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Showing 1-10 of 528 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 709 reviews
on July 18, 2014
As a purist of medieval history, I was prepared to be horrified by this film (and I don't mean in a good way), after seeing mixed reviews. I have to admit that the first 20 minutes or so was an adjustment, for that reason. The era is undefined (I laughed at the log cabins, the women constantly carrying baskets, fishing net hanging on the wall). I couldn't figure out whether it was just lazy filmmaking - lack of research. But then I realized it is intentional. The era is intentionally vague. Everything is vague, in order to lead you into a beautiful dreamland. And beautiful it is. The set is stunning. The acting is superb (check out that stellar cast list!). The film is experimental, campy on purpose, and a blast. Amanda Seyfried is breathtakingly beautiful, as always, and up to the script, as always. Gary Oldman is great, as is Julie Christie. Lucas Haas nearly stole the show. And sexy up-and-comer Max Irons is terribly dashing in the role and swoonworthy - he played the part straight, with great earnestness, and has you believing every cell in his body is honorable and true.

I felt transported from beginning to end. I think that to assume it was trying to be a contemporary horror film, an adult film a la Twilight, or anything other than it is, is a mistake; it is intentionally simple as a story (with a neat twist), not because the filmmakers are catering to a pubescent audience, but because they wanted to retain the basic feel of a fairy tale, despite adult overtones in theme. As a piece of film art, it is brave and never less than interesting. The filmmakers understand the magic of a fairy tale at its core: the charm of the story is that the romance is sweet and simple, while the wolf is a symbol of terror; the juxtaposition is what creates the fairy tale flavor - it's what kept us listening wide-eyed as kids. I think this was a grand experiment. As a professional novelist, I appreciate innovation and daring, and I think that is what was present here.

Someone else commented that the adult themes were closer to the foundation of the original tale. I actually wrote a paper at university about the metaphorical meanings, historically speaking, in common fairy tales. People in earlier centuries looked for and more readily understood, metaphors in morality tales, while in the modern era we are conditioned to read things as literal. Red Riding Hood is traditionally a metaphor for the dangers of rape. Young girls wandering too far from home (the woods - where anything can be lurking, including men), encountering strangers. Disobedience, nonconformity, and independence in young women leading to disaster. It was originally intended as a warning tale. ("Red" symbolizes lust, daring, independence, and evil, as well as blood.)
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on February 10, 2013
Make no mistake about it - the intended audience for this film is the younger teenaged crowd - though with themes that glorified promiscuity and betraying your parents for a boyfriend, I'm not entirely sure how well suited it would be for most adolescents. That aside, there were occasions when 'Red Riding Hood' did attempt to rise above the teen romance (or rather, lust) genre. Coming from someone who was both on the fence about watching it and unimpressed with the opening, I have to admit there were many redeeming qualities within. This was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, and yet, it was not nearly so bad as some reviews here have suggested.

The Cons:

- Both male leads. I refer to them as Donnie Brasco and Elvis.

- The dialogue was sometimes fair, occasionally good, but usually corny. In one scene, Donnie Brasco steps up and says "We can't give her to the wolf. That's human sacrifice." Yes, thank you, Captian Obvious. But I really don't think 17th century villagers being picked off by a werewolf with a grudge did much stepping onto the 21st century politically correct soapbox. Instances such as that, and the classic referral to the other villagers "judging" her, made me feel like I was in high school again.

- The stupidities, such as running water flowing from a well in the dead of winter, and pretty boys/girls flouncing about with naked arms and collars open halfway to their naval in the same weather.

- The overall theme. While the ending was satisfying, it was also redundant. (!!!Minor Spoilers Ahoy!!!) Valerie kills one werewolf only to hook up with another. And who that first werewolf was makes me lament for the priorities of your average teenager.

The Pros:

- The mystery element, which was not overly obvious and did keep the viewer suspicious of everyone and constantly doubting their own conclusions.

- Very well paced. The storyline flowed, and every scene was important to the plot.

- It wasn't a traditional horror movie, but the stunning visuals, which were mostly not comprised of computer imagery, only contributed to the creepy atmosphere. It was eerie, and something of a light thriller/mystery with werewolf lore thrown in.

- The werewolf. After watching practically every werewolf movie under the sun, and ALWAYS being disappointed, this, in all honesty, was the lycanthrope I have been waiting all these years to see. I don't want to spoil it by giving too much away, but it was wolflike without too closely resembling a normal wolf, though not overdone with the CGI. It was actually frightening for its believability factor.

So, if you're like me and are constantly on the prowl for a good late night werewolf flick to sink your teeth into (apologies for the puns), this is certainly not great cinema, but was very entertaining and definitely worth a watch.
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on June 28, 2011
This movie could have been so much better. However, I did watch it without any grat expectation. The trailers looked intriguing and I thought the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood might lead to a good plot. Unfortunately, I found the tale to be below average. The accusations that this is simply another Twilight movie I cannot substantiate. I have never seen the Twilight movies although I have been told about thenm. From what I've heard they took liberties with the vampire myth that does not necessarily happen in Red Riding Hood. However, if you are expecting Howling type transformations--forget about it. There are no special-effect scnes like that, in fact, the werewolf simply looks lik, well--e a wolf.

I was surprised that Gary Oldman took this role. I would also like to know how much they paid him to do so. He has had far better roles than this that I can't believe he lowered himself to do such a sub-par film. His talents so go beyond a film like this. The sets have a Tim Burton look to them, but not quite as over-the-top. The actors are fair, but then again this wasn't meant to be a drama but a thriller, although, I was never really "thrilled." There is a sub-plot which misleads you as to who the werewolf really is, Unfortunately, by the time we find out, we don't care anymore than you really care about how the movie ends.

Be that as it may, it is probably worth a watch, but don't expect any surprises. They had an opportunity to do something really good with this but the writing simply falls short. This could have been a dark, brooding, even haunting film that could have made you jump out of your skin, but it is little more than eye candy and I only say that because of the sets. The Three Little Pigs would have lent itself to a more nightmarish spectacle. If anything, I feel for all the actors who had such weak material to work with, especially Gary Oldman, and I hope to see him in something better than this fluff soon.
We still love you Gary.
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on February 1, 2016
I couldn't help but laugh at the wardrobe throughout this whole entire movie... If it's snowing, WHY are people NOT wearing long sleeves?!?!?!?!! And come ON! Seriously??? NO JACKETS??!?!?!! Ok, there were jackets, but not when it was at night when they were hunting the wolf???

And I DID laugh at the *wolf* dance, there is no way that would have been acceptable during that time period. I love watching movies that are based on the past, but they drive me insane when there are sooo many things that are unrealistic!

I LOVE Amanda, I think she is a fantastic actress, but this movie made me cringe one too many times and I am annoyed that I actually bought it...
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on June 19, 2011
First things first. I must address some accusations regarding this film that I just don't understand. What's with the comparisons to Twilight? I found this film to have nothing in common with any of the Twilight films, and yes I've actually seen, well mostly, the Twilight films. The only two things I could find was the romantic male lead had similar Edward-gel hair, and the director is Catherine Hardwicke(lest we forget she also directed the great films 13 and Lords of Dogtown) the director of the first Twilight film. Yeah, otherwise, there's no real love triangle, no vampires, not set in modern times, it's got more of a horror movie and fairy tale vibe, and the focus on the story isn't the romance. The romance is a side story to the impending doom and family dramas that surround Amanda Seyfried's character. It's not there guys. I know you think you're being clever, but you're not. Secondly, there are a ton of comparisons to Neil Jordan's film In The Company of Wolves. Again, not really much in common. Jordan's film was more surreal and visceral and had no real narrative. It also only had one segment out of three that focused on the latter part of the classic Red Riding Hood fairy tale. The both reference the fairy tale, but that's about it. They're not similar in tone, story or style. Again, by saying these things doesn't make you clever.....sorry.

Okay, this movie has one major problem as far as what it merits. It misses a great chance to update a fairy tale and make the original story's themes more modern or switch them. It could've easily been about virgining sexuality and rebellion. Instead we get no themes. This is a straight whodunit with a werewolf in the center. That's it. No deep themes. No real point beyond lite fluffy entertainment. This is a real bummer. I just keep asking myself, "why is this thing called Red Riding Hood"? It references elements of the story, but that's it. It's a completely different story. It borrows from well known versions of the story and little known ones, but it only gives them lip service and doesn't really make them modern or relevant to a new generation. It has no spin on the meaning of the story. Why bother make this movie, why bother call it Red Riding Hood? Like the review title states, a real missed opportunity.

Now I'm not narrow minded, so I'm aware that this would be boring and simplistic to be a straight retelling of the fairy tale. Which version would you pick? The version where Red Riding Hood takes out the wolf herself, showing she can take care of herself, or the one where she is saved by a heroic woodsman giving her a second chance and allowing her to atone for her willful 'female' ways? Yeah, this story was an aural experience and was only written down later. Sorry folks, Brothers Grimm didn't event these stories, just like the monks weren't the real authors of Beowulf. You can tell it anyway you want. But this story doesn't tell it any way. It's about an un-named village in an un-named universe that has made a peace treaty with a werewolf. One day Amanda Seyfried's sister is murdered and the hunt is on for the werewolf. Seyfriend is being married off to the local rich kid, who she doesn't love or care about, but she is in love with a logger who is dashing but as about as wooden as the trees he chops. A local Holy man calls in Gary Oldman, expert in the occult-killing werewolves and witches, to slay the beast. We get scenes of the wrong beast killed. Werewolf attacks. Seyfriend being accused of being a witch. Skeletons from characters' pasts coming back to haunt them. Crazy crusader oppressing those he has been sent to protect. An unrequited romance that has no sizzle. And finally the werewolf's identity revealed, surprising but not earth shaking, and outcome of the romance. That's it. Not Red Riding Hood.

A better title for this film would've been Blood Moon, as the wolf's powers of transformation and created cursed is based on the three days the moon is blood red. Why is Seyfriend given the red hood? What is the point? It's not symbolic of anything and it just seems shoehorned into the story for no real reason. Why is there a dream sequence where she has a very famous interchange with her grandmother-"Grandma, what big eyes you have"? It all seems out of place. Why not say something with the material. Werewolves have an inherant primal theme regarding letting the wild side out of ones personality. Why not do somthing with this. This is instead a bug hunt with a werewolf at the center.

The acting from Seyfried and Oldman are fine. Seyfriend is a real original presence on the screen these days. She holds the movie fine. Oldman hams it up but keeps it roped in just enough to keep us from laughing. He becomes a villain of sorts towards the end of the second act. That's another thing, there's only about three werewolf attacks in the film. Even the third act has our main werewolf appearing only in human form. There's some stuff in here about Red Riding Hood being a witch due to her mental connection to the wolf, but it's really just there to muddle the plot, which as far as I could tell, was about finding and unmasking a werewolf. The rest of the cast is forgettable. Max Lions rich boy suitor barely registers. He is written as a wet blanket. At the end of the film there are explanations of him becoming the protector of the village and the leader of a werewolf hunt, but there's no build up or investment in this, so it barely matters. The woodsman is wood, wood, WOODEN. This guy is a decent looking but he has no chemistry with Seyfried, he isnt written very well, and he's not a good enough or charismatic enough actor to pull off wood lines or listless interaction. Virginia Madsen is in this thing too....but wasted.

Now the effects and set designs are amazing. The set design here, mostly practical, are the best I've seen since Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. The werewolf is more of a large black wolf, and made totally of CGI. It looks okay most of the time. CGI animals still havea tendancy to movie too fast through the screen make it more obvious that they are animated. Looking at this film with the sound off would be okay it's so well shot and designed. Also, I really liked the score and soundtrack. It's modern sounding but not too much that it be distracting. Considering this story takes place in a nondescript time period in a made up time and place, it really doesn't bother me that no one has an accent, people speak and act modern, and all looks a little too clean. It's a fairy tale looking world without a fairy tale being told. Okay.........

The film is fine while on. The love stuff is uninspired as written and performed. The story is no allegory, but rather a straight monster movie with a whodunit in the mix. It's nothing special but fluffy eye candy that you may love or just forget. The people who hate it seem to have some vendetta against Twilight. Although, I wonder why they talk so much about or even watch things like this or Twilight if they hate them so much. Why not do something, you know, more productinve or that make you happy? Then, what would they do on the internet all day?

Blu ray looks beautiful to match the photography. The special features are negligable. The alternate ending actually makes more sense than the theatrical cut. There's some added PG-13 steamy sex, and a final reveal in the final moments that really don't matter that much if you think about it. But since the extended cut makes more sense in the edit(theatrical version has a montage of the never shown sex scene that is very confusing) actually showing the love making it's a better ending. That's all. The only other feature I was interested in was one about the making of the werewolf. It's not a featurette. It's a montage of wire frame CGI werewolves, some onset doubles with music playng in the background for about three minutes. Some interviews with conceptual artists would've been nice. Lame. Movie won't kill you to watch, as it won't kill you to miss it either.
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Amanda Seyfried Was Excellent In This Movie. I Really Like The New Take On Red Riding Hood.

Gary Oldman Stood Out As He Always Does And It Was Just A Ver Good Movie
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on November 1, 2016
This is Red Riding Hood for the adults. Blood, guts, and gore. This one's not for the little kiddies. An evil man-wolf is terrorizing a village, killing it's beautiful maidens. It could be anyone. Bring in the Hunter and the suspects mount. Sounds cheesy but it's actually a pretty good movie. There are lots of big name stars to boot. I recommend it.
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on December 25, 2012
Red Riding Hood really doesn't deserve 2 stars. It is really that outrageously bad. I suppose I gave it 2 stars because it has certain "production values" that are somewhat interesting and, yes, it has Gary Oldman, who I am a big fan of, in spite of the fact that he plays a completely ridiculous character in this turkey. My big question is--along with probably most people who have sat through this-is what in the hell is with that big, freaking metal elephant? Who came up with such an absurd idea in the first place? And the whole werewolf bit? It's just all so incredibly STUPID and worse, badly scripted. This flick almost makes the whole Twilight movie thing seem good and that's just scary. The director would have done well to sit down and study Snow White and the Huntsman to see how to take an old story and breath new life into it. But then again, I think this particular story for this particular purpose was DOA to begin with. Again, 2 stars is being very generous.
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on July 3, 2017
Not the best fairytale interpretation. Probably best suited for the teen audience, but not fully appropriate for such an audience. The subject is good, I guess I expected more.
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on October 2, 2016
Again, another excellent action adventure/suspense movie. It was a different way to look at the children story. But it's not a bedtime story at all. It's more blood and gore. But suttle. I loved it. Kept me on the edge of my seat.
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