Red Riding Hood
is a rushed attempt to sate the appetites of the audience from Twilight
, and it fails to even impress fans of that movie series. Considering the standards these people had to begin with, we are talking about a pretty sucky cash in.
The movie begins by introducing us to Valerie, a girl who lives in a village plagued by a werewolf. She, like every other character, is totally undeveloped. She has no discernable personality, no objective, and no characterisation. In the opening five minutes we learn that her sister has just been murdered. It might have meant something had we known she even had a sister in the first place (let alone, her sister having a character).
To deal with the rise in werewolf attacks, an evil priest cum werewolf hunter is brought in to kill the beast. It is a role Gary Oldman
could play very well, but he is so badly written we never get to enjoy the hammy performance to its fullest. He travels with his wife's severed hand in a box, a giant iron elephant (which serves an absurd purpose) and a crossbowman who insists on wearing a restrictive helmet that prevents him from getting a single accurate shot. Clearly the man is insane, but the villagers somehow lack the desire to run his ass out of town despite him torturing the locals and being totally ineffectual at dealing with the werewolf.
This movie features a fairy story, a love triangle, and a murder mystery. The script tries to juggle all these elements around until we have too many threads that go nowhere. I correctly worked out who the murderer was half an hour in,
the romantic roles lack presence to the point that they are barely of interest, and references to the fairy story are totally perfunctory. The director Catherine Hardwicke is notable for her excellent cinematography, atmosphere and her brave efforts in translating horrible source material
, but the script she was handed for this movie was so trashy, she didn't stand a chance. I feel bad for her, because I don't honestly think she is a bad director and I hoped she would enjoy some success after the Twilight
producers ditched her.
For anyone who enjoyed the first Twilight
movie, just don't bother. The guys aren't even that charming. Which is the least you could ask for in a movie like this.