Red Riding Hood is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) and produced by Leonardo Dicaprio (Yes, THAT Leonardo Dicaprio). Red Riding Hood as everyone knows is the story about a girl visiting her grandmother in the forest and ends up battling a wolf. In this 2011 “re-imagining”, we get to see the village that Red Riding Hood lives in, including her family and friends. There is a little (actually a lot of) romance going on, but this is really a detective story more than anything. And I actually liked it.
Amanda Seyfried plays Red Riding Hood, also known as Valarie. She’s in love with a handsome fellow called Peter, but things get complicated when she is arranged to marry Henry (another handsome fellow). When I say complicated, I mean that there’s a family secret which I didn’t bother to understand.
The more intriguing aspect of this film is the mystery of the werewolf’s true identity. The werewolf here goes on four legs, so it’s more of the Twilight version rather than the Wolfman version. I hope I’m not spoiling too much when I say that the wolf is CGI, and although it looks fake, it might be quite scary for younger viewers.
Gary Oldman appears as a monster hunter who has a score to settle with this particular werewolf. He is definitely the best actor of the entire cast, but his character felt more like a plot device than an actual person. You don’t really know where he or any of his hunting buddies come from, and he should have hired a better team.
Even in this fairy tale, we have the action movie cliché of everyone shooting at the target but nobody seems to be able to hit it. Sure, this werewolf is fast and furious, but it wouldn’t hurt if these humans came up with an actual strategy to kill it. Also, they would have found out who the werewolf really was if they had just checked who was NOT AROUND DURING THE WEREWOLF ATTACKS.
There is a scene where the villagers are celebrating and that whole sequence feels out of place. Some parts of the film, especially towards the end, has very awkward editing and most of the locations look plastic. However, the overarching story is not as dull as I expected, and it managed to hold my interest till the end. For a werewolf movie, this is far more enjoyable than 2010’s The Wolfman. I like the cold and mysterious atmosphere of the film, so Red Riding Hood gets a very mild thumbs up from me.