What happens when Hollywood decides to retell a classic children’s story for grown ups? In the case of the DVD release of Red Riding Hood, the results were more disappointing than inspired storytelling for the masses.
Red Riding Hood followed good girl Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) who was the product of an arranged marriage between Cesaire (Billy Burke) and Suzette (Virginia Madsen). She was destined to follow in their footsteps in a pre-arranged marriage to the wealthy Henry (Max Irons) while her heart truly belonged to the rebellious Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). Unfortunately, the couple’s plan to run away together is put to a halt after her sister is killed by a werewolf who has terrorized the town for many years. Enter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) with a plan to out the werewolf by using Valerie as bait. How does her grandmother (Julie Christie) and her love life fit into the equation? Will Valerie survive the wolf or lose something far greater?
In terms of plot, Red Riding Hood has plenty but doesn’t know how to properly use it. Instead of going for the horror dynamic, the movie launched into Twilight rehash that tested the audience’s patience a little too much. The majority of the film was spend going back and forth between Peter and Henry while the werewolf plot was thrown in the background as an afterthought. The film’s only true surprise was the reveal of the wolf’s identity near the very end. The reveal was so far out of left field that it almost made up for the rest of the film. Seyfried does a valiant effort to make the audience overlook the movie’s flaws by allowing them to identify with Valerie’s quest for true love no matter what. Her vulnerability is written all over her face even when she wielding a weapon. The supporting cast was mostly overlooked, except for the usually villainous Oldman and the equally creepy Christie, for the more youthful love triangle. Even though Oldman and Christie didn’t have many scenes, they had more of an impact than the film probably intended. Even when the wolf was exposed in human form.
Verdict: A movie that puts a new spin on a fairy tale classic with underwhelming results.
Movie Score: 2 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: PG-13
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)