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Review: Red Riding Hood

Twilight director, Catherine Hardwicke's latest feature is a revamp of the classic Red Riding Hood fairy tale. The film follows Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), a girl torn between two suitors - woodsman Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) or clean cut blacksmith, Henry (Max Irons). However, bigger problems come to light when her village becomes the target of a vicious werewolf, the identity of this werewolf may be closer to Valerie than she thinks.

The film is visually impressive, up to a point. The dreamlike, snow-covered village locations and mysterious looking forests provide the film with a brooding and foreboding atmosphere. However, this feels totally redundant when we see the massive slobbering CGI wolf that appears ever so often, destroying something that was visually impressive. However, interesting props - a giant metal elephant (don't worry it makes more sense in the film) and stylish (yet realistic) costumes, add much to the film.

The poor man's Christina Ricci, Amanda Seyfried takes the lead here. She's an obvious casting choice - pale skin, big eyes, etc but I don't think it's payed off. I just don't think she's a convincing actress, unless she was playing one of the trees. The male leads, fare slightly better, however it's clear Max Irons isn't at his father Jeremy's talent level yet; Shiloh Fernandez is quite interesting. However, everything about the casting of these three just makes me think Twilight (Oh and there's even Billy Burke - one scene shows him lying in the snow after vomiting, I believe this is what happened to him on set most days). This is supposed to be an edgy and sexy revamp of Red Riding Hood but it's not, it just feels very PG-13/12A, the 'violent' attacks from the wolf are rather pathetic and the closest thing we get to sexy is Shiloh undoing the lace on the front of Amanda's bodice... Whoar!... No not really.

That's not to say the film does not have it's moments. All the scenes with Gary Oldman and Julie Christie are the entertaining. Oldman hams it up as priest turned werewolf-hunter, and commands the screen. Similarly, Julie Christie steps into the role of Grandma - and damn right, she's as cute as a button. These two screen legends do make the film somewhat of a pleasurable experience.

This isn't for everyone, and it's clearly aimed squarely at the Twilight crowd, however it's somewhat entertaining fun which is worth a watch for the occasionally striking visuals and fun supporting performances.

Review 8263371440593918664

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