Red Riding Hood

Film
2 out of 5 stars
Angela Carter and Neil Jordan already connected the girl in the cape, her granny and the wolf to teen sexual ferment in 1984’s ‘The Company of Wolves’, but the clear reference point for this newly suited and rebooted legend is ‘Twilight’. Director Catherine Hardwicke departed the franchise under contentious circumstances after the first part, and here revisits key story elements in medieval settings, as Amanda Seyfried’s virginal-yet-venturesome heroine (pictured) finds herself torn between romantic rivals (lusty woodchopper Shiloh Fernandez, sensitive blacksmith Max Irons) and communing with the dark side – here a cute digital werewolf.

Yes, there’s enough connection with the source’s underlying issues of repression and desire to give this reason to exist, but, boy, does Hardwicke labour in getting from fairy tale to would-be psycho-thriller. For a start, it’s hard to take any of this seriously. It doesn’t help that it unfolds on sets which reek of Ye Olde Gift Shoppe, while the plot set-up whereby the community lay out sacrifices to keep the big, bad wolf at bay are an unwise reminder of ‘The Village’. Still, at least Gary Oldman jollies things up as a werewolf-hunting prelate with teutonic sibilants and a 20-ton cast-iron elephant-shaped torture device at his disposal. Yes, you did read that right, and very odd it is too, though in a way the incongruity of such fripperies next to Julie Christie’s sinister granny and teen soap-theatrics give Hardwicke’s film a car-crash fascination outweighing its lack of real threat or suspense.

By: Trevor Johnston

Posted:

Release details

Cast and crew

LiveReviews|0
1 person listening