Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood

**

Reviewed by: Maria Realf

Take a 700-year-old legend, give it the brooding Twilight treatment, and you've got a monster hit on your hands, right? Hmmm. While it remains to be seen whether Red Riding Hood will give the vampire smash a run for its money at the box office, the early buzz would certainly suggest that the odds are looking Grimm.

The film centres around village beauty Valerie (Amanda Seyfried, of Mamma Mia! fame), who's in love with local woodcutter Peter (ah yes, it's all set in ye olden days), despite being betrothed to the dashing but dull Henry. But just when she thinks life is complicated enough, her younger sister is brutally slain by a wolf, and both boys set out to hunt and kill the beast. The only trouble is, they're not dealing with your bog-standard big bad wolf, but a shapeshifting werewolf - and it could be any one of the villagers...

Copy picture

This 'whodunnit' element is by far the most interesting part of the plot, and should keep you guessing until the end (even if the denouement is somewhat disappointing). But aside from that, and some beautifully atmospheric visuals, there's not much else to be said in the film's favour. The dialogue is laughable, the acting talent is wasted (especially Gary Oldman and Julie Christie), and by halfway through you're beginning to wish the wolf would just eat the entire village.

Though there are numerous similarities with helmer Hardwicke's previous effort Twilight - the striking tree-top shots, the angsty love triangle, the casting of Billy Burke and of course, the human turned werewolf - it lacks the moody magic of the fang-tastic teen drama. And while the new boys in the Hood (Fernandez and Irons) are easy enough on the eyes, they don't quite have the star quality of R-Patz.

Overall this is a disappointing effort from a clearly talented director. My, how I wish it had bigger teeth.

Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2011
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The director of Twilight returns with this dark take on the legendary tale.
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Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Writer: David Johnson

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons

Year: 2011

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US, Canada

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If you like this, try:

The Company of Wolves
Twilight