Instead, suspense is not built up over the movie’s cheesy mystery but over the very real mystery of why the filmmakers did not notice how the characters, so important to the story, were very poorly developed. Moreover, the actors’ performances are slighted by this inexcusable error in the script, their listless attitude towards their respective roles further degrading this farce of a story. Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, and Max Irons are the incompatible trio who are stuck in a very confusing love triangle, which in turn is unbelievably unromantic and emotionless. Even the promised violence is affected; the computer-generated wolf looks like an image straight out of The Twilight Saga, the “type” of werewolf it is as unoriginal as it can possibly be. Moreover, there are not enough references to Little Red Riding Hood, despite that this is an adult version of the tale.
The only elements of the film that almost replace all those essentials necessary for a good novel (let alone a movie) are the scenery and the score. The score does implement too many themes of rock and roll music, but at least the music gives some sense of mystery to this predictable “whodunit” plot. Also, the very mystical, fairy-tale-like shots of misty mountains, dark forests, and wooden villages are an interesting, fantastical take on Germany’s Black Forest. Unfortunately, the potential Red Riding Hood initially had as a teenage horror movie got lost in a frenzy of lost direction and befuddled ideas. This movie is exactly what critics predicted it would be—a copy of Twilight with even less imagination and originality.
Red Riding Hood is available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc wherever movies are sold in Fresno and online; it also can be rented for free from local libraries.