Red Riding Hood (2011)

Well, anybody who remembers Neil Jordans excellent The Company Of Wolves from 1984 will know how this one goes. I think it’s how movies are greenlit these days; they have to be based on earlier properties or easily described as being ‘film x mixed with y’. Red Riding Hood is Twilight for fairytales just as I Am Number Four was Twilight for sci-fi.  Hollywood sees the latest ‘thing’ and decides to jump on the bandwagon by mashing things up a little. In my darkest moods I suspect movies have nothing new at to offer; not true of course, but having seen possibly too many movies over the years it’s all too easy to see elements of them being re-used in others in increasingly derivative ways.

Essentially, Red Riding Hood is The Company Of Wolves by way of the Twilight movies- something perhaps magnified by Red Riding Hood  being directed by Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, which lays bare where the intentions lie . I think it’s how movies are greenlit these days; they have to be based on earlier properties or easily described as being ‘film x mixed with y‘. Throw in some cinematography from Ridley Scott’s Legend and art direction from Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and you’ve pretty much nailed all that Red Riding Hood has to offer.

Billed as a modern-day retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale, it’s really little of the sort.  It features the red hood and the grandma in the woods, and a werewolf, but thats about it- in truth it’s really it’s a romance, the heroine being courted by two men, one a commoner, the other an aristocrat, while her village is under siege by a werewolf who may indeed be one of the villagers themselves. Cue Gary Oldman in chewing-scenery mode as an old man’s Solomon Kane intent on solving the whodunnit as he tries to discover who is the Werewolf whilst the heroine gets on with the more important task of choosing which of her suitors to marry.  

It’s really as pointless as it sounds, and like many current films, features genuine acting talent hamming it up for the paycheck. How else can you explain people like Julie Christie, Gary Oldman, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas slumming in a derivative turkeyfest such as this? For the art? The original, dynamic screenplay? Yeah, sure.

Well, it looks pretty, I’ll say that for it- some of the imagery is very nice, especially on the Blu-ray; but really, isn’t that true of everything these days with cgi and digitally enhanced visuals?  Cinematography isn’t what it used to be- used to be all in-camera but nowadays films get so much processing in post everything looks pretty.

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