Here is the story of Red Riding Hood like’ve you never heard or seen before. Today the story has taken many shapes or forms but for the most part, is still relatively unchanged. Girl with a red cape, wolf eats grandma, yadda, yadda, yadda… I really don’t want to bore you with details you already know, nor does Red Riding Hood. And why should it?
Using the original tale as a reference, the director (Catherine Hardwicke) who by the way directed the first installment of the Twilight saga, weaves a web of love, deception and betrayal that seems almost too good to be true, so well in fact, that you will find yourself reminiscing the original story and trying to figure out who done it and why. But everything you want and expect from the film is there; and not just there to fill-in holes but cleverly added to a story that is already well written. From “Grandma, why the big eyes, teeth, ears” to the “Big Bad Wolf” and everything in between.
Red Riding Hood is a modern movie based on a not so distant past where simple living was the norm. Here is where we meet Valerie (Amanda Seyfried). A young woman destined to be nothing more that a good wife. Already engaged by a pre arranged marriage, Amanda wants nothing more that to be herself or be free to choose who she should marry; and this is where the Love story begins.
Taking a page from Twilight, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The director puts Valerie right between 2 lovers… (Max Irons & Shiloh Fernandez) One wants her; she doesn’t want him. The other one wants her but feels that she is better off without him. Twilight right?
Aside from that, Red Riding hood goes far beyond my expectations. I must admit, those expectations were pretty low to begin with but I ended up actually enjoying the film. The color contrast and grey backdrops give the film an unsettling feeling but not to the point of becoming a horror movie. Gary Oldman as Solomon, the Werewolf hunter is nothing more than brilliant. Now come on, it’s freaking Gary Oldman, did you expect anything else? Assertive, he takes no prisoners to get what he wants, even if that someone is his wife. Other big names are: Virginia Madsen as Valerie’s Mother and Billy Burke as her dad.
Nowadays, telling a good story through a film feels more like a slap on the face. Most have twist and turn that become more confusing than enjoyable. Plot holes are common as if we were stupid enough to believe them. Thank God Red Riding Hood didn’t try to be something it’s not.
If you have any doubt about Red Ridding Hood, just think of Sleepy Hollow. What? You think that the Headless Horseman story is more believable? I give this film 3.5 howls out of 5.