A Fair & Balanced “Red Riding Hood” Round-Up

A. Quinton — Mar. 10th 2011

It has been suggested that I am too quick to torch upcoming werewolf movies and television shows if they don’t fit my personal tastes. In response to this offensive and entirely true accusation, I offer this neutral, non-judgmental post.

Catherine Hardwicke’s teen-friendly re-imagining of Little Red Riding Hood opens in theaters tomorrow, and people on the Internet are talking about it! If you would like to talk about it too, here are some things you could bring up:

  • SeenOn.com is a private sale site (registering an account is free) that deals in Hollywood exclusives. They’re selling Valerie’s red riding cape, pendants from the film, a signed script and other Red Riding Hood merchandise.
  • If you like posters of girls running through snowy forests, or posters in general, you can win a copy of the Red Riding Hood poster from The Trades just by giving them your contact information.
  • Amanda Seyfried wore nude heels from Lanvin’s spring/summer 2011 collection to the premiere. (???)
  • The colours in the film are vividly supersaturated because this one time, Catherine Hardwicke went to Burning Man.
  • Gary Oldman can be very polite when confronted by fluff interview questions from Moviefone.
  • Reviews so far have been very decisive: the film is a hollow, bloodless, joyless grab for teen money.
  • Hollywood executives will soon stop green-lighting trash like this, not because some guy was snarky on his blog, but because clueless fad-hopping, glossy over-production and deceptive marketing tactics provide rapidly diminishing returns.

Okay, so I couldn’t keep that whole “neutrality” thing going for the whole post. I tried, though!

  • Roukas

    Obviously you haven’t seen the “wolf” in action.

    Here is a pic of the “brutal beast” launching its “violent attack” on a man from the village. The “huge animal” looks like it’s biting the man with its “sharp jaw.”

    http://deskofbrian.com/2011/01/red-riding-hood-wolf-revealed/

    Wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh

  • Becca

    I already figured that the werewolf is the “Red’s” mother (or grandmother)…lalalala…same old crap every time a werewolf flick comes out.

    I’m waiting for another werewolf movie that can grip me…or surprise me…or shock me. We need more dog soldiers, howlings, werewolves in london, and silver bullets. The genre, my favorite, is quickly turning stagnant due to stupid Hollywood flicks like this.

  • zockereinstein

    Well, if it is bad (as it seems to be), we won’t hear about it in just five days so don’t worry about that. Personally, I always thought that the director is half of the work (the other half covered by producers, writers and actors), so somebody who has credited as having directed Twilight doesn’t sound very promising to me. Perhaps I’ll give it a chance on DVD if the critics don’t be sooo terrible.

  • @Roukas: That pic looks more like a wererat than a werewolf!

    I already assumed that Red Riding Hood would ruin werewolves in the same way that Twilight ruined vampires, so I had prepared myself to not be too upset by how bad it would be. Yet I still find myself surprisingly angry about this.

    I’m about to watch “The Hair of the Beast” (aka “Le poil de la bête”), hopefully it will make me feel better. At least its not going to be a Hollywood crapfest.

  • Randy

    I’m really excited to see this although I despise Twilight trash. For some reason I have the hots for Seyfried, maybe it’s her eyes, which are huge (someone may’ve been miscast here). There’s also the werewolf factor, which makes me curious albeit skeptical about how well all that’s going come out. Julie Christie has a cameo too, so here’s hoping I’ll at least enjoy it.

  • Komodo

    Morbidemntia: Because EVERYTHING THAT ISN’T WULFFY ENOUGH IS A RAT OR A GORILLA OR A PIG right?

    Looks like more Twilight-esque cgi garbage. Was there ever any doubt?

  • MarkOne

    Won’t see it. Have no intentions of seeing it.

    Only thing I want to know, for those who will be seeing this, is will there be some kind of werewolf transfomation, or are we gonna get the lame treatment we’ve seen from the Twilight flicks.

  • @Morbidementia: I see that Hair of the Beast is now available through Amazon.ca. Is that how you got hold of it?

  • Becca

    @Morbidementia, please let us know how Hair of the Beast is. I’m trying to get my hands on it without purchasing (I’m waiting for a thumbs-up).

  • I’ve long been an obsessed werewolf fan, and have, for years, felt a kinship with you. I despise the recent neutering of werewolves, and prefer my beasties, well, beastly.

    That said:

    Saw the film Red Riding Hood Saturday, and tried to dampen my expectations–more like hopes, in actuality–even though its star, Amanda Seyfried, was brilliant in the campy comedy/horror/coming of age flick Jennifer’s Body. Since the movie’s website and merchandising is clearly aimed at the teen audience, if not specifically to the irritating Twilight/teen vampire/emo-tistical niche, I fought to keep that from coloring my experience.
    And, by gum, I was utterly, pleasantly surprised. The film was a surreal wildlife painting in motion. The sparing use of colors made certain hues reach out with life. The often strange flora, and flowers in winter, seemed a fond nod to the ’80’s film The Company Of Wolves.

    The dialogue and acting were accessible and personable. The language was modern, yet not overbearingly so (certainly no tacky pop-culture references or out-of-place accents). References to dispatching werewolves and evidence of such were accurate historically, as were the Catholics tools of the trade. Gary Oldman played a wonderfully single-minded and cruel werewolf hunter and priest. The uneducated, unquestioning religious views, and planned marriages for money rather than love, and the default fear of the villagers to anything out of the ordinary, as portrayed in the movie, lined up with the years of werewolf lore, and by proxy the European peasants of the time, I’ve digested. If one is expecting a werewolf transformation scene, or a bipedal wolf-man-monster, neither are featured in the movie. This didn’t disappoint me, as it would’ve distracted from the plot. The werewolf was like those described in the time period, not bipedal-style man-wolves but large demonic wolves.

    The reveal of the werewolf came as a surprise. I was tickled to be so, as often such genre films are formulaic. And, as has been suggested here, no, it was not the grandmother. Also, to me the finale was a satisfying one, especially when most
    werewolf movies end tragically or hopelessly.

    To me the film was a pretty fantasy, a fable on the big screen. I’m very happy I went.

  • Andres

    This is gonna be like twilight without the vampire.. and with a giant dog, cause there’s a huge difference between a werewolf and a giant puppy..

  • Roi

    Wow. This post was my thoughts precisely. When it comes to my taste in werewolves, I should always follow my gut. This movie sucked. Plain and simple. To sum it up, it wasn’t a werewolf movie at all. CGI wolves on steroids will never count as a ‘werewolf’ for me. Not the mention the characters, story, and about everything else was just so God awful. …and hmm… familiar. Golly-gee like a supernatural teen romance isn’t overkill enough in the past year alone in the movies [or books].

    And not even a transformation scene!!! WTF?! A transformation is so vital to any werewolf film [another reason I just cannot allow myself to think of this movie as a ‘werewolf film’…!