Red Riding Hood fails to impress
The story of Red Riding Hood is something we all know. Girl meets wolf, wolf eats grandma, wolf acts like grandma, woodsman kills wolf, Red Riding Hood makes a fashion statement. So what happens when one takes the classic tale and translates it into a hackneyed romance adventure film? Nothing special. The story begins with a young girl named Valerie, played by Amanda Seyfried, who is also known as Red Riding Hood. She is in love with a woodsman named Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), however her family has promised her hand in marriage to the local blacksmith, Henry. To complicate matters, a werewolf kills her sister, and preys on their village, which horrifies the whole town. After mourning for her sister, the men in the town gather up and go hunting, determined to find and slay the savage beast.
The townspeople think they've killed the beast until Father Solomon, played by Gary Oldman, shows up. He informs them that the werewolf still lives among them. The townspeople scoff at him and celebrate their victory. However, they are interrupted by the beast, a large CGI wolf that kills several villagers without breaking a sweat.
The directing by Twilight's Catherine Hardwicke is weak. What genre is this movie going for exactly anyways? It's too tame to be horror, too mundane to be fantasy.
The only genre it really fits into is romance, fulfilling its reputation as a relative of the tried and true supernatural love formula found in the Twilight movies.
The two male leads are boring, and the love triangle is sorted out by a "love conquers all" Hollywood ending, which leaves one yawning and counting the ceiling tiles.
The acting in this film is sub par at best. Even seasoned veterans like Virginia Madsen, playing the character of Suzette, and Oldman can't hold together the mess left by the three competitively boring leads. Oldman maybe turns out the best performance in the film as a fanatical werewolf stalker driven mad by the hunt.
His performance stands out as separate from the sappy acting of Amanda Seyfried and Shiloh Fernandez, something both actors should take note of. However, this is not nearly enough to save this deeply flawed and ultimately boring film.
The thing about "Red Riding Hood" is that it's not just a bad movie; it's an awful movie, one that inspires not hatred in its audience, but a tired indifference. By the time the werewolf was revealed, enough interest is lost in the redundant plot line as to whether anyone in the movie lived or died. Maybe next time someone wants to remake a fairy tale, they'll stick with "Goldilocks" and leave the werewolf action to the experts.