¨ If you love her, you'll let her go.¨
We`ve all heard the fairytale before about little red riding hood and her visit to her grandma`s house, but this film takes a much darker spin on the familiar story; unfortunately it takes one for the worse. The story is so ridiculous that I think this will probably be the frontrunner for the worst film of the year. It`s too bad they couldn’t make a better film considering the director and the great cast that was involved in this project. In the first place you had director Catherine Hardwicke who has directed several interesting projects like Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. Her most notorious movie, however, was Twilight and I know she got a lot of critiques for that, but even I enjoyed that film. Red Riding Hood is by far her worst film and doesn’t live up to her early work although she also missed the mark with The Nativity Story. The magnificent cast is also wasted in this film: Amanda Seyfried is an interesting actress but there was nothing she could do with the script she had to work with. Then there is the always dependable Gary Oldman, but I couldn’t help but think his role in this film was one I already had seen before. The great talents of Virginia Madsen and Julie Christie were also put to no good. David Johnson is the man responsible for massacring the story and his screenplay is probably the worst thing about this film since the dialogue is beyond ridiculous.
The story takes place somewhere during medieval times in a small village that is tormented by some sort of werewolf. The villagers have made a truce with the wolf by offering some sort of animal sacrifice every full moon as long as the beast stays away from them. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is one of the local girls that is very much in love with a woodcutter named Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), the only problem is that her parents, Cesaire (Billy Burke) and Suzette (Virginia Madsen), want her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Valerie and Peter decide to secretly run away together when all of a sudden a bell rings which serves as an alarm for a wolf attack. The beast has slaughtered Valerie`s older sister and the whole town is outraged. They decide to hunt the wolf in order to get their revenge. They also hire a famous werewolf hunter named Solomon (Gary Oldman) to help them with the hunt. Solomon brings along his guards and claims the wolf could be anyone from the village so he keeps a firm hand on all the villagers and his methods are rather harsh. The wolf proves to be a difficult match for Solomon and many more people begin to disappear. At the meantime Valerie has to decide who she can trust, Peter her longtime love, or Henry her soon to be husband. Anyone could be the werewolf and not even her grandmother (Julie Christie) is off the hook.
It would be hard to avoid comparisons between this movie and Twilight since the same director was involved in both projects and we have the whole love triangle deal, and yes even a werewolf. The difference in my opinion is that Twilight had a far better story and an unbelievably strong chemistry between the lead characters. The characters in Twilight are much better developed, and in this film they just seemed out of place in such wonderful scenery. Not even the beautiful white snow seemed real as the characters wore light clothes and no mist came out of their mouths. It was as if it were snowing at 80 degrees. Frozen is another film I watched this year which I hated and even that film at least captured the cold and freezing sensation. This movie wasn’t able to transmit any emotion at all. I didn’t feel entertained, scared, or amused by anything that was going on. The only highlight of the movie was perhaps the scenery, but that was it. The suspense doesn’t exist, and the ending is rather ridiculous. I completely hated this movie and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone at all. It was a waste of some talented people. I didn’t have a problem with the performances as much as I did with the story.