmother’s blue dress all prominently clash against the grey background of the misty woods and it looks fantastic. The wooded area is very mystical and intriguing and this again lends comparisons to Hardwicke’s previous work. But when the most glowing thing you can say about a film is the way it looks, it’s not a good sign.

The casting of Amanda Seyfried is completely spot on, her doe eyed expressions and chemistry with Shiloh Fernandez is very captivating but the main problem with Red Riding Hood is it does not have much substance to it. The plot is rather messy and drags on where it should be action packed. Gary Oldman plays the evil part very well but even that role seems a little lacklustre. Where the plot should be building up suspense to a grand reveal, it merely ambles on until it stops. There is an element of a slasher appeal to it however, the “whodunit” element may keep you guessing and intrigued to the end but I fear it’s a film for the ones who enjoy a trashy teen romance, and nothing more.


Red Riding Hood is out now. Check our cinema listings for times near you.