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Red Riding Hood (2011) Film Review

Updated on April 30, 2018
Meisjunk profile image

I have a BA in English Writing and a Minor in Sociology. I am a writer, editor, feminist, and potterhead.

Red Riding Hood Promotional Poster
Red Riding Hood Promotional Poster
Amanda Seyfried plays the young Valerie
Amanda Seyfried plays the young Valerie

Wonderfully directed by Catherine Hardwicke, this horror film has the perfect atmosphere to keep you on the edge of your seat. It is ripe with the drama of forbidden love, paranormal horror, and the every day dramas that are a part of every family in time immemorial.

Amanda Seyfried plays Valerie, a young girl from a small medieval town called Daggerhorn. She has fallen in love with a poor man from the same medieval village, but she is technically not allowed to see him. Peter (played by Shiloh Fernandez) is a lowly woodcutter, and Valerie's parents are not in the least pleased with her choice of actions.

Amanda Seyfried talks Red Riding Hood in this Interview

Caesar and Suzette are not only displeased by Peter's lack of money and status, but they are also displeased with the fact that Valerie has been sneaking away to see him against their wishes. Caesar and Suzette instead want Valerie to marry (and have in fact promised her to) a wealthy blacksmith's son.

Peter and Henry try to stare the other one down.
Peter and Henry try to stare the other one down.

Henry, played by Max Irons, is good looking enough, but Valerie is not interested. More importantly, she is not in love with him as she is with Peter.

It is apparent early on in the film that there have been attacks. Believing it to be the work of a wolf possessed by the devil, the townspeople literally gather with pitchforks and go hunting. They return at dawn with a wolf's head atop a stake, but not before the audience glimpses the real threat as the werewolf takes down one of the townsmen in one quick stroke.

Gary Oldman plays a dashingly semi-evil Father Solomon.
Gary Oldman plays a dashingly semi-evil Father Solomon.

Just as the town starts to celebrate the death of the wolf menace, Father Solomon (played by the gorgeously dashing Gary Oldman) shows up and kills the mood--almost literally. He laughs in the townspeople's faces and lets them know what he thinks about their supposed victory.

After many denials, Father Solomon simply leaves them to their stubborn fates. During the celebrations, Father Solomon is proven correct. The real werewolf appears and kills many before confronting and attempting to steal away Valerie. In fact, Valerie finds she can speak to the wolf, and though he asks, she refuses to run away with him.

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Valerie becomes suspicious of her grandmother.
Valerie becomes suspicious of her grandmother.
Red Riding Hood
Red Riding Hood

Buy the DVD and see it for yourself!

 

As the plot progresses, hints suggest that either Peter or Adrian could be the Big Bad Wolf, as well as Valerie's grandmother. Bet you didn't see that one coming. The film is so full of Hollywood stereotypes, I found myself rolling my eyes at the cliched lines about "doing this for the greater good", the forbidden love subplot, the insinuations against the grandmother, and a girl's accusation that Valerie is a witch, plus countless more. Fortunately for the film, Hardwicke directs the film with such a flawless atmosphere, and the actors know what they are doing.

While this loose representation of the fable Little Red Riding Hood is interesting and worth a watch so as to form individual opinions, I expected much more than the cliches that were presented. The PG 13 rating (despite the horror genre) usually suggests that the movie is focused at both teens and adults. However, the cheesy writing and romantic angst shows that the film really is meant for young teens. I give it a 3 out of a 5 rating.

Red Riding Hood Trailer

© 2011 Jennifer Kessner

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    • Meisjunk profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Kessner 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for commenting! =) I was uber happy to find such quality videos, actually. Sometimes all I can find are the trailers. Hope you keep reading!

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 6 years ago

      Woe ! interesting video. interesting hub.

    • Meisjunk profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Kessner 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      @Kitty: I love the scenery and the costumes just as much! =) Amanda Seyfried is just amazing. Have you seen Letters to Juliet? I recommend it! And then you can go read my hub about that one too, haha. =) Thanks for commenting, as usual!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

      Meisjunk - I went and saw this movie in the theater with my best friend. I actually found it not that scary, but I fell in love with the scenery and the costumes. Oh, and also the hunky guy! :) I enjoyed it overall, and I have to say that I am becoming an Amanda Seyfried fan with each piece she does. Voted up and useful. Great review!

    • Meisjunk profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Kessner 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I didn't find it too scary, but I think that's because the cliches kept me from taking it too seriously at times. It made it easier to keep myself a bit distant. There are definitely a couple instances that will make you jump as the action speeds up, though. Either way, I think it's worth watching in order to form your own opinion of it. If you do, let me know what you think!

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

      Good description; is this really scary? I'm not really into horror films, but these seems to be more like a star-crossed lovers suspenseful type of film. I voted this up and useful!

    • Meisjunk profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Kessner 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you. =) I hope you enjoy the movie.

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 6 years ago from NewYork

      nice post the clip look interesting,

      afraid of scary movie, however i am going to check this one out..

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