To read the review currently featured under this title on IMDB you would think this was a terrible film and indeed it only attracts a rating of 4.9/10. Well I gave it 9/10 because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It will never get an oscar but its a very enjoyable fantasy for young adults. I have read criticism about how the poor people of this time wouldn't have been able to afford glass for their windows, for goodness sake, its a fantasy! My wife who hardly notices these things commented on how wonderful the set was. Amanda Seyfried is as gorgeous as ever as Valerie/Red Riding Hood and the whole cast give a pretty good performance and no I didn't guess who the werewolf was before the reveal. All the clues point to an obvious suspect but the plot is darker and more twisted than that. I'm sure the whole thing is aimed at fans of Twilight but I'm not one of those and I loved it. I watched it on dvd and will be buying it on blu ray.
In this 2011 dark retelling of the classic fairy tale, Valerie [Amanda Seyfried] is a teenager living in a secluded village in a forest plagued by a werewolf, She’s also to be married to the wealthy blacksmith’ son, Henry, but loves poor woodcutter Peter, who she plans to run away with, but the Wolf has broken its truce not to prey on the townspeople trapping the lovers in the village. But who is the werewolf, what does it want and will true love win?
This is a very atmospheric, dark and sinister retelling of the fairy tale. Containing stunning sets, breath-taking scenery, a convincing fantasy ‘otherworld’ landscape and a haunting Celtic Carnyx style musical back score. It’s a tale of unrequited love, love found, lust, anger and all mixed with lustful sins, witchfinders, witches and a killer werewolf.
The single disc loads to a 50 language selection, then goes to 3 trailers and a blu ray ad before going to main menu offering play, scene selection, deleted scenes and languages [basically English, French, Italian and the same subtitle options with the addition of Nederlands].
This is a great reworking, creating a believable set and convincing storyline but stay away if its a broody horror you want, it’s not a horror [hence 12 rating!] it’s simply a sinister love story set in a creepy wood with a killer [werewolf] prowling the area bumping off the characters. If you can handle that, then this is a fantastic film, but if you get ‘into’ the brooding atmosphere the 12 rating can appear a bit low for the sensitive.
Catherine Hardwike's film is much closer to the 1984 movie "Company of wolves" (based on Angela Carter short stories) than to the original Charles Perrault tale - and like the former, it is definitely NOT for children. I am also almost certain that Catherine Hardwike was at least a little inspired by the wonderful commercial for Chanel 5, made in 1999 and featuring Estella Warren as Red Riding Hood and the wolf as himself.
Both me and my wife we liked this movie very much. Ok, granted, this is not an immortal masterpiece, but we both spend a nice cinema moment and this movie has many qualities, which I will try to describe below. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
First, we liked the cast. Amanda Seyfried is excellent as Valerie, a young girl who reached the time to be married and gets from her grandmother a red cape as wedding gift. The name Red Riding Hood is never used in the movie, everybody calls her just Valerie - but we of course know better... Amanda Seyfried wears this red cape with a great grace and the effect (especially for the male public) is quite pleasant. It is even more pronounced when the snow falls.
Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons give a good performance as two young village men, wild, bold and violent Peter and shy, peaceful and more sophisticated Henry, who both want to marry Valerie. Those two rivals and sworn enemies both have their good and bad points and with the time Valerie will have more and more trouble to choose between them.
Virginia Madsen plays Valerie's mother - her character, although secondary, is quite important for the plot so pay good attention to everything she says. Julie Christie is Valerie's grandmother, who lives in a house deep in the forest, away from the village - and she is (obviously) even more important to the story.
Michael Hogan (who is well remembered for his role in "Battlestar Galactica") plays village's reeve, a fearless no-nonsense man, who trusts his faithful silver dagger and is not afraid of the wolf.
Gary Oldman plays an inquisitor, Father Solomon, whose body and soul were once so terribly hurt by a werewolf, that he devoted his life to destroy those monsters. As usual for Gary Oldman's characters, Father Solomon is barking mad and definitely not a good person but he is clever and quite consequent and credible in his fanatism.
A special mention goes to Billy Burke, who plays the small role of Valerie's father, a burned out, heavily drinking wood cutter, used and worn out by the hardships of life and constant struggle with poverty.
And finally there are Shauna Kain, Carmen Lavigne and Kacey Rohl as Roxanne, Rose and Prudence, Valerie's best friends and young Cole Heppel, as Claude (Roxanne's brother), a retarded village boy. Those characters, although minor in the beginning of the movie, also have some important role to play.
The second very strong point of this movie is the scenography. The views of the mountains and the forest in this film are amazing. The village is extremely well designed, as are the costumes of the villagers and the soldiers who came with Father Solomon. This movie is visually very pleasant.
The third good point is the plot, which is not stupid at all. The main mystery is very skilfully kept until the end. And the ending itself is a very good one - especially for anybody who knows Angela Carter's short stories about wolves, werewolves and Red Riding Hood.
The fourth good point is the Wolf, who has absolutely nothing to do with the cute and cuddly werewolves from Twilight saga. That Wolf came to our world from the darkest layers of hell and is as evil as it is powerful and cunning. And it has absolutely no heart, no remorse and no soul.
But the best thing in this movie is the general atmosphere, which is frequently quite erotic, when in the same time there is absolutely no sex and no nudity. Somehow, the simple presence of a flock of nubile girls and young men who court them and the always present menace of a half human Beast which enjoys preying on young females is enough to generate the very special mood of this Red Riding Hood. Amanda Seyfried, her blond hair and her red cape contrasting with the virginal white snow certainly contribute a lot to this atmosphere. However this movie is much more subtle than "Company of wolves", in which at one moment Red Riding Hood gets all naked and joins the wolf pack...
There are some violent moments in this film, but here also it is much less brutal than "Company of wolves".
So all in all I can't really give less than five stars, because I really spend a good moment watching "Red Riding Hood" and I will certainly look forward for the next Catherine Hardwike movie.
was quite excited to see this movie because with Catherine Hardwicke as the director, I expected it to be twilight-esque which is unusual for a fairytale. This movie is full of twists and turns and expect the unexpected because this movie had me gripping the edge of my seat in suspense the entire way through. The way that the traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood is incorporated into this movie is fantastic, I was a little doubtful at the start of this movie as to what relevance this movie had to the original story, but it made it all very clear later on. Not only has this movie combined a children's story with the supernatural, the big bad wolf has moved onto bigger and better things, he is now a werewolf, but there are also elements of romance in this movie. Amanda Seyfried is an incedible actress and she plays this role well. Some may find this movie a little disturbing and perhaps gory, but on the whole it is not too frightening. I was experiencing so many different emotions whilst watching this that one would think I was bipolar. Maybe I was paying enough attention, but for me, the ending was truly one of the most suprising things. The suspense is held the entire way through as we see things through the eyes of Valerie, aka Red Riding Hood, as she tries to figure out which person living in her village is the wolf.
This is Little Red Riding Hood with a twist. Don't miss out.
on 1 May 2011
firstly, this movie is good for anyone that likes adventures and deep guessing about who the wolf might be. In some ways its set up as a murder mystery and practically every character is a potential suspect, however i found it to be a new and much more gothic version of what is known as a simple child's tale.
Amanda seyfried is perfect for the role of valerie (red riding hood) as she gives across not only an innocent look but i did find myself warming to her character.
My only problem with this film is it takes a bit long to really get started but once it does, this movie has the power to draw you into it.
I would definitely reccomend that you give this film a chance as i think it does have something that appeals to everyone.
WORTH A WATCH
on 20 July 2015
To be fair i'm not a teenage girl, so nice looking boy characters in a film just doesn't cut it. Script will put you to sleep, cinematography is awful, acting is bad. Do not recommend. It's not even good as a horror, nothing, there is no gore, there isn't even a bit of tense psychological thrill. Dull film.
on 28 December 2011
I really didn't know what to expect but figured that if it had Gary Oldman in it, it won't be too far off track!
I thought it was awesome.
The first thing that struck me was the soundtrack and the cinematography. Right from the very start it manages to instill an almost uncomfortably sinister feeling, even though what you were seeing visually, is anything but. The film manages to capture the fairy tale element of the story we all heard as a child. Yet, you soon feel that all is not as it would seem.... Throughout the film, I thought yeah, this is predictable and just when I thought I thought I had worked it all out, it would add yet another twist to the story, and kept me guessing pretty much right up to the tragic but happy end.
Cleverly done, beautifully filmed, haunting soundtrack. May not be everyones cup of tea, but if you enjoyed films like Van Helsing or Dracula, this will be right up your street.