Movie Review: Red Riding Hood (2011)

April 1, 2011 in Movie Reviews, Reviews by pacejmiller

No, this is no April Fools Day joke.  Of course I was warned, but I had a free ticket and I had to use it before expiry, so I went and watched one of the only films currently screening that I hadn’t yet seen — Red Riding Hood.

Directed by Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke, Red Riding Hood is a very very loose adaptation of the fairytale everyone knows about.  And in the tradition of that vampire film, Red Riding Hood is full of wistful glances, sexual tension and horrible dialogue between attractive young people — in this case Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez (who reminds me of Chuck Bass) and Max Irons.  Other common factors include werewolves and Billy Burke as the protagonist’s dad.

Anyway, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was complete trash, but Red Riding Hood just wasn’t very good.  It’s always interesting to see a ‘revisioning’ of an old tale, especially such a pretty one visually (nice little town and mixture of colours), but this one was uninspiring and lacked intelligence and creativity. 

In essence, this was a teen fantasy horror flick that was not very scary.  A werewolf is terrorising a small town and everyone is a suspect.  The mystery is what keeps the film afloat, but because all the characters (apart from Gary Oldman’s werewolf-slaying priest) are so bland and the love triangle so uninteresting, I found myself switching off.

Ultimately, Red Riding Hood was all style and little substance.  It looked pretty, with pretty people, pretty sets and pretty shots, resulting in a visually impressive film, but there wasn’t much else going for it.  I have a feeling they might have made a mistake by trying to make this a Twilight clone rather than utilise the fairytale premise for something more clever, something with more imagination, and something that didn’t take itself so seriously.

2 stars out of 5