Film / Red Riding Hood

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Red Riding Hood is a 2011 live-action adaptation of the novel by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright and re-imagining of the popular fairy tale directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Amanda Seyfried as the girl in the hood.

The film is set in the medieval village of Daggerhorn. A young woman named Valerie plans to run away with her woodcutter lover, an outsider named Peter, in order to avoid an arranged marriage to Henry Lazar. Valerie and Peter's plan to elope is forestalled when Valerie's older sister is found slaughtered by the mysterious werewolf that has terrorized their village for years. The people of Daggerhorn have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast by offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood-red moon, the werewolf ups the stakes and takes a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people summon a famed Witchfinder General, Father Solomon, to help them track down and kill the beast. Solomon’s arrival, however, brings unintended consequences, as he warns that the werewolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon and panic grips the town, Valerie discovers she has a unique connection to the beast – one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect and bait.


The film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Of the original fairytale.
  • The Alcoholic: Cesaire is implied to be one.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Valerie with Peter.
  • An Axe to Grind: Peter's weapon of choice. Makes sense, given he's a woodcutter.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending can be interpreted as this.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • Valerie and Henry. They break it off when Henry realises she loves Peter instead.
    • Cesaire and Suzette.
  • Asshole Victim: Possibly Father Solomon.
  • Babies Ever After: In the Alternate cut, when Peter returns as a werewolf, we see Valerie holding her and Peter's baby.
  • Beast and Beauty: Werewolf!Peter and Valerie.
  • Betty and Veronica: Valerie is at the center of a Love Triangle between the rebel Peter (Veronica) and Nice Guy Henry (Betty).
  • The Big Bad Wolf: The Wolf.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the climax at Valerie's grandmother's house, Peter.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Valerie's family and by extent, the Lazars. It's implied several generations of her family have been werewolves, passing the curse down to their children and terrorising the village for years. And then there's the affairs, the murders, the accidental incest...
  • Birds of a Feather: Valerie and Peter. They both feel like misunderstood outsiders and want to leave Daggerhorn for a better life.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Prudence. After Valerie is chained up, Prudence proceeds to tell her just what she thought of her all this time, despite pretending to be her friend.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even though the werewolf is gone, the villagers remain frightened and superstitious, a lot of people are now dead, Valerie can never reveal the truth about the Wolf or she'll be persecuted, Suzette has lost her husband, her lover and her daughter and Peter is a werewolf. But, Henry gets to go off and be a hero, Peter learns how to control himself and eventually returns to Valerie, allowing them to finally be together.
  • Black Vikings: One of the few times this may be justified: Father Solomon has obviously traveled all over the place, and it's possible he may have picked up the African brothers and the Asian man in his retinue on his travels. The brothers have African accents to drive this point home.
  • Black Humor: "What happened to the rabbit?"
  • Bloodless Carnage: While the werewolf attacks are gore-less, there is actually some blood splattering throughout.
  • Broken Bird: A male example in Father Solomon, who was forced to kill his own wife. It caused him to be a little overzealous in his duties.
  • Burn the Witch!: Everyone thinks Valerie is a witch because she can understand the Wolf. And the villagers think the Wolf wants only her, so she's being offered as a Human Sacrifice.
    • Poor Claude is stuffed inside an elephant-styled brazen bull, for no more reason than being an oddity. It is heavily implied that he is simply mentally challenged and has a fascination for sleight-of-hand card tricks. Sadly, this is Truth in Television, as many were persecuted for being misunderstood or exhibiting behaviors unexplainable at the time. Martin Luther actually wrote that children believed to be "changelings" (i.e. changed by fairies, based on common Medieval legends) were soulless and should be killed. By his description of their behavior, they were probably autistic or mentally challenged. One wonders if any of these "changelings" were actually killed after or before his advice.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Father Solomon's hand with the silver fingernails which the Wolf tore off, as Valerie uses it to go and kill who she thinks is the Wolf.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Valerie and Peter.
  • Conspicuous CG: While not terribly animated, the werewolf is a digital creation.
  • Costume Porn: Hoo, yeah.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As it turns out Peter, who wears black most of the time.
  • Death by Irony: Father Solomon. "A man bitten is a man cursed."
  • Doomed by Canon: Valerie's grandmother. Although in some versions she lives, she ends up being the Wolf's final victim.
  • Empathic Environment: The weather starts out sunny, then when the village has learned that the Wolf killed one of their own, the weather turns cloudy and starts snowing.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Until the werewolf's human identity is revealed, no one is above suspicion.
    • Except Valerie and everyone who is seen on-screen at the same time as the wolf, that is. Of course, few major characters beside Valerie do appear as the same time as the wolf.
  • Fanservice: The whole celebration sequence, including Valerie dancing seductively with Prudence to make Peter jealous and then making out with Peter in a stable, which includes a shot of her cleavage when Peter starts undoing her corset.
  • Foreshadowing: The dirty look Cesaire gives Adrien as they split up through the tunnels, Father Solomon mentioning the bloodline, the Wolf trying to convince Valerie they were the same, and the fact that the first two kills were the people tied to Suzette's affair.
  • Forged Message: Valerie's sister is tricked outside at night by the wolf when it forges a letter from the boy she's in love with.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Valerie tries to get Peter's attention during the dancing and festivities, by pulling her friend Prudence onto the dancefloor and doing some rather...suggestive moves with her.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Some of the deaths in the film revolve around this trope.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: The grandma definitely doesn't look her age.
  • Grimmification: Although the original tale had plenty of Nightmare Fuel, this version has a much higher body count and the Big Bad Wolf terrorising an entire village, where anyone could be the werewolf.
  • Happily Ever After: Valerie and Peter during the end credits.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Father Auguste is killed by Solomon's men when he tries to stop them from killing Henry as he rescues Valerie, because he's visibly human.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The movie is pretty arguably a great example of this (as well as Darker and Edgier), what with all the bondage-gear pseudo-medieval clothing and rolling about in the snow.
  • Hypocrite: Valerie's mother. Remember her advice to Valerie about learning to love the person you're arranged to marry? Though this is more understandable by the end, when this resulted in her daughter and lover getting killed. She doesn't want Valerie to make her mistake.
  • I Am Spartacus: The town, after being so willing to sacrifice Valerie, suddenly pull this as Valerie relents and offers herself to the Wolf. The Wolf cannot get to her before the sun rises, and it's forced to flee. May also double as a Must Make Amends moment, as Valerie's friend initiates the defense, and she is the one who outs Valerie's secret in the first place.
  • Interspecies Romance: Werewolves and their normal human partners.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Valerie is tricked into eating her grandmother's remains.
  • Jump Scare: Twice by the Wolf. The first one happens in a mountain cave. The second one right after the end credits.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Madame Lazar tells Valerie in a patronising manner that's she's always been "the pretty one" after her sister has just been mauled to death...over her body no less.
    • After Valerie is arrested as a witch and chained up for the Wolf, her so-called friend Prudence comes up to her and states she thinks she's getting what she deserves, as she was always "too perfect".
  • Knight Templar: Father Solomon.
  • Lady in Red: Valerie's red cloak, which she wears over a blue dress.
  • Large Ham / Ham and Cheese: Gary Oldman seems to be having a lot of fun with his role as Father Solomon.
  • Little Red Fighting Hood: Valerie is not an Action Girl but she's still pretty fearless and badass.
  • Magic Pants: It's implied that when someone transforms into a werewolf, their clothing disappears, and reappears when they turn back into human.
  • The Middle Ages: The film takes place in the 1300s.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Everyone in the film speaks with an American accent, except for Father Solomon and his two African guards.
    • Rare example here since Henry's actor has a British accent and you can't tell him from the rest of the Americans.
  • Offing the Offspring: Subverted. Cesaire killed Lucy after finding out she wasn't really his biological daughter.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Key scenes are shown twice at the end after everything is explained by the Wolf's true identity.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Henry, despite the fact that he should have suffered at least a punctured lung, is walking around fine and dandy the very next day, without even a courtesy dressing.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: The three main protagonists, Valerie, Peter and Henry get the happiest endings. Valerie and Peter get to be together and Henry joins the monster hunters to find a new purpose in his life, so he's got that going for him even though he didn't get Valerie. Everyone else winds up either dead or miserable and alone.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • One can only be turned into a werewolf if they are bitten by one during the Blood Moon.
    • Only those that are in their bloodline can understand what they say. Everyone else hears only growls.
    • If someone gets lycanthropy from his parent, then as a werewolf he'll be more powerful than said parent.
  • Patricide: Valerie helps kill her own father after she learns he's the Wolf, though to be fair to her, it was in self-defense. Cesaire also commits Matricide and for far less justifiable reasons.
  • Person with the Clothing: Valerie is the titular Red Riding Hood (though she's never actually referred to as such in the film).
  • Previews Pulse: Its trailers use the pulse of a horn.
  • Quick Nip: Cesaire is constantly seen tipping back his flask. No one seems to care. During the celebration, he has a little too much and is found passed out next to his vomit. Only Valerie does something about it.
  • Red Herring: The Wolf talks like he could be Peter, and Valerie's grandmother is really creepy. They've both got brown eyes too, which the Wolf is revealed to have. Ultimately, neither of them turn out to be the Wolf.
  • The Reveal: Valerie's father is the Big Bad Wolf. Werewolves run in the family.
  • Revealing Injury: After the Wolf burns its paw by stepping on consecrated ground, Valerie's on the look out for anyone with the same injury on their hand. When she sees Peter has covered his hand with a glove, she believes he's the Wolf and shanks him. Subverted in that particular case, Peter's covered hand was unrelated (though it's never explained just why he's going round with one glove on), though played straight when Valerie sees that the real Wolf has a burnt hand, confirming their identity.
  • Scenery Porn: The scenes in the woods are rather pretty and the shots of the mountains in the end are quite majestic.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: When Valerie arrives in her grandmother's house, she sees what looks like the Wolf's shadow in the curtains. It indeed was him.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • The Captain's brother, because he had been bitten, and Father Solomon, for the same reason.
    • Arguably, the death of Cesaire, Valerie's father who was the Wolf.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To fellow folk tale Peter and the Wolf.
    • Peter resembles Edward Cullen somewhat.
    • In the celebration scene when the villagers think they've killed the Wolf, a man with a wolf mask pretends to blow over three people wearing pig masks, saying he's going to "blow their house down"...
    • As well as many Shout Outs from different versions of the fairy tale.
    • Henry Lazar's name and introduction are taken from Fiddler on the Roof.
    • Father Solomon's backstory is taken from a horror novella.
  • Snow Means Death: After the Wolf kills its first victim, it begins to snow. As the bodies start to pile up from there, there's ots of running around and fighting in the snow and blood being spattered over the snow.
  • Spikes of Doom: The trees, and many edges of the local architecture.
  • Spotting the Thread: Used twice. The first time is a fake-out, the second time is for real... but by then you don't need the thread.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Wolf.
  • Surprise Incest: Valerie's sister Lucy loves Henry, who turns out to be her half-brother. This may explain why her mother arranged a marriage between Henry and Valerie instead of her. Add that Henry ''is actually'' in love with Valerie.
  • Taking the Bullet: Or more specifically, "projectile silver stake".
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Peter.
  • Token Romance: Averted; the romance provides the movie with plot points.
  • Too Dumb to Live / Too Happy to Live: The villagers, who are so stubborn, they refuse to believe Father Solomon's explanations that they didn't kill the right wolf, and they celebrate their victory outside at the most inappropriate time.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers seem to hint that Peter is the werewolf that's killing everyone. This happens not to be the case.
  • Überwald: But of course.
  • Weird Moon: The Blood Moon.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Father Solomon. To the hilt.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Suzette's affair with Henry's father is the reason why Cesaire even starts the whole murderous-rampage-kill-people-and-get-revenge-thing.
    • Valerie may also count, in that she makes out with Peter even though she's engaged to Henry.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/RedRidingHood