“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Catherine Hardwicke / Actors: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Lukas Haas ... / DVD released 2011-08-22 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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When the director of Twilight serves up a 'whodunnit' thriller featuring a story that is very familiar, featuring a werewolf, you expect it to be glossy and with plenty of feeling and emotion, perhaps the occasional slice of romance, and plenty of visually engaging scenes to excite the eyeballs. Catherine Hardwicke's Red Riding Hood does go some way to providing a good thriller, that's for sure, but the perpetual darkness and occasional pointless subplot and unexplained development leave this as one that feels more like a disappointment than a triumph.
Amanda Seyfried stars as Valerie, a young woman who has fallen for a woodcutter when her family want her to marry the local rich boy. This causes a bit of a stir because as we know, nothing can conquer true love. The slightly fairy tale feel to it doesn't last long though as people start getting killed by an unknown beast that comes only at night and ravages its victims. Along comes Gary Oldman, playing a medieval hero on a steed, no less, with a band of armoured warriors. He takes over, punishing anyone and everyone who tries to stand in his way, and the villagers just seem to let him. I mean, who put him in charge!
Naturally, all anyone can think about is catching this beast, and when they realise that the beast is really after Valerie for company and not to kill, and that it must be a shapeshifter that lives among them as a human by day, the mystery does heat up a bit. However, it's incredibly lacklustre for the most part and because we're confined to watching a lot of it by dark due to the affliction, we're also sadly confined to squinting at the screen a lot of the time to see who's who and what's going on. Vying for Valerie's affections are our two young studs, Peter the woodcutter (Shiloh Fernandez, cut the Peter and the wold jokes) and Henry the rich boy (Max Irons, er no jokes). The thing is, it's actually very hard to tell them apart at the best of times, let alone in the dark. Same build, same hair, same angry look...it's impossible to work out which is which sometimes. Different clothes though, although you can't see cos it's dark and they never seem to wash their clothes!
The acting is decent enough I suppose. It's certainly an impressive cast list, with recognisables such as Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie joining us, the latter playing Valerie's grandma. Yes yes yes, it's the grandma of the whole fairy tale, Red Riding Hood, Seyfried as Valeries wears a red cape quite a lot during the film, there never seems any kind of reason for it to be honest, but still it's the title and tradition, so it's there. I have to give Hardwicke her due her as well, despite the relatively dark and dull nature of the film, the red cape, much as with Nic Roeg's Don't Look Now and Dario Argento's Bird with the Crystal Plummage, is a vivid spot whenever it's around on screen. The director certainly didn't miss a trick with this one.
I suppose as the film wanes towards the end, there are numerous scenes where all of the major players, and some minor ones too, are put in the frame for being the wolf, and this is another cleverly woven part of the tale. There was a danger here that as the film was meandering towards a predictable and undramatic conclusion that this would be one I'd feel like turning off. I never do with a film, but often feel like it. I would always give a film a chance until the end, and the same with a book. This was to be no exception and it was actually worth waiting for. The confusion of certain elements such as Oldman's bullying and controlling entry and other such elements of the film. You expect Twilight to have a bit of confusion as it's a series of films and you anticipate an answer in the following film, but this isn't such a case and everything needed to be cleared up - it wasn't.
Overall then, I have to say I was disappointed. It's an average watch with an exciting conclusion and some clever elements. It does not a lot other than that, and the vast majority of the film is full of confusion more than anything else. Make your own mind up, it's something to entertain on the dreariest of nights when nothing else is on, but don't bother otherwise.
For the past few years and the following year, fairytale remakes/reboots/adaptations/modernisations have been very popular in film, and with 'Red Riding Hood', this was one of those rare opportunities to really create something beautiful.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) have always been a bit of a rebel. Running around in the woods with lover Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), killing rabbits, resisting her impending arranged marriage to Henry (Max Irons)... but when her sister gets killed by the werewolf, and is told by famed werewolf killer Solomon (Gary Oldman) that it is someone from their village, suspicions arise as to who it is.
As the blood moon rises, the werewolf approaches Valerie and tells her it wants her. Who could it be? Her mysterious grandmother? Her dark lover Peter? Her fiance she doesn't love? The hunt begins...
This intriguing game of cat and mouse and of mystery is the background to this potentially superb movie. From the trailer, it is also shot beautifully- the colours, the direction... and this is reflected in the movie. I loved the snow scenes and the exaggerated red tones- the cinematography is beautiful.
Some of you may recognise this art direction as being very similar to the Twilight films as it is by the same director. Similarly, the complex love triangle and the confused girl in the middle is also reminiscent of the popular franchise.
However, perhaps that is where this film goes wrong. Instead of being an artistic yet thrilling movie, it aims too low as a teen flick- the not so impressive script, the tacky special effects (seriously, that werewolf was disturbingly fake) and the teen romance. Not here for that!
The film could've thrived on suspense- not revealing the appearance of the wolf at all perhaps, just hints, here and there... which the film sort of started to do with it pointing the finger at many of the characters, but not enough; the focus was drawn far too much on the romance and not so much on the mystery.
That said, I was very intrigued to find out who the wolf actually was and the ending was half a pleasant one. It was a good ending in terms of resolving the problems at hand, yet also creating a dilema (which I love) in a cliffhanger, romantic, sad sort of way, but what I was displeased with was the execution of this. It could've been melachonic, yet it (due to being made for a teen audience) became again slightly wasted and made much less cinematic.
Amanda Seyfried- Valerie/ Red
Gary Oldman- Soloman
Shiloh Fernandez- Peter
Max Irons- Henry
Also stars Billy Burke, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie.
Amanda Seyfried was a brilliant choice to play as Red- the pale skin, the red lips, the big eyes... and she looked phenomenal in that red cape. Male leads Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons were clearly cast as the Twilight parallels- one dark, broody, the other sensible, handsome. They do nothing to showcase their acting talents, but they do have a pretty face.
Gary Oldman was disturbingly annoying- and I just wanted him gone from the moment he set foot in the village.
Simply put, 'Red Riding Hood' was a wasted opportunity. Despite the beautiful imagery of the film, the plot, the style, the script lacks depth and focus. Whilst it could've been an artistic yet dark thriller (much like what 'Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters will be when it is released in 2013), this fails even as a teen flick. That said, Twilight fans might like this. Perhaps.
I have been wanting to watch Red Riding Hood ever since I saw the trailers. It looked cheesy and is most certainly aimed at the young teen market, but something about the imagery drew me in, and I quite like Amanda Seyfried so was hoping that it would still be a reasonable way to pass some time. I borrowed this DVD from a friend, but can see that it is available from www.amazon.co.uk for £4.99, with a selection also available on offer via the marketplace.
Format: Region 2 - 1 disc DVD
Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Jen Halley, Cole Heppell, Max Irons
Certificate rating: 12
Tagline: Believe the legend. Beware the wolf.
===THE BACK OF THE BOX BLURB===
Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) directs a fantasy thriller that puts a haunting twist on the classic fairy tale. For years the villagers of Daggerthorn have maintained an uneasy truce with a werewolf - but the beast changes the staked by killing the older sister of brave young Valerie (Amanda Seyfried). Promised in marriage to one man but in love with another, Valerie is affected yet again by the creature's bloody actions. When a werewolf hunter warns that the beast takes human form by day and walks among them, panic sets in as the death toll rises. And Valerie learns she has a unique connection to the wolf that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect...and bait.
I won't go too much into the story as I'm sure we all know about Red Riding Hood from bedtime stories and books. The fairy tale has been re-worked for a young adult audience, by the same director from the Twilight films. I cannot compare the two as I've never seen Twilight, but I believe it runs on a parallel with the theme of a teenage romance full of ups and downs as emotions and hormones run high, with a love triangle at the middle of it. Oh yeah, and there's a werewolf attacking their village so they should really do something about that.
I found the characters in this film to be a little plain. They play their parts and give a good performance but for me I didn't feel there was any spark, and I wasn't really engaged with the characters like I usually am when I'm watching a film. I liked the mystery element to the plot as it did a good job of keeping me guessing and I didn't figure out who the werewolf was before the reveal at the end. On the plus side for female viewers, there are plenty of attractive and moody looking brunette men to make it easy on the eye, and for male viewers, Amanda Seyfried is looking gorgeous as always. Gary Oldman is the biggest name in the cast, but I also found his character the most annoying and his OTT performance was awful to watch. The rest of the cast blend in well, and they all look the part with their excellent costumes.
The special effects in this film were very impressive and it was a real treat to watch in this respect. The sets and scenery are absolutely beautiful, and there are some stunning landscapes depicted. I believe they have been enhanced in post-production as some of the settings look almost like paintings, which really adds to the feeling of a fantasy world. There are some rich, enhanced colours which stand out and add details to the scenes, in particular Valerie's iconic red cloak, and near the beginning there are some funny looking hay stacks with the most lovely blue flowers covering them. Colours and lighting are used for dramatic effect and help to set the tone of the scene. The music was also very well done, and helps create the right atmosphere.
I was mostly surprised that there is little to no gore or violence during any of the action scenes. There is the suggestion, but we never really see anything actually happening, and it seems that the special effects resources have all gone into CGI with the werewolf itself being a digital creation. I quite liked how the wolf was presented, they seem to have glamourised the typical werewolf image and given it a thick, glossy black coat and a long swishy tail which reminded me of a horse! The werewolf also had another cool feature which I haven't seen used in other werewolf films, and this intrigued me enough to do a little google research into it, but then thinking back to the original fairy tale it seems like the wolf would have definitely had this special power anyway, so it was a good use of taking the original material from the fairy tale and twisting it slightly to make it more exciting. (Sorry for the vagueness but didn't want to spoil it as I enjoyed the surprise of seeing this happen in the film!).
Although I am a huge fan of horror and monster movies are my absolute favourite, I must admit I haven't seen a great deal of werewolf films. When I was a teenager my favourite werewolf film was An American Werewolf in Paris, which is a million miles away from Red Riding Hood. It was modern, funny, sexy and scary. Compared to this I felt a little disappointed by Red Riding Hood as the violence and horror have been kept toned down enough to fit into the 12 rating certificate and it could have been much more effective with the extra blood and scares that a 15 rating would allow. This could have also helped to develop the romance scenes, as the most we get here is a quick grope and a shot of Valerie's cleavage, when there was a perfectly good set up for a steamy sex scene among the hay stacks in a barn. I'd say the content is appropriate for the "tween" market it is aimed at, but I was left wanting more and I don't think this film is going to be overly appealing to an adult audience.
Only one little extra on this DVD, I would have liked to see something about the making of and special effects, but this is short and sweet and still a nice bonus on top of the film itself.
+ Deleted scenes. Just over four minutes long in total. There are a selection of scenes that didn't make it to the final cut, and for a change I actually enjoyed watching these deleted scenes. I felt like they added something to the story and would have deserved their place in the film. I think they may have been left out to keep the suspense and not give away too many hints to the plot. Definitely worth a watch after you've finished the main feature.
Red Riding Hood
The classic fairy tale turned on its head and bought to modern day audiences from the director of Twilight, with that typical Twilight feel to it.
The first thing that drew me to this film was the cast. Although not a huge star-studded cast, one name in particular stood out for me - the award winning Gary Oldman who takes on his role with such power that even though he is not the starring role, he almost leads the cast to victory. The main cast is a small one, though a fantastically chosen cast with some superb acting. The main cast includes;
Amanda Seyfried ... Valerie
Gary Oldman ... Solomon
Billy Burke ... Cesaire
Shiloh Fernandez ... Peter
Max Irons ... Henry
Virginia Madsen ... Suzette
Julie Christie ... Grandmother
There are many other cast members, all with decent roles and above average acting, though the ones specified above are the ones to watch out for. Of course, as already stated, Oldman is once again fantastic in his role of Soloman which is supported by extraordinary abilities of Seyfried, Fernandez and Irons who each in turn play their part perfectly.
Red Riding Hood is set in a Medieval village in the middle of nowhere where Valerie falls in love with a brooding, orphaned outsider, though her parents want her to marry the wealthy Henry so that she has a standing in life which they never had. Unwilling to lose one another, Valerie and Peter prepare to run away with one another, though before they can make their move, they learn that Valerie's sister has been killed by the werewolf which has been terrorising their village for years. The villagers have been maintaining an uneasy truce with the werewolf over the years, though as the blood red moon threatens, it is clear that the werewolf has upped the stakes and starts taking human lives one by one. Hungry for revenge, the villagers call in famed werewolf hunter, Solomon, to help kill the wolf, though his arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns then all that the werewolf in among them and will soon do more than just take the life of someone.
The story is a mix of classic fairy tale story telling and modern horror fantasy, and whilst the story is nothing new, it captures the audiences attention right from the start - possibly due to the great acting.
I was not sure that I would love this film at first, even though it did appeal to me in the main, though I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I manages to pick it up from Sainsbury's for £5.00 which is a great deal and I would fully recommend this movie to those who love story retellings with a mix of fantasy and mild horror.
The classic story of red riding hood gets a real twilightish revamp. The new movie gets under the skin of the story and reveals the real reason why the wolf ate the grandma. It puts in many dark and twisty turns in that you would expect from the director of twilight.
The movie shows the recent mama mia star Amanda in a new light and shows that she can easily adapt and I found myself really believing her character and with the Amazing acting of the rest of the cast the realtionships are believable and you find yourself sucked into the world and along with Valerie spending the whole film trying to work out the real idenity of the Wolf.
The writer has added many other under stories that cna prove quite disturbing such as a mentally un-stable brother that is eventually tortured and a horrible priest that proves to be very twisted. In some ways these parts of the film could prove to deter people but others it will just make the film seem more real.
The overall feel of the film is much darker than say twilight and isn't so suited to the younger viewers; I love the film but after reading the book do prefer some aspects of the book over the film but will happily watch the film over again.
Red Riding Hood is one of the many well known fairy tales out there. This modern take on the tale is fantastic. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Amanda Seyfried as Valerie, Gary Oldman as Solomon, Billy Burke as Cesaire, Shiloh Fernandez as Peter and Max Irons as Henry, this star cast aswell as being easy on the eyes! Work really well together to portray the characters.
The village of Daggerhorn has been connected with a werewolf for years giving it an animal sacrifice every month under a blood red moon, however the wolf changes things when he kills Valerie's older sister. Valerie is a beautiful young woman promised to marry the lovely, wealthy Henry. Valerie, however, has other plans as she is in love with the wood cutter Peter who her family does not agree with. Wanting to run away with Peter so they can be together doesn't go so well when they find out about her sister being killed. The villagers call in Father Solomon to hunt the wolf as they find out that the wolf is actually someone walking among them in the day. Valerie soon finds out she has a strange connection to the wolf making things dangerous for everyone....She finds out who the big bad wolf is.....
This film is beautifully shot and keeps you guessing the whole time, who is the wolf?! It has romance, horror, death and action. Not your standard fairy tale re-telling but it's a very enjoyable film with a great cast. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?!.....
First "Twilight," now "Red Riding Hood," Catherine Hardwicke seems to be working her way through directing films that deal with brooding teens and their messy love triangles set amidst a misty, grey backdrop with supernatural creatures. But it would be unfair to totally dismiss her effort as a director. After all, she has directed the best (and I am using that term very carefully here) "Twilight" film to date. With "Red Riding Hood," the entire theme seems more erotically charged, and with a creepier, more tense atmosphere that is ready to boast some action, it seems to be on the right track becoming a knock-out hit for the struggling sub-genre of teenage fantasy fairytale romance. Basically, for the first few minutes of Hardwicke's latest, it looked as though everything that is wrong with the "Twilight" franchise was being corrected here.
Sadly, this is not to be, for the tale of "The Little Red Riding Hood" is ripped to shreds and barely put back together in a way it makes coherent sense, or to provide any sense of motive or purpose to the characters we are introduced to. And oh there are many, many characters involved in this little gimmick wolf-involving whodunit drama. Far too many one might add. There is of course the obligatory love triangle, which is not all bad to start off with. There is heated passion between Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) a wide-eyed (check), young (check), beautiful (check), innocent girl (check), who is torn between her true love Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) and a rich boy Henry (Max Irons) who her parents (Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen) are insisting she marry. They're both not bad to look at which takes some burden off her shoulders.
But like any wishful thinking teenage girl, Valerie plans on running away with Peter. Where this whole story is set is never clear to begin with, as are her escape route and destination. But her romantic dream is interrupted by a wolf attack. It has happened before, and the villagers have offered sacrifice in the past but obviously it's not working so well. This time, the wolf has killed Valerie's sister. Time to put that little plan of yours on hold Valerie. After this brutal murder, the unavoidable finger-pointing starts with various characters lining themselves up to be the main suspects. Could it be Valerie's mysterious grandmother (Julie Christie) who lives alone in the forest? Could it be one of the two men who want her so desperately? Perhaps. Any observant viewers would be able to figure out this mystery in the first 20 minutes. That is how unsubtle and obvious Hardwicke's direction can be. Even the red herrings don't have a significant enough impact to make this wolf chase anything but tedious.
The trouble is, no matter how much thundering, thumping music backs the terrifying wolf's attack sequences, it's hard to care about any of it. Even when Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a supposedly famous and skilled witch hunter enters the picture, the film fails to pick up any energy from its own deadbeat, dragging plot. Solomon declares the wolf is actually a werewolf. The audience is neither startled nor surprised. Why did it take so long for everyone to figure that out? Oldman's overly serious tone, something that doesn't even get close to matching the banal dynamic Hardwicke manages to put together, is unintentionally hilarious, which goes to show just how many mismatched themes are packaged here as one film. He chews the scenery just as the werewolf rips apart its victims.
After a while, even the guessing game loses its steam. We lost interest in the love triangle a long time before that. So why should you keep watching? Well, if you're not a fan of Seyfried or impeccably designed set pieces, you really shouldn't carry on. Seyfried, the doe-eyed rising star with immense appeal is able to just about hold the film together. Her vulnerability shines through whichever angle Hardwicke decides to capture her in, and although she for some reason has very little to do for a lead female protagonist, Seyfried's occasional looks of shock and horror transfer well on screen and it becomes clear she is the most wasted person in the cast. She is also far too good for the two men who try to woo her, as both Fernandez and Irons look uninspired and unmotivated throughout. That also brings up the question as to why Valerie finds either one of them at all attractive. Despite their supposed difference in wealth, Fernandez and Irons look and behave in the same way, and their flat performances make you wonder whether they really are in love with Valerie.
Despite its many, many shortfalls in trying to reimagine a classic story, the film's portrayal of its isolated, spooky village is spot-on. The stunning aerial shot that swoops across the landscape in the first scene instantly captures the foggy, intimate, close-knit atmosphere. When the wolf strikes and threatens to destroy the village, it is easy to wonder just why it takes such a long time. The mystery surrounding the wolf could have been more carefully handled, but Hardwicke decides to unleash her beast too soon, taking a lot of excitement out of the film in the process. The villagers are absolutely defenseless - even the soldiers Father Solomon brings along with him are useless and are thrown around by the wolf like a pack of rabbits. It appears the wolf has it out for Valerie, who has, unbeknownst to her, the ability to communicate with the wolf. He wants her to come away with him and claims he knows everything about her. Sounds creepy, but in fact the wolf throws in way too many cringe-worthy, cheesy lines only fit for Disney villains that no matter how low-pitched and growly its voice is, the wanted effect of scaring the audience is completely misjudged.
Most pointless and shocking is the incredibly lazy attempt at trying to squeeze in the famous lines of the fairytale: "Grandmother, what big eyes you have," and the rest of the story's dialogue is misplaced and misused in the most inappropriate, ironic way possible, since "Red Riding Hood" was a folly attempt and a poor excuse to put an original spin on a tiresome teenage love triangle. It limps along, with the occasional too-cool-for-school soundtrack filling in the gaps and noisy action scenes trying to impress. But not a single aspect of this feels at all authentic nor do any dark, cold portrayals of the shadowy forest have any profound effect to improve the film's overall messy structure. As reimaginings go, this is a half-hearted, careless one, and a waste of some fine actors.
"Red Riding Hood" inspired by fairy tale "The Little Red Riding Hood" is an American horror film by Warner Brothers and was released in UK cinemas in March 2011; it is not yet out on DVD but due to be released in August later this year and is rated a PG-13. The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke who directed the first Twilight film (2008) and is part produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and his film company "Appian Way" - who has also previously been involved in the production of the brilliant horror film "Orphan" (2009).
Red Riding Hood & the Big Bad Wolf
The original story of "Red Riding Hood" is basically about the little girl who wears a red hooded cloak and while on her way to her grandmother's, comes across a wolf and naively tells him where she is heading. So he makes his way to her Grandmother's house before she does, eats her Gran, and then pretends to be her Gran. When Little Red Riding hood arrives, he eats her up too but is later saved by a hunter who cuts open the wolf and pulls out the little girl and Gran unharmed - all this stressing the dangers of being alone in the forest and of strangers.
We all know this story, and whether you liked the fairy tale or not I suppose it wont influence whether you decide to watch it or not as this film is not a direct take on this tale in any way other than the fact that the film features a girl who wears a bright red hooded coat, it has a grandmother and a wolf in it. It has some of the themes and images you would expect from the actual fairy tale such as the dark eerie forest, a small village, and the grandmother's quaint little house or cabin. Other than that the stories are pretty different - but I suppose this could work to the films advantage making it a more appealing story by supporting curiosity in a way.
In this film, Red Riding Hood acquires her red cloak from her Grandmother who has made it for her for her wedding; And the wolf in this film, talks (to some people only) like we already know he does from the tale, but this wolf is a werewolf - he transforms from human to wolf in the night.
The story of this film is based in the town of Daggerhorn which was previously attacked by the wolf - this wolf is back after 20 years ready to terrorise again. So the men in the village go out into the woods to hunt down the wolf. They later return with a wolf's head believing they have actually caught THE wolf; however witch-hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) comes to town and tells them they did not actually kill THE wolf - the bad wolf actually takes human form and is amongst one of the townspeople - therefore it's actually a werewolf, but who is the werewolf? And this is what the film basically will revolve around.
The main character, Amanda Seyfried is involved in this story as a girl of the town called Valerie, who seems to be the only one who can talk to and understand the wolf when she does finally encounter it - but why this is, is revealed towards the end of the film, when we find out who this werewolf actually is.
A few reasons why this film appeals
* The whole "idea" of the film - the reason I was interested in this film was because I wanted to know how the legend of Red Riding Hood could be used and made into a scary horror film. The additional things this film features in comparison to the fairy tale are things like werewolves, a love story, a witch hunter, a twist and almost a mystery drama sort of thing going-on. It may be these things which add the interest element to the film for some people.
* The visuals - This film looks great and is visually pleasing just the way the Twilight films are - regardless whether it has a good story or not; the fact that it is has a good image and the scenes are pretty can encourage the viewer to want to continue watching the film. It can also attract a wide-range of viewers.
* The ending - I did think the ending was the best part of the entire film. Although the film is slow moving and the majority of the film was not as interesting as I would have liked it to be, once we reach the ending and we find out who the werewolf is, things sort of seemed worth sitting through the main bulk of the film for. I don't want to ruin the ending if you haven't seen this film, but it does have a satisfactory ending and a happy one too but really, really corny (in fact the whole movie is!). However I don't think there is any room for a sequel here! It just will not work and I don't think it will interest anyone the slightest bit.
Why this film is weak
This film was received negatively when released; it only gets a rating of 4.9 out of 10 on IMDB and an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is really not great at all. Despite that, I can't really say I completely hated the film because it was an okay watch especially working towards the end of the film however I did not love the film! - And I thought it was poor in more ways than it was strong. So I want to be critical and say the film was pretty weak for the following reasons:
* It doesn't scare - I don't think this film contain horror elements which you would expect from a film of that genre, as it is labelled "horror"; there is nothing scary about this film, but I'm guessing the horror aspects of the film is the "frightening" wolf which attacks people, and maybe the violence and terror associated with it. I watched this film without knowing much of what it's about, other than the fact that it's something to do with Red Riding Hood and it's supposed to be a horror film. It isn't really a horror movie, it probably more a romantic thriller, or a fantasy thriller but also has elements of a weird mystery drama, trying to work out who this werewolf could be.
I understand they may have tried to keep the scares to a minimum since it's rated a 13, but in the reference to the "horror" side of the film, there really is nothing frightening about it - even the wolf doesn't scare. Just put it this way, Red Riding Hood is as frightening and horrific as Twilight (...which is not much at all).
* Takes itself too seriously - I think this film, just like the Twilight film has a problem of taking itself way too seriously and not allowing any fun or humour pass the film. You could find some humour in the most serious of all films, but this one really lacked it; I don't expect it to be a downright hilarious comedy, but I do expect some light-heartedness somewhere in the film. Some may say that the scene where they have a celebration, party or whatever it was after they kill the wrong wolf was fun, but from my point of view it was sort of ridiculous and a bit of a time-waster. This can make the film dull and unexciting most of the times and pretty dreary.
* What about Red Riding Hood? - Its great that this film was LOOSELY based on Red Riding Hood tale so in turn a new and more exciting story can be created; but towards the end I couldn't find this film having any connections to the tale at all, and the new story created was really uninspiring. If the girl Red Riding Hood Valerie, was just plain Valerie, it would have worked just as well, as her actually being Red Riding Hood. I did find there was an attempt made to try to link the film to the tale but they all seems pretty lame to be honest - like the line "what big eyes you have..." etc, was shoved into Valerie's dream just to ensure it covered the fairy-tale and the three pigs makes an appearance really unrelated to the story in any way - then again I guess we shouldn't expect a huge likeness, but I do expect a more exciting story.
* Another Twilight - I think if you are a fan of Twilight films, in which I can't express more how much I do not like them, then this film is for you - Twilight fans will love it for sure! When I did first hear there was going to be a dark Red Riding Hood film out, I knew I wanted to see it but my main issue along with the points I made earlier, is that I think it is too much of a re-creation of the Twilight films in so many ways, and that really helped put me off this film as well -things such as: a young couple who cant be together and formation of a love-triangle, the first person narration of the lead girl, and the werewolf in this film look as though it may have just been freshly pulled out of the Twilight films.
If you love horror films and films that scare then this one is likely to disappoint you, but it's worth watching it as its probably going to amuse you. On the other hand you may find you in fact like it for the first reasons I listed above where I thought the film was okay with its stunning scenes and the twist at the end.
Despite all that though, and the fact that I already knew the movie was received very negatively, I have to admit none of that stopped me from going out to watch the film and then watching it to the very end, as even though its not a great movie, it kind of made me want to continue watching it; also it did initially grab my attention when I heard there was a very frightening violent wolf in the film...which didn't show up, but it kept me hoping until I reached the end.
(Thanks for reading =) Previously posted on Ciao)
This isn't the greatest werewolf film out there but I think it's fairly decent. The animated werewolf itself is reminiscent of the werewolves from the Twilight films. This movie follows Valerie, played by Amanda Seyfried, as she must decide whether to follow her heart and marry the poor woodcutter Peter, played by Shiloh Fernandez, or do her duty and marry Henry, played by Max Irons, who is a member of the wealthiest family in the village that they inhabit.
I quite enjoyed watching this film, although it isn't the best it certainly isn't the worst out there! There is a twist at the end which, I will admit, I didn't see coming which is enough to redeem the slight lack of a decent plot (as the love triangle seems to end surprisingly soon!).
There are also enough references to the original story of Little Red Riding Hood, the fairy tale that it is based on, to make it a reasonably believable adaptation although there has obviously been a lot of artistic liscence taken.
If you're a fan of werewolf/mild horror movies or even one of the actors then I would recommend this film as it isn't a bad watch but don't expect it to be amazing because you might be let down!
I was very, very dubious about going to see Red Riding Hood. For some reason I got it into my head that it was a Disney movie, and for me, this is the point where I turn off and full out refuse to pay any money. My mates needed me to come so the orange Wednesday worked out, and I sat down with no expectations what so ever, and planning on taking the most expensive nap I've taken in my life, and I was hooked from the first scene.
Amanda Seyfried- Valerie
Gary Oldman- Father Soloman
Billy Burke- Cesaire
Shiloh Fernandez- Peter
Max Irons- Henry Lazar
Virgina Madsen- Suzette
Lukas Haas- Father Auguste
When Valerie decides to run away with Peter, she is stopped in her tracks when the werewolf that has plagued their village for years, kills her sister Lucy. Valerie then learns that she is to marry Henry the wealthy blacksmith's son and before she can escape with Peter the town goes on lockdown and they all try to find out where the wolf is.
My mates opening argument about going to see this film, was it was from the same Director as the first Twilight film. I think there was some laughing in her face at this point due to the fact that any of my friends know, the Twilight films are probably worse than High School Musical on my list of terrible movies. (Sorry to all of the fans.)
After watching the movie, it was very easy to see where she got the idea that it was like the Twilight film, especially as it was directed by Catherine Hardwicke who directed that film. It is very different from Twilight however, and the main reason for that, is the actors, can actually act!
Amanda Seyfried, to all of those people that don't know was in Mamma Mia and she was very good in this movie. Her hair probably had more personality than Kristen Stewart which is not really saying anything so that was a plus. The two leads within the movie, Peter & Henry were pretty nice to look at, they're acting ability was OK, not brilliant but it wasn't enough for me to walk out of the movie, unlike I did with Twilight.
There are many problems with the film as I'm afraid, and I think they have to put it in, they actually used the 'my what big eyes you have...' which made all of us in the audience cringe as it wasn't necessary. The CGI is to be desired, I think she concentrated most of her budget on the scenery rather than the wolf that runs throughout the movie which made me giggle out loud a little bit too loudly.
The movie is no Harry Potter or something along those lines but it manages to do a lot better than a lot of it's types in the same genre. It isn't the best movie, but it is enjoyable for the whole family and I think I enjoyed it a lot more because of the low expectations I went in with.
The twist in the movie is pretty good, I did get it as soon as the wolf talked however my mates were pretty stumped until the end of the movie. I know I have compared Twilight a lot to this movie, but this is just because this is one of the reasons why I didn't want to see it and I think it ruined my expectations to begin with. Forget about Twilight, this is 100x better than that movie, and it is enjoyable enough.
I do think you'll probably like it better if you save your money and rent it out when it comes to DVD. It's got a very good twist and the scenery is beautiful, however from all of the other reviews I've seen on it, I'm not sure if the majority of you reading this review are going to come out with the same opinion.
Film only review
After watching the trailers on TV for this film and seeing the cast list I decided to watch it. It looked like the kind of film I would enjoy and seeing as Amanda Seyfried was in it as well.
Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is to be married to her parents choice of husband, Henry but she is in love with her childhood sweetheart Peter. Valarie and Peter plan to run away together but then her sister dies after being attacked by the werewolf. The village and the werewolf have for years made an agreement that the werewolf will receive an animal sacrifice each month and in return the werewolf will not harm the people in the village. The villagers then head out to find and kill this werewolf. They return with the head of a wolf but this is not the werewolf. As father Solomon, a werewolf hunter tells them that the werewolf is a human by day and is one of them. It is one of the neighbours, friends or family members. The wolf attacks many times after and the hunt for the wolf begins.
The beginning of the film was promising and reminded me of twilight but set in an ancient era. The setting of the film is that of an olden time place, most probably BC. They all live in hut type place in the wilderness and the setting is very dark and mysterious. The film then turns to a who-did-it type genre. When it was known that anyone of them could be the werewolf the film turned away from the twilight direction and towards a sort of weird dark and suspicious atmosphere. There were many hints and clues as to who the werewolf could be but the ending was shocking as I didn't suspect this person at all. There was a lot of action and the scenes will all the bloodshed and the fighting was filmed rather well. The romance in the film was just really in the beginning and then the film concentrated on the finding of the werewolf. The film didn't leave a good impression with me as the plot lacked any originality. The male leads lacked in performance and their characters seemed very poorly developed. Valerie was the central character and she seemed to be the only character which was dealt with in depth. Also there was never once the mention of 'red riding hood' which given the name I would expect. The only connection is that the main character wears a red cloak, there is a grandmother and there is a werewolf but other than that I am not sure why the title is called red riding hood.
This doesn't have any element of horror nor does it have any element of being a thriller. It is a dark, mysterious murder mystery which lacks any drama, suspense and horror. This wasn't the film I was expecting to watch. I was also hoping there would be more romance to the film.
Overall I have mixed feelings about this film, partly because of the ending and also because the beginning, middle and end were too different and so the film didn't flow well. This is not the sort of film that twilight teens would probably like because there is hardly any romance apart from the beginning and Valerie seemed to send mixed signals about who she liked although it was clear in the end. The ending to me seemed abrupt and there were loose ends that were not cleared up. This isn't a film I would recommend you watch in the cinema as it isn't worth it.
(Film only review)
== Red Riding Hood ==
Red Riding Hood is a 2011 movie starring the very talented Amanda Seyfried, as she plays the lead role of a young girl called Valerie (basically red riding hood but under a different name). Red Riding Hood is a dark mysterious fantasy film directed by a lady named Catherine Hardwicke. The movie is pretty much based on the old fairy tale (which I loved when growing up) Little Red Riding Hood and we all know what Little Red Riding Hood is about. The movie starts with a young girl named Valerie who at first is a young kid in the movie and she is with her boyfriend who both go both down in the woods trying to catch a rabbit, after catching the rabbit they intend on killing it for food as its hard to find around their village but neither of them can pluck up the strength to kill it. Now after this weird and very stupid scene the movie starts properly 10 years on from that day and the pair are all grown up.
Valerie is from the village of Daggerhorn where she grew up with her family and from a very young age she fell in love with a woodcutter named Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) who is also her young boyfriend back ten years (but obviously played by someone else) ago and they are still madly in love. Valerie's mother Suzette (Virginia Madsen) and her strange curious father Cesaire (Billy Burke) have made a promise to a very rich and noble blacksmith called Adrian Lazar (Michael Shanks) that their oldest daughter Valerie will marry hos only son Henry (Max Irons) even though Valerie's wishes to be with Peter, but she agrees so that Cesaire debt with Adrian is paid off.
Valerie is displeased with being set up to marry some guy she hardly knows and she makes plans to run away with Peter as no matter how much she loves her father, the love she has for Peter is true love, however little did they know things were about to take a sick and twisted turn and the village sirens erupt, which is the meaning that the werewolf that attacks their village has struck again and has taken a life of another villager. After inspecting the body they realize it is Lucy, Valerie's older sister and then rumors begin to spread throughout the village that Lucy was in love with Henry (who Valerie has been set up to marry). Now the remaining villagers gather their silver weapons and go hunt for the werewolf.
Later on they come back after killing what they first think is the werewolf, after the arrival of a famous witch hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) he tells them that this is not the werewolf and its only just a wolf, as he has fought with one before. He then tells them that the werewolf is one of the villagers. The villagers don't really believe him and continue having a celebration as they think they have actually killed the werewolf, but have they?
=== Did You Enjoy It? ===
Now to be perfectly honest I don't think many people will like this movie as its the same creators as the people that made the Twilight franchise and that movie has its fans and its own enemies. Red Riding Hood is actually pretty similar to that and all though I didn't really enjoy the Twilight movies, this was actually rather good. The story literally dragged me in all the way through it and it was actually rather addictive. At first I was like...eh Red Riding Hood, a horror movie? and to be honest I was surprised at how great it was. Another thing is I didn't know anything about this movie until yesterday and I watched it later that night and I am really thrilled I did watch it as well.
The movie has a whole list of things I liked about it but it did however have some things I disliked about it. I wasn't entirely happy that its basically another love triangle type movie, like Twilight. The story was also predictable throughout the whole of it, I was however slightly surprised on who the werewolf was and I wont reveal it but it came as a little shock. I thought the ending was absolutely brilliant, although the movie did take a while to kick in and start. A good thing for me about this was that the movie had surprises all the way throughout of the film and some of them were very strange. One of the scenes I loved was with Valerie, she is basically asleep having a nightmare laid next to her granny and she starts saying things to her like 'Oh my what big eyes you have', 'Oh what big teeth you have' and to be fair I thought that was fantastic about the movie. Another thing I was impressed with was the red hooded cloak granny gives her, its brilliant and makes her look like a good Red Riding Hood. All in all I enjoyed this, much better that Twilight!
=== Characters/Performances ===
The characters in the movie, I feel was pretty good although you don't even hear Red Riding Hood mentioned at all throughout the movie and its just plain old Valerie. Amanda Seyfried who plays the lead role as Valerie, does remarkably well in my opinion and actually suits the role as Red Riding hood. To be honest I haven't really been a huge fan of her until I watched this as she was brilliant. Gary Oldman plays the role of Solomon and hes as good as ever, fun to watch sometimes rather intelligent and at other times hes quite a bit silly but he does do a great job. Now in the movie it is a lot like Twilight in the terms of a love triangle and this is basically with Valerie and two other guys. One of whom is the woodcutter Peter, who she has been in love with for over 10 years, played by Shiloh Fernandez and Henry who is the rich blacksmiths son and he is played by Max Irons. Now they both seem to do pretty great to be fair, I just hope this movie doesn't start a 'Team Peter' or 'Team Henry' thing like the Twilight series with Jacob and Edward because its ridiculous. All in all they seem to all give a great performance and I can really see this doing pretty well.
=== The Director ===
The director of Red Riding Hood is of course Catherine Hardwicke who was born October 21st, 1955 in Cameron, Texas, USA. Catherine Hardwicke is better known as the director of the first Twilight movie which has its critics as I was never a big fan, but with this movie she does do a great job and has made it brilliantly. She has also directed a couple of other movies such as, Thirteen, The Nativity Story and Lords of Dogtown, however I would have to say this is her best work yet.
=== Special Effects ===
The special effects of the movie did remind me of Twilight quite a lot but I would have to say they are slightly better in this film. The designed layout of the places, like villages, caves and the forest was excellent and looked beautiful in places. Also the scenes with the werewolf (which to be fair is hard to see a proper close up) were quite good especially when the werewolf was ripping people apart. I did however have one little problem with something along the lines of the special effects and that was the lighting of the movie, I was sat there watching it and sometimes I couldn't make out what a few things was or a few things that was happening because the movie was way to dark. It is almost night time all the time throughout the movie but it could of done with a little more light. A street lamp wouldn't go a miss. However it does make it a little bit blah but it doesn't make the movie bad i any way because it really was great. I was quite impressed with a lot of things to do with the special effects.
=== Soundtrack ===
This part of the movie was really average, I mean how can they put up to date songs or music into a dark fantasy film set back in old times?, I mean don't get me wrong they did have some pretty good, scary at times music to freak you out and keep you on edge or in suspense but it really wasn't that effective. The other sounds to the movie were great, like the werewolf was really good and reminded me of the old American Werewolf movies. Another part I liked was the siren when the werewolf was around, that made the movie more enthralling and suspenseful. The only real let down was some of the pointless music playing whilst nothing was happening or going to happen. But to be honest this aspect of the movie didn't effect the movie to much and I still enjoyed it.
=== Other Bits ===
Now there are a fair few movies like this such as many horror movies with werewolves and many romantic/horrors like Twilight but not so many that are set in medieval times. To be fair its the first movie I have seen that has a werewolf, red riding hood and is based with a love triangle. All in all I really enjoyed the movie but did find some things a bit pointless but there were some parts that blew me away, especially the end of the movie with a huge cliffhanger, basically telling us there is going to be another Red Riding Hood movie...I think. Twilight is basically almost ending soon and this could be the start of maybe a new franchise? who knows.
All in all Red Riding Hood is a really good movie, I would recommend it to almost anyone except youngsters (even though it is Red Riding Hood) as it is no way near suitable for the younger audience. Its thrilling, chilling and a very suspenseful movie. If you love Twilight I am very certain you will adore this, if you don't like Twilight you may still like it as I did. It is quite a good tale and you can tell its based on The Little Red Riding Hood story. Really enjoyable movie that I would give a pretty decent 8/10!
The runtime for Red Riding Hood is 100 minutes, so its not as long as Twilight so it doesn't drag on like that movie does. However the certificate to Red Riding Hood is PG-13 it does contain violent scenes, it does contain some scenes of a sexual nature and it does contain a very ferocious werewolf, so be warned!
This review is posted on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987! Thanks for reading my review!
This is a "Sleepy Hollow meets Black death meets Twilight saga" movie. With a little hint of Dracula brought by Gary Oldman, who could've saved the day. But didn't. If you don't like the mentioned movies skip this one.
Red Riding Hood (2011.), fantasy
Director: Catherine Hardwick
Amanda Seyfried...Valerie/Red Riding Hood
Gary Oldman..........father Solomon
Duration: 1 hr 40 min
Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) lives in a village at the end of the dark forest. In the nights of the full moon the vilagers sacrifice animals to the werewolf from the forest. That seemes to keep them safe until Valerie's sister Lucy is killed by the beast. That, and the fact that she is set to marry the blackman's son Henry (Max Irons), delays Valerie's plan to run away with the man she loves - her childhood friend Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). As Henry and Peter fight for Valerie's love the vilagers fight against the werewolf with the help of Father Solomon (Gary Oldman). One night, during a festival the beast attacks the vilagers but leaves Valerie unharmed and speaks to her, telling her it will take her away by the end of the blood moon week. Since she is the only one who can speak to the werewolf Father Solomon calls her a witch and decides to sacrifice her to the beast. Working together, Henry and Peter manage to save Valerie but Peter ends up missing. As Henry and Valerie run to the church, pleading sanctuary the werewolf comes again, asking Valerie to come with it but she refuses. Since Peter is missing Valerie suspects he is the beast. But then again, Henry's been acting strange too. In her dream Valerie sees her Grandmother and decides to pay her a visit the next morning, feeling she's in danger. And at her Grandmother's house there really is someone running around at night with his big eyes, ears and teeth.
Is it just me or are teen romance movies getting hairy? I mean, come on - Red Riding Hood drooling over a guy and then drooling even more over the guy when she suspects him to be a werewolf? And all that while she's engaged to another guy? Is there a censored version of this fairy tale that noone knew about till now? The fairy tale itself has a sexual innuendo but not in a love triangle style.
The plot is plain boring because all the characters must look mysterious but the actors are so bad in facial acting and gesturing and it looks like all they do is walk around the set, goofy faces and dumb.
Amanda Seyfried is blonde and beautifull, that's all. Except that the line "What big eyes you have" now sounds a lot more PG-13 then the brothers Grimm originally imagined it to be.
As a Gary Oldman fan I thought he will light up the plot with his "I'm cruel, but I'm cool" performance. I guess when it comes to Gary, he really isn't quite the cruel priest kind of type. He runs better just by plain cruel. So, not even Oldman could save the movie.
Shiloh Fernandez as Peter and Max Irons as Henry would be a good pair of rivals if only they allowed their characters to grow into what they're supposed to be. But they are so shallow and played by the book. Peter is a bad boy, Henry is a good boy and they are both in love with the girl. That's it. Literally.
Julie Christie is the Grandmother who seems to be a witch but ends up beeing just a creepy old lady messing with Valerie's mind. The character is tottaly neglected in the plot and seems like Christie neglected her acting as well.
Virginia Madsen and Billy Burke as Valerie's parents? Their daughter Lucy gets killed, they stop and blink. Their other daughter Valerie is beeing sacrified to the werewolf - they stop and blink some more. Enough said.
The scenery would've been nice if it wasn't constructed as a Wookie village.
If you don't want to see a bad spin-off of the Twilight saga I strongly recommend you to just ignore this movie.