Twilight ‘medieval’: Red Riding Hood

E4 offers free monthly previews of upcoming films they, as a corporation, deem student-y fare under the ‘Slackers Club’ banner. It’s a pretty fantastic idea as it gets butts into seats on otherwise quite nights. I have but one problem with this rather cunning enterprise: so far it’s been a completely mixed bag. From what I can remember these are some of the offerings: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Submarine, The Wolfman (2011), Get Him to the Greek, a marathon of the first season of The Misfits, Burke and Hare and most recently, Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood.1 1 The films with links to IMDB are the ones I ended up seeing. This is not at all indicative of my preference seeing how I cannot seem to pass on the opportunity to see a free film, more on that later.  My love of Amanda Seyfried/her portrayal of Lilly Kane on Veronica Mars/fairytales dictated that I would see Red Riding Hood, be it in the cinema or through ~other~ means. I had been following the project from the point when Amanda Seyfried was cast as the eponymous heroine of the film, yet I managed to complete miss the casting of Julie Christie and Gary Oldman. /fail The opening scene in Red Riding Hood reminds me slightly too much of the opening scene from Twilight. I’m not just saying this because Catherine Hardwicke also directed the first in that particular trilogy. The swooping arial shot of a mountain range with a voice-over? COME ON. Then again, it’s fairly obvious that the film was marketed in such a way that it targeted the Twilight set. It also makes it seem much darker than it actually is. Don’t believe me? Have a look at the trailer for yourself. MS went as far to say that RRH was basically Twilight with three major changes: – a blonde instead of a brunette – it’s all medieval-ish – the werewolves transformations were far better I’d argue that it’s better than just being a Twilight-clone. It’s got a seemingly more independent heroine for one. I’m not saying that Valerie is the bestest film heroine of all time,2 but at least she’s not a sullen cow who constantly needs saving. Amanda Seyfried does a reasonable job with what she’s been given, which may or may not include a head wound 😉3 She’s perfectly cast for the role, what with the blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes – not that, as far as I know, there’s a physical description of the little red riding hood or anything… Shiloh Fernandez could give Taylor Lautner a run for his money when it comes to being a bad actor. He has two expressions and neither of which are not-snarly. I’ll give you this: He and Seyfried make a very visually attractive couple. 2 That would be Evelyn Carnahan from The Mummy as portrayed by Rachel Weisz. 3 Seriously, between Mean Girls and Veronica Mars I have a whole arsenal of jokes when it comes to her career choices. Julie Christie, for some odd reason, is not as captivating a screen presence as she usually is. I wonder if it’s because the producers realised that in no known universe would you pit Amanda Seyfried against Julie Christie in all her glory so they dialled her way down. A part of what I perceived as ‘dialling down’ happens to serve a narrative purpose: changing Julie Christie’s eye colour. I was very confused by Julie Christie’s brown eyes in the film as I was dead sure she has very pretty blue eyes. Then I realised that every character aside from Valerie had brown eyes! I can’t really go into why this is significant as that would be spoiler-tastic but it’s actually quite a clever way to move the story forward. For those of us who are huge fans of the original fairytale, let it be known that “Grandma, what big eyes you have!” does in fact feature in the film; unfortunately it was also one of the moments when the entirety of Cameo 2 exploded into laughter. It was a very poor directorial decision and I can’t really say more than that. My verdict? It’s not as terrible as I thought it would be but it’s almost unbearably cheesy at points. Some of the the fairytale elements were better left on the cutting room floor. 5/10

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One response to “Twilight ‘medieval’: Red Riding Hood

  1. Oh my gosh yes! Bestest heroine is Evelyn Carnahan from The Mummy! 🙂

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