Red Riding Hood (2011)

Rated R. V-4; L -0; S/N –4. Running time: 1 hour 40 min.

My heart is in a

nguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
Psalm 55:4-5

Not the Little Red Ridinghood of the children s tale.

21011 Warner Brothers

This Red Riding Hood in this Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), Red Riding Hood’s name in this film, is a buxom maiden with her heart set on Peter (Fernandez), a lowly woodcutter, but whose parents prefer her to marry the wealthier Henry (Max Irons). Director Catherine Hardwick has combined elements of her vampire Twilight movies with that of the werewolf legend to produce a very different take on the fairytale. Although this is definitely not for children, it is not filled with the gore (or the sex) that would earn it an R rating. And we are also spared the ridiculous sight of a bare-chested hero showing off his pecs even though it is winter.

In the remote village of Daggerhorn Valerie the villagers have kept a local werewolf at bay by offering up to it a pig tied to a stake. However, when it decides on human flesh and kills Valerie’s sister, the village men set off to hunt it down. They kill a wolf in a dark cave, but newly arrived priest Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) tells them they have killed just a wolf. He tells them that in between its full moon killings, the werewolf takes on human form, living amidst its future victims. Thus the film becomes a bit of a mystery film, with plenty of clues suggesting that various characters, including Valerie’s grandmother (Julie Christie), might be the monster.

Father Solomon arrived with two daughters (yes, you read right) in an armored coach (apparently a werewolf had attacked his family, killing his wife) and a metal elephant. Yes, you read this right, too, the hollow elephant serving as a cage in which a prisoner could be held while a fire is lit beneath it belly. The priest, in his zeal to discover the identity of the werewolf and backed by armed knights, thus becomes as great a menace to the villagers as there original oppressor. There follows a long and complicated series of events, with the improbable ending a bit of a cop-out. This might become a midnight cult film, given the wooden dialogue and acting style of the two principal male stars, but never a classic.

You’re on your own for this film too in the unlikely case that a group wanting to discuss it.