Red Riding Hood (2011)

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IMDb Rating
5.4 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

Valerie (Seyfried) is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter (Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are p

  • 1/5 Star Rating.
(Based on 3 Ratings)
MPAA Rating:
100 Minutes
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Catherine Hardwicke

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on March 9th, 2011

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I find it more than a little disturbing that burgeoning female sexuality is now depicted almost exclusively in movies by the metaphor of a woman being torn apart by some kind of monster. The latest entry in the emerging genre of coming-of-age-meets-werewolves is Red Riding Hood - a boring, stupid and troublingly inept pile of trash. It is the first awful movie I've seen in 2011, but it won't be the last (oh, what a warm tingling of recognition I felt in my belly as I came to that realization).

Red Riding Hood is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who somehow manages to one-up her previous monster porn, Twilight, in terms of insipid dialogue, bland acting and distractingly cardboard set design. Actors shuffle uncomfortably in tunics on what is unmistakably a soundstage that may as well have been left over from a high school production of Our Town.

Even Twilight's suffocating self-importance starts to look virtuous in light of how Red Riding Hood wavers between somber drama and winking irony. At least Twilight had the courage to be so idiotically serious; Red Riding Hood never approaches the so-bad-it's-good camp, rather faltering in an awkward gray area.

The story: In a murky, vaguely Medieval-ish time (mentions of "cities" are made, though soldiers still wear coffee cans on their heads), there is a town in the woods that lives in fear of a wolf. For 20 years, we learn, they have had a truce with the wolf, appeasing it every full moon with an animal sacrifice. (Though Christian faith will later play heavily into the movie, this is the first of several oblique references to the village people actually being pagans. Further along in the movie, there is an uncomfortably long scene at a bacchanal featuring village people wearing animal masks. This will never be addressed.)

Meanwhile, the beautiful - and increasingly sexual - Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is in love with a poor wood-chopper named Peter (are you kidding me?). However, Valerie is being forced to marry the well-to-do Henry (Max Irons, dead behind the eyes). Blah blah blah, Valerie's sister is eaten by the wolf, and Father Solomon (Gary Oldman, slumming it) must be called in to defeat the beast.

What follows is an action movie without any thrills, a romance with no emotion, a horror movie with no scares and a comedy that's incapable of laughing at itself. Even scenes of chaste love on a bed of hay feel remarkably cold.

Seyfried does her part, which mostly consists of quivering, for one reason or another. She does well at conveying an ease of sexuality that was missing from the Twilight movies, and she will emerge from Red Riding Hood relatively unscathed. Formidable character actors Oldman and Lukas Haas do what they can with paltry material, but there's no saving a movie so far gone from the get-go.

And monster porn, it seems, is cursed to walk the earth for at least a little while longer. My suggestion for the next sexy monster? The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Slime it up, Hardwicke. - One half star

User Reviews of Red Riding Hood (3)

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  • 1/5 Star Rating.

skeptic said on Mar. 16, 2011 at 11:44am

I have to admit, I was kind of excited to see where this movie would take us. I mean, werewolves are the new black right now. But I was sad to see that there really wasn't much substance behind the cloak. I actually felt very confused most of the movie, and not because of the "guess-who-the-werewolf-is" nonsense either. I couldn't decide what "type" of movie this was trying to be. It was a sad mish-mash of "Twlight's" poor-acting and cold-glares, the set and mood of "the Village," and the musical and present day undertones of "A Knights Tale." All in all it was a dissappointment because it wanted so very badly to be a monster movie but ended up eeking by as a joke. I think there is a lot of potential to turn great imaginative kids stories into adult themed movies right now (think Pirates of the Carribean, Transformers and IronMan) this was just poorly executed.

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Rev. Adam McKinney said on Mar. 16, 2011 at 1:38pm


Funny you should mention "The Village." That both movies have a village idiot did "Red Riding Hood" no favors in avoiding that comparison.


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chris w said on Apr. 11, 2011 at 5:19pm

Great review Adam. It looked from the trailer that the movie would squeak just past respectability with Gary Oldman's appearance. But then again he was in The Scarlet Letter.

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