Red Riding Hood
Release year: 2011
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie, Shauna Kain
Valerie (Seyfried) is torn between two men, the orphan woodcutter Peter (Fernandez), whom she loves and the wealthy Henry (Irons), whom her parents has arranged for her to marry. But when a giant wolf starts attacking and killing the villagers Valerie gets other concerns. Because for some reason, she can talk to the wolf.
Putting a horror twist on the classic fairytale, Red Riding Hood cleverly draws the werewolf into the story of the innocent maiden clad in red on her way to her grandmother’s. As in other stories, where the monster is in human form for the majority of the time, the movie has a well-working sense of paranoia after it becomes more and more clear, that the wolf may be one from within the village walls. Is it him? Or her? Together with Valeria we wonder while Mandy Walker treats us with beautiful cinematography of darkness with splashes of colour. Seyfried (Jennifer’s Body, 2009) is well-casted with her big baby-blue eyes, Christie (Doctor Zhivago, 1965) the right mixture between maternal care and witchery while Oldman (Dracula, 1992) as always deliver an intense performance with plenty of presence. But you can’t help feeling that the story is constantly holding back, like it builds up to secrets never revealed as it lulls you into submission with an ill-fitting lullaby-like soundtrack. It would have suited the story to either take itself less serious or be more serious instead of this strange blend of the two.
Shipped to theaters under the code name “Fangs of Affection”.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video