Red Riding Hood [Blu-ray]
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In a medieval village a beautiful young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure. When her sister is killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village, the people call on a famed werewolf hunter to help them kill the wolf. As the death toll rises with each moon, the girl begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. Panic grips the town as she discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast--one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect...and bait.
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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.)
Top international reviews
I enjoyed the interplay between the characters. They all showed chemistry, especially Amanda and Shiloh. Amanda Seyfried works for me as 'Red Riding Hood', though she is not addressed as such in the film. Amanda is not playing an atypical victim, but a young woman who is comfortable with who she is and what she wants. Shiloh Fernandez was a good casting as the brooding would be love of Red. He doesn't go over the top, but plays the part just right. Max Irons character was also a good casting. He is your typical male lead and a fitting counterpart to Shiloh. All in all the three leads do a very good job and play their roles responsibly. This is not a tale for children to watch but more an adult version of the film.
The supporting cast led by Gary Oldman, who is brilliant in every role he takes, are great. We are kept guessing as to who the wolf is with good scripting and acting. I enjoyed the music and ambience of the film. They helped weave the story.
Many people have criticised this film, but I enjoyed it and will happily watch it again.
I have to say that I nearly switched it off but am glad I didn't - it got so much more interesting after a VERY naff start.