People were saying “maybe Hardwicke just made her trailer to look Twilight to attract the same audience, but maybe the film will be different!” Wrong! Red Riding Hood and Twilight go together like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show“. If you like one you’re bound to like the other despite its SLIGHT shift in tone and structure. Try as I might — maybe because I’m an adult who has had sex, not a teenager hoping for two model-esq men to fight over me and try and steal me away — I just could not get into this story. But, that’s not to say that it didn’t have a few redeeming qualities…
- Director: Catherine Hardwicke
- Writer: David Johnson
- Actors: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie
- Executive Producers: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Alex Mace
- Original Music by: Brian Reitzell
- Cinematography by: Mandy Walker
There’s a wolf and it wants Red Riding Hood! But first she must decide between two men and face the high priest who thinks she’s a witch. Drama in the woods!
- The Use of Color: You can see from the photos below that the use of light and dark with the vibrant red sticking is a strong theme in this film and beautifully done. The colors almost always resonant with the tone of each scene and help draw out more passionate emotions.
- The Cinematography: If Mandy Walker knows one thing, it’s how to make people and things look pretty. Everything from the lighting to the style of the shots were expertly crafted.
- Amanda: Despite the overall acting (which I’ll get to below), Amanda had some great ideas for her character that had she been in a different film might have won her some awards. She’s fascinating to watch and does the best any actress can do with this story. Sadly she’ll only walk away from this with a “MTV BEST KISS AWARD” — that is if Twilight doesn’t get it. She did manage to score extra points at the press conference for the film by answering the question “why not LITTLE Red Riding Hood?” with “[because of] my boobs?” That’s right folks! And by the way she’s just as gorgeous, if not more so in person.
- Evil/Dark: It was great to see them take a kids tales and try and make it so dark, scary and adult. They went for an overtly dark in tone and attempted to stick with — both with the physical violence taking place and a look into the darkness in mankind.
- Evil/Dark: Unfortunately the attempt is not fully successful. It’s needlessly gruesome and sadistic in some ways and yet it’s still very PG-13. The darkness didn’t add up to anything meaningful, and though you could rationalize it, it didn’t feel like there was much of a point to it or that it was effective on the audience. If they wanted to really do what they appeared to want to do with this film, it needed to be rated R.
- Werewolf: If it’s going to be vicious can it do a little bit more than bat at people and knock them over? If you’re going for dark and evil, now is your chance! Again, I’m not even one for violence but I kept thinking “take the R-rating and rip off some heads with it!”
- The Acting: Even normally fantastic actors that normally blow you away just don’t make any sense in this film. It feels like they’re trying to come in and do what the director wants and save the day — but there are no super-heroes in this film.
- The Prettiness: For something so dirty and gritty, the towns people all looked like they walked off of a Diesel photo shoot with perfectly messed up hair, skin that was so clear it was wax like, and outfits that seemed to repel dirt. Then there are the supporting townsmen and women that could be in the background of a music video. That being said, someone needed to tell the extras what to do, for the most part the were just wiggling things over and over again.
- Order of the Town: Wait, who is exactly upscale here? And why does it look like everyone lives in the same house? If you’re going to play up a love triangle we need to be able to see the difference in the two potential lovers. How exactly can we tell who is the “better” man with more to offer when the only difference between the two is their hair color and what people seem to be saying about one having more money?
- Worst Parents Ever: “The big bad wolf is out and you think someone is hurt? OK darling go outside alone and I’ll just keep stirring this porridge.” WHAT?!? Who does that? And why does no one care that she’s NEVER inside when she’s supposed to be? Someone get control of her!
- The Impromptu Dance Scene: WHY?!? Why have it look so overtly choreographed and forced? Why do the dance? Why is the random girl who before and after this scene a prude so into getting down with Riding Hood for 5 minutes? It. Just. Makes. No. Sense!
- Innuendo at the End: ***Spoiler*** Is she about to have sex with that wolf??? I mean, is THAT what they’re alluding to? I know there’s a lot of sex metaphors in this film, but come on now! ***Spoiler End***
This film was NOT made for me, and therefore take my review with a grain of salt. All you angsty teens out there are going to have a field day with the sexual tension in this bad boy. As I said before, if you’re a Twilight fan, prepare for a new adventure, if you’re not, RUNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!
Similarities to Twilight:
- Opening Shot: Flying over Pine Trees in the middle of a forest with some “deep” music.
- Three-Way: Another beautiful young lady torn between two wax-like men, one of them deep, pining and of course brunette, and the other sweet, good boy who tells her all the right things.
- A girl with special abilities that can’t make up her mind!
- Lot’s of sexy angst but NO sex!
- Over-Dramatic Statements… every time they speak.
- Day/Night Issues for the people — the night is always scary in a Hardwicke film!
- Romantic TV Sitcom Music: Circa “Dawson’s Creek” era.
- Make-up: Heavy and Distracting.
- My Rating: 2/10
- Twilight POV Rating: 8/10
Red Riding Hood is in theaters starting March 11th!