Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Written by: David Johnson
UK Cinematic release date: April 2011
Young Valerie falls for poor orphaned woodcutter Peter, much to the consternation of her family who want her to marry blacksmith Henry. But will anyone survive when a wolf starts attacking the village?
Sharing a director and Vancouver setting with the Twilight films, Red Riding Hood has a similar feel and aesthetic quality to the aforementioned vampire films. The medieval village, swathed in snow and surrounded by woods and mountains, is absolutely stunning and a perfect backdrop to this creepy love story.
And what love story would be complete without a love triangle? Since childhood Valerie has been in love with bad-boy woodcutter Peter, however she is now betrothed to Henry. I could certainly see why she would be attracted to the dark and wild Peter, but I have to admit I warmed to the thoughtful Henry.
Gary Oldman's character, Solomon, enters the village in imposing style offering to rid them of their wolf. Whilst his character was ambiguous at first - is he a good guy come to rescue the villagers and protect his children or a man just out for revenge at the cost of everyone else? - his acting as always was impeccable. In fact I couldn't fault the acting at all throughout the film.
As the film plot is very loosely based on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, I can see how some would be annoyed by the slant of the film, deviating from the original story by featuring a werewolf who is able to turn those it bites into wolves during the blood-red moon. I figure if you watch the film not expecting the fairy tale then you shouldn't be disappointed.
Who this werewolf is, is a big mystery throughout the film (thanks to all the actors wearing brown contact lenses or having brown eyes).
Normally I can guess straight away who is the murderer or mysterious character, but I had absolutely no clue in this film until it was revealed at the end. This one will really keep you guessing!
If you haven't yet seen the film, here's a sneaky peek at the trailer...