Movie Review – Red Riding Hood (2011)

Movie Review - Red Riding Hood (2011)Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Writer: David Johnson
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas and Gary Oldman

Here is my disclaimer. This type of film is really not my cup of tea. I have never watched any of the Twilight films. No, I am not one of those guys that trashes the movies because of the glitter or any of that nonsense. I firmly believe that you need to see a film before you can comment on it, hence I cannot comment on the Twilight series.

With that aside, I was sort of looking forward to Red Riding Hood. I was skeptical that this film would be far too much of a love story for my tastes. On the bright side, the script was written by David Johnson, whose only other screenplay credit is the 2009 film Orphan, which I was a huge fan of.

Per the original story, Little Red Riding Hood is a girl named Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), who lives in a small village called Daggerhorn that has been plagued by the curse of a werewolf for years. Valerie is in love with a woodcutter named Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), but her mother Suzette (Virginia Madsen) wants her to marry a local blacksmith name Henry (Max Irons). Not sure if blacksmiths are cooler than woodcutters, but apparently that is the case in this movie. Virginia Madsen makes that perfectly clear.

Veteran actresses Julie Christie and Virginia Madsen star in this film. Add to that, Gary Oldman as Father Solomon whom steals the screen in any role that he is in. Another actor that I love is Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica). This is all on top of Amanda Seyfried, who is quickly emerging as an extremely rare talent.

With all of these positives going for it, the film was an absolute train wreck. This was a tough watch. It was an over the top mess. The set pieces looked like something out of a stage play. I am not sure if that was the effect that they were going for, but the film in no way presented an atmosphere of the open wilderness, or even a true village.

The mystery was not exactly revolutionary. By paying attention to little things in the beginning sections of the film, the mystery was pretty much spelled out. I did enjoy the reveal though towards the end of the film where they actually used a portion of the true Red Riding Hood tale. It was not something that I even expected at that point due to its lack of focus in the other parts of the movie.

As I originally stated, this type of movie is not my type of movie, but I went in with an open mind and was hoping to enjoy it. I did enjoy some individual performances, but the writing was pretty bad. I am wondering if this movie really even has an audience, but I would assume that teenage girls may enjoy this movie. I am not even sure about that though.

If you have seen it, post your thoughts on here.

Red Riding Hood - Amanda Seyfried