Twilight fans rejoice, for the next instalment in your beloved series has finally arrived and… wait, what? This isn’t a Twilight film? Oh, this is Red Riding Hood, the retelling of the classic fable brought to the big screen by none other than the director of Twilight, Christine Hardwicke. My mistake, but you can probably understand how I made this mistake considering THEY’RE EXACTLY THE SAME THING! No joke, even one of the leads bears an uncanny, and all too coincidental resemblance to Robert Pattinson. I feel so robbed. I thought this was going to be a dark, gritty updating of Little Red Riding Hood, instead the film spends most of its runtime focusing on the hackneyed love triangle that somehow became the central focus of the story. Yeah there’s still a wolf running around in the background only he doesn’t pop up nearly enough. Also, now he’s a werewolf. You know, so he can appeal even more to the Twilight kids. Sigh, I can’t believe I actually held high hopes for this mess. There was so much potential to toy around with this classic tale that scared us all so much as kids. Instead Hardwicke takes the easy way out by ripping off her own material and serving up a dull and dreary disappointment lacking in any sense of originality.
Now we all know the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. A young girl foolishly wonders off alone through the woods to visit Grandma’s house, only when she arrives she notices that several of Grandma’s features appear to have grown predominantly larger. Weird. Well unbeknownst to Little Red, her loving Grandma has been devoured by a big, mean wolf who has taken her place and is hoping to make a snack out of Little Red next. Luckily, a rugged lumberjack busts through the door at the last minute and splits the wolf’s stomach open with his trusty axe to release a healthy, if possibly partially devoured Grandma. They all live happily ever after. Yay! Come to think of it, that really is a messed up kid’s story. It’s dark, scary and full of danger. All the things the film Red Riding Hood definitely is not. Instead, the film focuses on the aforementioned love story that brings tears of boredom to my eyes as I even contemplate writing about it. But I’ll try, deep breath now; you see, the beautiful Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) has been arranged to marry the wealthy, yet constantly confused Henry (Max Irons). However, much to her family’s displeasure, Valerie is secretly in love with brooding lumberjack Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). Luckily, to prevent the audience from killing themselves from boredom, there’s also a violent werewolf running amok, holding the village in a grip of fear. So to resolve this, werewolf hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) is called in to deal with the beast, but his violent and uncompromising ways only ends up adding to the villagers’ problems. Doesn’t sound much like Little Red Riding Hood does it? Well, you’re going to have to wait about ninety minutes for any reference to the story that’s its based on. Even then, these fleeting moments are a complete let down and feel tacked on. It’s almost like the filmmakers just threw these scenes in so they had an excuse to use the Red Riding Hood title for a film that otherwise bears very little resemblance to the original story.
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