The story is set in a fictitious medieval village. There, lives Valerie a young girl, in love with her childhood sweetheart the woodcutter, Peter, but is engaged to the blacksmith, Henry. When her sister dies after a wolf attack the village calls upon a wolf hunter to finally kill the wolf that’s haunted them for decades. But they soon learn that the wolf is among them and the village goes into a witch/wolf hunt frenzy.
After directing the first Twilight movie, the “teen vampire fairy tale”, Catherine Hardwicke tries her hand at another fairy tale. This time the classic Red Riding Hood, which promises to be darker if it goes the way original fairy tales usually went.
But Red Riding Hood wasn’t quite the dark fairy tale it probably wanted to be.
Throughout the movie, you’ll get the sweeping swirling overhead shots of the wintery mountains and forest, which is so familiar to anyone who’s seen the Twilight movies. This is great if you’re setting up a romantic story in the woods. But it doesn’t quite set up the big bad wolf in the woods aspect of the story.
I’ve seen a documentary once in Discovery or National Geographic, how hundreds of years ago, people were afraid of night time and the dark in general because they had few sources of light. That was definitely something that the movie could have tapped into and exploited. The idea of not being able to see anything but still hear danger lurking. So that’s what the movie failed in doing. Setting up the mood and the fear that drove these people to sacrificial rituals.
Instead it’s overwrought with all the love triangle aspect of the story, which isn’t quite a love triangle really. And I must say it looked too modern to be in any way believable. And, it doesn’t play much of a purpose in the big bad wolf story either other than perhaps to somehow imply why Valerie is a desirable prey for the Wolf. Which is prey to what? To eat or to mate?
And we do wonder why the Wolf wants Valerie. And why it goes into a public display of it. When it could have lured Valerie into the woods quietly, Valerie was after all quite the spunky medieval girl.
Performance wise, no one stood out in a good way. Everyone seems a little awkward and out of place. The lines and actions are like I said before, too modern. Especially the dance during the celebration. And I wished it didn’t have the “Oh grandmother what big teeth you have” lines…which were cringe worthy.
Finally the end, when it comes was not quite a satisfactory one. It didn’t quite tie up all the events that had occurred before. And the public way the Wolf went about for its desire for having Valerie, was not quite explained.
So overall, it wasn’t really a good movie but I think it was still a decent watch on a lazy weeknight.