Movie Review: “Red Riding Hood”

This 100-minute, PG-13 Rated Fantasy/ Horror/ Mystery should please all the fans of the director’s earlier “Twilight” movie series. Once again, the leading female character Valerie, played well by Amanda Seyfried, is trying to decide to marry her long-time love or the wealthier young man her parents have chosen for her. She prefers the brooding, tall dark and handsome guy, played by Billy Burke as Cesaire, to the tall, blonde andricher guy Henry played well by Max Irons.
The basic plot is pretty much the same as the “Little Red Riding Hood” nursery story except that the big bad wolf with the big ears, big eyes and big teeth is a giant, talking Werewolf.
Father Auguste, played by Lukas Haas, the spiritual leader of the medieval village at the edge of a great forest sends for Father Solomon, played by Gary Oldman and his band of heavily armed Werewolf Hunters to rid the hamlet of the local demon wolf and any other witches or warlocks their investigation might discover.

 

Solomon points out that most Werewolves hide out in plain sight disguised as one of the human residents of the affected village. He then begins a witch-hunt, inquisition to discover the werewolf hiding in the villagers’ midst. His method of gaining a confession is by using a full-sized bronze model of an elephant designed by the ancient Romans. The subject being questioned is locked inside the elephant’s stomach and a fire built beneath it to help the prisoner being cooked inside the elephant’s belly to remember the answers to the questions he has been asked.

As the plot develops, everyone in the village is soon eyeing each of his neighbors and even some of his or her family members with suspicion that they might be the disguised devil wolf. Since the infrequent full blood red moon is at its zenith, the actual time frame of the main action is that short period.

There is not much else that can be said about the plot without spoiling the movie for those that haven’t yet seen it.

The supporting cast is terrific. It included Virginia Madsen as Suzette, Julie Christie as Grandmother, Kacey Rohl as Prudence, Cole Heppell as Claude and Adrian Homes as the captain to name only a few of the supporting cast members.

This latest fare by director Catherine Hardwicke is actually much more believable than the films of the “Twilight” film series. There is no band of Vampires living in uneasy peace with a large pack of Werewolves while they devour many of the local human residents of the town. In this flick, there is only one Werewolf and no teenage Vampires competing for the love of a local high school aged hottie.

This reviewer still enjoyed watching the movie in spite of some serious distractions by some drunken gang members who sneaked into the film midway through it. Unfortunately they stayed and loudly critiqued the remainder of the movie when they weren’t making calls on their cell phones or throwing empty beer cans into the rest of the darkened theater. It’s harder to watch the film with your full attention when you have to slouch down in your seat to avoid being a beer can target from the drunken idiots ruining the movie for all theater’s paying customers. A few audience members left probably to complain to the theater management, but most of them returned without the local Calvary. Ah, life in the big city. Hopefully, most audiences won’t have such distractions.

 

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