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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Riding Hood (2011)

A small village has been terrorized by a werewolf for several generations. The prettiest girl (Amanda Seyfried) in the village is in love with one boy (Shiloh Fernandez) but betrothed to another (Max Irons) under pressure from her mother (Virginia Madsen) but all that becomes secondary when her sister (Alexandra Maillot) becomes a victim of the wolf. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT, THIRTEEN), the film begins promisingly. There's a stylized Gothic horror atmosphere and sense of foreboding that would have done the Brothers Grimm proud and the wolf itself is wonderful. Hardwicke shows a sense of humor too as with the arrival of Gary Oldman as a wolf killing priest whose entrance befits a rock star and furnished a groupie (Lukas Haas). Then in a betrayal of her audience, Hardwicke goes all TWILIGHT on us with the bland pretty boys Fernandez and Irons mooning over Seyfried as anachronistic synthesizer pop plays on the soundtrack and it becomes clear that what started out as a Freudian contemporary take on Red Riding Hood tale is intended as more fodder for the TWILIGHT fanboys. A real pity as the film had potential. With Julie Christie (very good) as Red Riding Hood's grandmother and Billy Burke.

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