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Who's Afraid? RED RIDING HOOD
Mar 11, 2011 (Updated Jun 8, 2011)
by Mark Vaughan
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Clever story incorporates family secrets and werewolf legends.
Cons:It is, at its heart, a teen romance. BUT, with no sparkly vampires; thank goodness!
The Bottom Line: It's a Whodunit in Faery Tale sheeps clothing. Scary, sensuous, and throughly enjoyable.
Red Riding Hood (2011) Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Recommend this product?
"A man bitten is a man cursed!"-Father Solomon.
In a small village beside a dark forest, the people live an uneasy truce with a monster. On the night of the full moon, they stake out their very best livestock in sacrifice to a werewolf.
Outside of that, life continues like it does in any other town; young girls grow up, and fall in love with young boys, and their parents don't approve of the match. Valerie (Amanda "My what big eyes you've got!" Seyfried) is such a girl. Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) is a woodcutter, like her father, Cesaire (Billy Burke). And mother who doesn't approve is Suzette (Virgina "My what big cleavage you've got!" Madsen). She wants, and arranges, for Valerie to wed the town blacksmith, Henry (Max Irons). Then, the werewolf kills a human for the first time in twenty years, Lucy (Alexandria Maillot) Valerie's sister.
Why has the werewolf taken human life again? What is to be done? Many of the men go out to hunt it. They travel to a cave, deep in the forest, and there, face the beast in its lair...they lose Adrian (Michael Shanks) father of Henry, but they come back with a wolf's head on a stake. However, Father Auguste (Lukas Haas) has already sent away for the famous exorcist Father Solomon (Gary Oldman). Father Solomon is an expert on werewolves; he lost his wife to werewolfism, and he knows that the wolf's head the villagers display would have turned back into a man if it were the werewolf. No, the werewolf is much closer than a cave in the forest; the werewolf is one of them!
One of the reason the movie works as well as it does is it is very true to the legend; Valerie does indeed get a red cloak from her grandmother (Julie Christie) who lives alone, deep in the woods. And she does have to go check on Grandmother. In fact, she has a dream that perhaps Grandmother is the wolf. Of course it could be Peter. Or Henry's grandmother (Christine Willes) who is believable cast in the role. It could be anyone; even gentle Father Auguste.
And Catherine Hardwicke makes sure that there is more red herring than meat in the pie. Tension mounts, builds, and boils over.
Further, the werewolf is not the only person with a monster inside. Father Solomon is a servant of G*d, right? So was the Inquistion. Father Solomon could teach them a thing or two. Suspicion, secrets, and fear brings out more and more monsters to parade before Valerie's wondering eyes. It is a neat little psychological mystery dressed up in Faery Tale clothing, and playing at a horror movie, and doing a fair job of it.
There will be inevitable comparisons to Twilight; Hardwicke, teen sensuality, werewolves, a three way romance. Fortunately, Taylor Lautner was not chosen to play Peter (he was considered though) and no one sparkles. This is more intelligent than Twilight, and plays quite a bit better. It certainly is more beautiful; the cinematography is wonderful, and they definitely know how to use fire light to advantage. It manages to make a good teen romance, a fair drama about the dangers of paranoia, and a decent werewolf movie, all in one.
Full Moon Theatre. Werewolves on the Silver Screen.
True Blood: Season Three (O)Red Riding Hood (0)Wolves of Wall Street(O)The Howling
(0)True Blood: Season Two.(O)Wolf Moon(O)Wild Country (O)The Wolfman (2010)(O)War Wolves(O)Wolf Man: The Legacy Collection
She-Wolf of London(O)Werewolf of London(O)The Twilight Saga: New Moon(O)Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
(0)The Wolf Man(O)Dog Soldiers(O)Wolf(O)True Blood
An American Werewolf in Paris(O)Underworld: Rise of the Lycans(O)Underworld(O)An American Werewolf in London
Silver Bullet(O)The Brothers Grimm(O)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(O)The Brotherhood of the Wolf(O)Wolves of Kromer
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Movie Mood: Scary Movie
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
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