Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection, but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
We all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Red is tasked with taking a basket to her grandmother and upon her arrival, she realizes her grandmother is not actually her grandmother. It’s a wolf in disguise who has killed her grandmother. He quickly kills Red once she realizes this. Imagine if that story was flipped with a love story added in. That’s what Catherine Hardwicke did with the film Red Riding Hood.
What it’s about:
Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve watched Red Riding Hood and I still can’t decide if I think it’s a good movie or not. I mean the storyline is interesting enough. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), is the Red Riding Hood of this story and she’s caught in a love triangle. Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), is someone that Valerie has grown up with her whole life and she’s in love with him. They want to run away together but her parents have arranged for her to marry Henry (Max Irons).
Sounds like your average story right? Well, it’s not. Valerie’s sister Lucie (Alexandria Maillot) has been murdered by a wolf that has been living among them for years. It’s been twenty years since the wolf took a human life so it sends the town into a tailspin.
The townspeople living in Daggerhorn believe that they have killed the wolf after tracking it down in its lair but they quickly learn they did not. This weird man Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) is the wolf expert and he tells them the wolf they killed was not the one they are looking for. He informs them the wolf is able to take on human form during the day and turns into a wolf at night.
Naturally this makes the entire town really suspicious of each other. After Valerie has a run-in with the wolf and realizes she can talk to it, she starts to suspect everyone she knows including Peter. Once the townspeople know she can talk to the wolf, they instantly turn on her and call her a witch. Like I said, this film is not an average story. To be quite honest, it’s a little all over the place.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the cast and Catherine Hardwicke but this film just did too much. Like I get the love story being added in because it gives more to the story than just trying to capture a wolf. My issue was the twist in this film. The wolf ends up being Cesaire (Billy Burke), Valerie’s dad. He was trying to get her and his daughter to run away with him to the city for a better life. Cesaire reveals to Valerie that he was the one who killed Lucie.
You see, Cesaire set Lucie up by faking a note from Henry asking her to meet him because he knew she was in love with him. Cesaire showed up in wolf form and tried to talk to Lucie but she didn’t hear his human voice. This led him to the conclusion that she was not his biological daughter.
Because Cesaire is part wolf, his daughters have wolf blood in them. Since she didn’t understand him, he knew something wasn’t right. Out of anger, he killed her. That’s pretty messed up considering he spent years raising her as his own. It was far too easy for him to just up and kill her.
Valerie being able to understand him proved that she was his blood. He attempts to get her to go with him and he plans to bite her to make her a wolf too. She doesn’t want that life and refuses. Peter ends up coming to the rescue but he gets bitten by Cesaire. Valerie kills Cesaire and then she and Peter run away.
Its a real bummer of an ending because she and Peter don’t even end up together. He leaves because he’s afraid of the beast he knows he will become. You’re probably wondering what happened to Henry in all this and I can tell you, nothing. Absolutely nothing. He just sorta goes off like John Snow did in season eight of Game of Thrones.
See, this is why I said I can’t decide if Red Riding Hood is a good movie or not. It depends on what kind of stories you like I guess. I mean, it’s an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood with an interesting but awkward twist. It will keep your attention and the cinematography is really amazing so it’s worth investing some of your time in.
- The opening of Red Riding Hood has a very Twilight/Breaking Dawn Part 2, and New Moon feel with all the overhead shots of the snowy mountains, trees, and running springs.
- Just realized Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the Producers for this movie.
- The whole living in peace with wolves thing, was very much like the Cullens living in peace with the wolves in Twilight.
- There’s an alternate cut of Red Riding Hood with a very different ending.
- Shiloh Fernandez is hot.
- Max Irons is hot.
- Father Solomon is an asshole.
Red Riding Hood is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.