x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Red Riding Hood

Overall a bland venture, this film starring Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman comes off as a cynical rehash of a lot of existing movies.

From left, Shauna Kain as Roxanne and Amanda Seyfried as Valerie.
From left, Shauna Kain as Roxanne and Amanda Seyfried as Valerie.

Red Riding Hood
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Gary Oldman
**

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke puts a dark twist on a beloved story in this fantasy thriller about Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), a young woman from a remote town who is in love with the local woodcutter (Shiloh Fernandez) against her parents' wishes. As the pair plan to run away together, a wolf begins terrorising the village, killing several people. Things take a turn for the worst when occult expert Father Soloman (Gary Oldman) warns the villagers it is a werewolf, leading Valerie to suspect those closest to her. Obviously aiming to cash in on the current teenage fantasy craze, the story feels like a cynical rehash of a lot of existing movies. Hardwicke herself creates a sense of eerie wonder with the set design and the look of the film; however, her cast and story do little to engage. Seyfried is solid but not exactly spellbinding in the lead role, while her on-screen love interests are two-dimensional and dull. Sexualising a beloved children's fairy tale seems an odd move, but when flanked by an unoriginal story and lacklustre performances, that appears to be the least of the film's problems. Red Riding Hood is, ultimately, a bland film that won't live long in memory.

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