Red Riding Hood - Movie Review

Red Riding Hood is loosely based on the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. The story centers on Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) who lives in the village of Daggerhorn, which is under an uneasy peace with a werewolf that prowls the surrounding forest. Beautiful Valarie is also in a little predicament. She loves her childhood sweetheart Peter, a poor woodcutter, but her parents have betrothed her to Henry, a wealthy blacksmith. Unwilling to be parted from each other, they plan to run away together when the villagers discover that the werewolf, which had previously been satisfied with monthly animal sacrifices, has taken the life of her older sister. Hungry for revenge, the villagers take the matter into their own hands while the village priest call upon Father Solomon, a famed werewolf hunter. As the blood moon rises, which is the only time a new werewolf can be created, the attacks on the village become more frequent. During one of those attacks, Valarie discovers that she shares a deep connection with the werewolf and it may even be someone she loves...

This is another movie in a string of retellings of well-known fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood is certainly not little in this interpretation but except for a romp in the hay the movie remains safely PG. It has themes of fantasy, horror and love all jumbled together. I would say it is more a thriller than a love story though it is obvious it has Twilight influences (not surprising since it has the same director). Broody and angsty teenagers who both want the girl...Familiar to anyone? The story also is very similar to M. Night Shyamalan's The Village in setting and premise - isolated village with an unknown beast prowling the surrounding woods.

The whole story is one big guessing game. Who is the wolf? By process of elimination you MIGHT be able to guess who the wolf is but it isn't easy. Suspects disappear and reappear to keep the viewer guessing and errie music is played to intensify the moments of uncertainty. Some parts of the movie reminded me of the Blair Witch Project with the shaky hand held camera movement. Some of the story was predictable and some of it was over the top, with the excessive and unnecessary killings and torture. But if you like a good mystery with some love in thrown in the mix you'll like Red Riding Hood. Twilight fans will love the ending. Especially if you are Team Jacob. 

Red Riding Hood opens in theatres Friday March 11th, 2011.

Want more Red Riding Hood? Here's a post that nicely reminds me of the story and has beautiful wolf pictures:

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