By Stephanie Zacharek
By Chris Packham
By John Anderson
By Nick Schager
By Anna Dimond
By Chris Klimek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
In a wintry woodland in an unspecified time long, long ago, teen beauty Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is arranged to marry brooding, hunky, rich dude Henry (Max Irons), but is plotting to run away with brooding, hunky peasant Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). Then bummer! Valerie's sister is eaten by the werewolf that besieges their village, thus forcing our heroine to weigh her own budding libidinal desires against supernatural forces beyond her control.
Sound familiar? Directed by Twilightfranchise launcher Catherine Hardwicke and shot on clunky-looking sets embellished with garish digital effects, Red Riding Hoodis a cheap attempt to cash in on that vampire series' massive success.
RRH, like the Twilightmovies, is geared to the just-pubescent demographic: Hardwicke lovingly shoots a medieval bacchanal as if it were a movie prom, while Valerie's encounters with the CGI wolf are cartoonish when they should be chilling. Where the Twilightfilms play the material dead straight, RRHveers between monotonous, soapy seriousness (the bickering of the boy rivals, various impassioned confessions) and camp (Julie Christie's growling Grandmother, Gary Oldman's bombastic professional wolf hunterwho rides into town towing a giant iron elephant).
Give credit where credit is due, I guess: RRH's sequel-baiting ending breaks new ground in endorsing mortal danger as a teenage aphrodisiac.
I'm SO sorry I was talking to my friend and I meant to say that to her! I haven't seen it. I'm really sorry!
RRH will be released in less than 48hrs, yet this is among the first reviews of said movie to hit the internet. While I've had my hopes up for this film, the combination of last-minute screenings with this and other initially negative reviews can only mean one thing: RRH is a dud.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city