Posted by: popcouver | March 20, 2011

Red Riding Hood Review

Also on the docket for Sunday Move Reviews is Catherine Hardwicke’s newest film, Twilight. Oh wait, no, it’s Red Riding Hood. My bad!

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect about this film. I’d read that it was a lesser version of Stephenie Meyer’s cult classic and also that the storyline was unexpected, but I figured I may as well see it myself and see what the fuss is about.

So. My opinion. Hmm. Well, I suppose I left the theatre entertained. Perhaps not in the way that Hardwicke has intended, but entertained all the same. Leads Amanda Seyfriend, Shiloh Fernandez, and our Twilight fave Billy Burke tried their best, but the script didn’t help them out very much. Initially, the film came across as a sad reinvention of Twilight, what with the love triangle, forbidden love, and supernatural threat. However, it improved (slightly) as the story evolved.

The temporality of the film is the first issue. Though the story takes place (apparently) over three days, it almost feels like whiplash between night and day. Also, the time period remains yet to be determined. The costuming would suggest a medieval setting, but the language would suggest circa 2011? The accents varied from Texan to mainstream American English, but the story would have made a hell of a lot more sense if it was set in Europe. Also, the season were baffling. It seemed like the white substance on the ground throughout the film was meant to represent snow, but my group of friends came to a consensus that it must have been sand, because no one seemed to be very chilly, nor did the “snow” melt in the face of fire.

Next problem. The bounty of terrifying characters. I understand that in order to keep the fear of who is the werewolf, it is important to keep a bunch of scary could-be wolves lurking around the village. But by the end of the village, I was positive that about 5 characters were a) really creepy and b) the wolf. Grandma, the Priest, the Father, Peter, Henry?! How are you supposed to keep up with that? To be fair, they managed to keep the suspense until the very end of the film.

The best part? The minute and thirty seconds that Valerie (Seyfriend) and Peter (Fernandez) spend romping around in the “soft hay in the granary”. At least the two of them have chemistry! This may have been the only point in the film that my group of friends didn’t talk, and DAMN was it worth it.

Overall? A sad attempt at reworking a classic fairytale. The script was laughable, the characters transparent, and the scary parts were typical. Of course you’re going to jump if a massive wolf face appears to jump out of the screen at you. Hardwicke, you’re not proving anything here.

Overall, it was entertaining! Yes, there was violence, bad effects, gore, cannibalism, torture, and all around weirdness. But it was somewhat enjoyable! Just don’t be expected to be blown away. Unless you have an intense fear of wolves and stick around until the very end of the credits….


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