Movie Review of Red Riding Hood (A VoD Experience)

by on December 24, 2011

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Red Riding Hood promo poster, a movie review

This movie review from Cinema Static is from a VoD experience of Red Riding Hood (2011), which is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) and written by David Johnson (Orphan). The cast includes Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Shiloh Fernandez & Billy Burke.  It also includes fan favorite actors Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica) and a short lived role by Michael Shanks (Stargate).

Red Riding Hood opens to a scene of two small children, a boy and a girl hunting a rabbit and before we see the ultimate demise of the rabbit, we skip ahead ten years and these same two are grown teens, quite smitten with each other.  But Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is betrothed to another by her mother.  Just as Valerie and Peter (Fernandez) were about to run away, the wolf attacks the village and her sister becomes the latest victim to the werewolf that haunts this village.

Yes, in this fairytale the wolf is a werewolf and that’s not a bad thing.

This latest attack  drives the townsfolk into a frenzy to head out and “kill the beast!”  (Where have we heard that chant before?)

Meanwhile, our ill-fated young lovers seem to be taking the high road and her beau tells her he no longer wants to be with her.  The villagers have followed the wolf to what they think is its lair and it kills another (Sorry Michael Shanks!) before they fill a grey wolf, thinking that’s the werewolf.

Gary Oldman in Red Riding Hood

Then Gary Oldman (Solomon) shows up, making quite the entrance for another one of his original and creative characters, and Solomon tries to explain to the villagers that they did not kill their werewolf, but they seem adamant that their simple grey wolf is THE werewolf.  You know how crowd mentality can be sometimes.

And while the village celebrates the killing of their demon, the werewolf attacks again and a very surprising twist to this classic fairy tale takes place during the attack that made it very fascinating from that point forward.  And one is kept busy trying to figure out this fascinating twist as the movie progresses.

I came into this movie expecting nothing because over on IMDb, it has a 5.1 rating.  But I think the intrinsic value of this movie is overlooked and possibly folks came into Red Riding Hood looking for something more and were disappointed.  Having come into this movie looking for nothing but killing time, I was surprised how much I was sucked into the story and the twist of the story.

Amanda Seyfried in Red Riding Hood, going to grandmother's house!

To grandmother's house we go. No, seriously!

The story and relationships between characters have some fascinating and complicated personal twists, with competitive lovers, mysterious relationships, complicated familial situations and what not, you’re kept busy tracking some of this down.

The twist injects a great guessing game into the movie, keeping it interesting enough to continue to watch.

Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez in Red Riding Hood

The betrothed and the jilted lover coming to an understanding

Red Riding Hood does have a slow, somber pace to the tale, but the rare and not over-done injection of interesting references to old fairy tales, were interesting and I was kept engaged and entertained.  Much to my surprise.

The primary cast with Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Billy Burke and the others really pulled the script along nicely for me.  Oldman does what he does best and that’s bring a unique a new twist to yet another character that he creates from nothing and fools you into being curious as to what he’s done with this new role.

Amanda Seyfried in Red Riding Hood

Seyfried brings her big, beautiful and potentially soulful eyes and characterization to another role that is just different enough to not feel like its another movie made around her type-cast injection.  Burke, well, you’ll see where he and the others fall into the plot of this twisted fairy tale.  At least this time, he’s not marrying a daughter off to a vampire!

Amanda Seyfried in Red Riding Hood still

Overall, Red Riding Hood had a slow-paced, quiet tone to it.  And if you come into it knowing that, I think one might enjoy this movie for what it was, and that’s a unique, new twisty take on Red Riding Hood, with interesting werewolf effects.

I would not have been unhappy at all renting the movie and if I were a fan of any of the primary cast, I think if I could snag this at a price other than full-price, I think it would be a fine addition to one’s collection.

Red Riding Hood on Amazon

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: