Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red riding hood

The village of Daggerhorn has been subjected to the terror of a werewolf for two generations. They constantly live in fear, offering up their best livestock in the hopes that the werewolf will not take one of them. The town is horrified when Lucie (Alexandria Maillot) is found murdered by the werewolf.

Lucie’s father, Cesaire, mother Suzette and sister Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) are greatly saddened by the loss of their daughter and sister. Valerie has the additional strain of now being betrothed to the wealthy Henry Lazar against her will, because she loves Peter, a woodcutter in town. Her friends inform her, insensitively that Lucie was in love with Henry and that finding out Valerie was engaged to him might have caused her to seek her own death.

The men in town are furious that the werewolf killed one of their people and decides to take action. They head out to the cave where they think it lives, against the wishes of Father August (Lukas Haas), who tells them that he has called for the famed werewolf killer Father Solomon (Gary Oldman). They ignore him, where Adrien Lazar (Michael Shanks), Henry’s father, is killed. They bring back the head of presumed werewolf.

Valerie demands to know from her mother why she didn’t arrange a marriage between Lucie and Henry when she knew that Lucie loved him, but she doesn’t need the answer when she sees Suzette (Virginia Madsen) weeping at the body of Adrien. She tells Valerie the truth – that Adrien was Lucie’s father, making Henry her half-brother, and begs Valerie not to tell Cesaire (Billy Burke) of this horrible secret.

Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) tries to distance himself from Valerie, knowing that she is better off with the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Henry has his own issues – he is dealing with the loss of his father and being engaged to a girl that doesn’t return his affections and also the insinuations from Valerie’s grandmother (Julie Christie) that he might have been the werewolf and killed Lucie when he lured her out on the night she died.

Father Solomon arrives and is immediately at odds with the townsfolk. They insist they killed the wolf, he insists they didn’t and tells them the story of how he killed his own wife when he found out that she was the werewolf that had been plaguing their town. He sets guards around the village, telling them that the next few days is known as the “Blood Moon” – a phase that a werewolf’s bite infects the victim and doesn’t kill it, leading to the creation of new werewolves. Solomon tells them that the wolf is amongst them and that they will find it by caging everyone in.

That night, the town continues with its celebration of the wolf’s demise, ignoring Solomon’s warnings. Peter and Valerie bump into each other and start to make out, but are interrupted, while not knowing that Henry witnessed it all.

The wolf attacks again within the village and Father Solomon is proven right. As they flee into the church grounds, were a werewolf cannot enter, Valerie and her friend Roxanne (Shauna Kain) is cornered by the wolf. Somehow, Valerie understands him and that he tells her he will kill Roxanne if she doesn’t follow him.

Claude (Cole Heppell), Roxanne’s autistic brother, is brought in by Solomon’s men when they find him hiding. Solomon accuses him of communicating with witches and being evil, blissfully unaware that autism is a disease. He eventually dies in captivity. Roxanne, who thinks Claude is still alive, tells Solomon that Valerie can communicate with the wolf. Believing her to be a witch, Solomon takes her captive.

Solomon chains Valerie in the middle of the town, believing that the wolf will come to fetch her. Henry and Peter decide to put the fact that they both love Valerie aside to save her, and together they hatch a plan for her release. Peter sets a trail of fire that engulfs Valerie’s enclosure with fire and smoke, and Henry works on undoing her cuffs. Solomon, who manages to spot Henry helping Valerie, orders him to be killed. Father August, who never believed Valerie to be a witch, dies saving Henry. Peter is caught and put in the brazen bull that killed Claude while Valerie and Henry escape.

 captured

Solomon: “Do you know how you kill a tiger, father Auguste? You tie up your best goat and wait.”

Valerie and Henry rush to church when chased by the wolf and Father Solomon tries to keep her off the holy ground to get the wolf to take her. The wolf warns her that he will kill everyone in town if she doesn’t tag along, but the town rises to protect her. The wolf flees in the rising sun, and Solomon is killed by his own men when they realise he was bitten by the wolf and will now become a werewolf because of the Blood Moon. Henry tells Valerie that Peter is missing and they become suspicious that he may be the wolf.

Is Peter the werewolf that has been plaguing the town? Will Valerie go with the wolf? Or who is the wolf? Who will Valerie choose between Henry and Peter, both worthy of her affections?

Rating: 6/10

I’ve watched this movie quite a few times before sitting down to write this, and honestly, I have no idea why I frequented my eyes on it so much. This last time I watched I was really unimpressed with most of it, although there were a few points that made it bearable.

I really like Amanda Seyfried. She is a solid actress and produces good entertainment 90% of the time. She made this movie work because she is well cast as Victoria, or Snow White.

I always like Sirius Black in movies. For the life of me, I can NEVER remember his name unless I Google it. So, it is Gary Oldman and I think he is such a good actor. I do think they could have developed him in here more, because he really had that extremely cold religious nut down to a science.

The director is the same lady that directed Twilight, and I can say that she certainly favours certain scenery and imagery. The opening scene is so similar to some of the scenes in Twilight I would like to compare the trees in here to the trees in there. The movie has exactly the same feel as Twilight, a dark type of fantasy. I don’t think it is a bad thing, dark fantasy, I think it works really well in most cases, but this nearly smacked of a type of Twilight fan-fiction type of thing. (And we all know which books were written as Twilight fan-fiction, and we know how much I hate it)

Another thing that really plagued me was the costume design. Those clothes didn’t look roughly hewn or old at all, maybe something that could have been found in a normal department store.

The eventual identity of the wolf was a good surprise and I liked how it was executed. I enjoyed Father Solomon’s demise because he wasn’t a character that inspired kind feelings.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

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4 thoughts on “Red Riding Hood (2011)

  1. Lovely review friend. You still scored it higher than I did haha. I was furious at how they had messed with Oldman, I freaking love the man. Anyhow. Yeah, not the greatest movie of all time. You really weren’t impressed this time around.

    • I actually liked it the first few times I saw it then I went back and was like erm okay this is actually quite bad. I love Seyfried too, but I don’t think they went into the best direction with this movie!

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