Movie Review ‘Red Riding Hood’ from the director of ‘Twilight’

March 13, 2011 10:29 pm0 commentsViews: 22


The age-old children’s fable has perpetually been a werewolf story, and werewolf stories have perpetually been mythological ruminations regarding serial killers. therefore a movie that reaches back to suppose a medieval origin for the story is not conceptually misguided, though director Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood winds up that means.

Amanda Seyfried stars as Valerie, wearer of the titular red hood and resident of a village that is been terrorized for many years by a werewolf. To her, her fellow villagers’ misery is secondary to her own plight, as she’s promised in an organized wedding to Henry, son of the village blacksmith, nonetheless she’s in love with Peter, the ne’er-do-well woodcutter. true becomes a lot of immediate to Valerie when her own sister is killed and therefore the desperate townspeople decision on the Church to send them its renowned exorcist, Father Solomon (Gary Oldman). however Solomon’s revelation, that the monster is one amongst them, seizes the village in paranoid anxiety, with everybody able to denounce their own friends and family, and with Solomon’s Gestapo-like ways as unhealthy or worse than the monster itself.

I will live with this story; hell, i am excited regarding it, however i am less excited by the treatment, concentrating a lot of on teen angst than on the monster. It’s obvious, with the choice of Hardwicke as director, that the studio marketers are once the Twilight demographic, however i think they need fatally misjudged the story’s deeper potential, bypassing the broader market.

It’s tough if not not possible to ignore the blockbuster success of the Twilight franchise. i think that it owes its success to Hardwicks’s certain direction of its initial installment. Nevertheless, i am troubled by the prospect that vampires and werewolves may be reduced to brooding, misunderstood teen idols and large fuzzy puppy dogs. Vampires are mythological stand-ins for sexual predators, simply as werewolves are for serial killers. There has perpetually been a definite quantity of sympathy for these characters, all the means back to Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Junior, as tragic people who cannot management their compulsions, however to show them into hip antiheroes for teenage ladies to moon over fully refutes their dramatic operate in worldwide literature.

Who is that the werewolf? Is it Henry, the rich however boring blacksmith; Peter, the dangerously engaging woodcutter; the village idiot who will barely even speak; the shire reeve, who has inspired his townspeople to endure the monster for decades; Valerie’s drunken and ineffectual father; her own mother, who resents having been given to Valerie’s father in an organized marriage; or Valerie’s witchy grandmother who lives so much out of city however never looks to be in peril from the creature? To make sure, when it’s finally revealed, the werewolf of Red Riding Hood is indeed the classic monster that it ought to rightfully be, and as such you expect the film to be a lot of of an easy horror film; however, conflicted because it is regarding its own identity, it’s too timid to travel where it must.

The money and energy is definitely there, in addition because the solid, besides Seyfried and Oldman, together with Twilight’s Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen, Lucas Haas, Michael Hogan, and, in a resourceful piece of casting, veteran Julie Christie as Grandmother. however the great points of the film, together with a riveting sequence where Valerie comes face-to-face with the werewolf for the primary time, are fully submerged underneath the nonsense of it all. And never for a second do i think i am really in medieval times, as I did a few of months ago in Season of the Witch. Everybody’s hair and makeup is simply too good, like they only stepped out of the stereotypical Breck business, their clothing too exactingly tailored.

The middle a part of the film, concentrating on Oldman’s merciless investigation, is just about what it ought to be. The initial quarter and therefore the last quarter are nearly intolerable, resulting in a ridiculous ending. i could not facilitate however suppose what quantity higher a werewolf movie could be a low-cost very little providing referred to as Ginger Snaps Back, regarding 2 pioneer ladies trapped during a western fort and surrounded by Native yankee werewolves, that I solely caught 1/2 at 2:00 within the morning one night, nonetheless that manages to be braver and a lot of attention-grabbing with most likely but 1/10 of the budget of Red Riding Hood.

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