Red Riding Hood: a weak spin on a classic fairy tale

Bianca Small, Staff Writer

“What big teeth you have…” The better to eat popcorn with my dear.

“What big eyes you have…” The better to see this movie with my dear.

From fairytale story to showcase cinemas, Red Riding Hood, starring Amanda Seyfried as Valerie, creates imagery that entrances the viewer and keeps eyes locked on the screen. The image of Valerie’s dark red coat, draped over her slender body, contrasting with the sheets of virgin white snow draws the viewer in and stays for a long time. But the setting is not always so peaceful looking. Most of the scenes of this film are gloomy — the white snow notwithstanding — and support the dark plot of this rehash of the classic fairytale.

The mysterious elements of the plot, however, leave something to be desired. While it follows the classic “who-done-it” type of mystery, there are no clues or action sequences that keep the viewer engaged. The setting and cinematography, while good, are not enough to carry the movie.

Considering, how Red Riding Hood was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, of Twilight fame, there is surely a mystical and fantastical vibe to this film. Many movies directed by Hardwicke consist of archetypal werewolves, ominous settings, and star-crossed lovers — all of which are found in Red Riding Hood.

This movie stars Shiloh Fernandez who plays Valerie’s “secret lover” Peter. Sadly, Henry (Max Irons) gets in the way of Peter and Valerie’s secret love affair, when her parents force her to marry Henry because he comes from an extremely wealthy family. However, money cannot always buy love. Valerie and Peter plan to run away together but instead, they are shaken by the news that Valerie’s sister is killed by the village’s frightening werewolf.

The village as a whole is out to kill the wild beast, before it kills more of their loved ones. When werewolf hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) approaches the small community, he expresses that once the moon turns blood red, the wolf will contain a human life. This leads to the frightening fact that anyone could be the wolf. Valerie comes to realize that she has a strange connection with the beast; she can make conversation with it, when no one else can. Valerie has some suspicions about who the beast could really be, but until she discovers who it actually is behind the “mask” of the beast, she wanders through the woods in fear of who might be lurking, waiting for one last bite.

This movie was definitely not what I expected it to be. Save your $10 and wait till the movie comes out on DVD. Therefore, if you’re still tempted to indulge yourself in a beast-loving movie night, in the atmosphere of a blood moon, you will only be wasting half your cash.