Monday, March 14, 2011

Red Riding Hood

It's true - Red Riding Hood has a lot going for it right off the bat. Amanda Seyfried, a retelling of a classic fairy tale, werewolves... just reading about it, we knew we'd love it. Then trailers began appearing online and on the big screen and just confirmed what we thought earlier - we'd love it. Fast forward to March when it arrived in theaters. We went in with excitement at an all-time high, and while that can sometimes ruin a film, in this case, it just made it that much better.

While most critics are eating this movie alive, we've never associated ourselves with other critics - and for good reason. Most movies (and books, TV shows, plays, etc...) we love are torn apart by them, and most movies (and books, TV shows, plays, etc...) that put us to sleep are praised by critics and awarded by various awards shows. So if you came here to read a review tearing this movie apart, you can go somewhere else...

Part romance, part thriller and part mystery, Red Riding Hood follows Valerie (Seyfried), a girl from a small village that is being tormented by a werewolf. Other blogs have said it, and we agree - Valerie seems to be the same character that Seyfried plays most often, but only in a red cloak. Mostly, we were reminded of Needy Lesnicki from Jennifer's Body, but perhaps that's because of the sex scenes and horrified expressions Seyfried pulls off so well in both movies. Valerie's in love with Peter, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks...well, town... although she's engaged to Henry, an equally good-looking, but richer man. (Um... what's the problem, sweet cheeks? Do them both.)

Henry looks a little Cullen-esque in this picture, but we promise he's hot...

If love triangles weren't enough for Valerie to worry about, things get worse when her sister ends up dead - the first casualty in werewolf attacks in a long time. The town goes crazy and the men of the village plan an attack Beauty & the Beast-style. Carrying torches and knives, they head to the cave where they think the, werewolf... lives and kill a wolf. Bringing its head back on a stick, they throw a celebratory festival. Things go great - a little roll in the hay (literally) for Valerie, some dancing - until the wolf attacks. Guess that head didn't belong to the right wolf. Oops. The wolf attacks some people, jumps on some rooftops and then - in the worst part of the movie, and the only part that left us saying "REALLY?", it speaks to Valerie. Not by opening its mouth like Babe, the pig, but by mental telepathy or some shit. We're not really sure.

But because Valerie can speak to werewolves, the village decides she's a witch and decide to use her as a sacrifice to the wolf. We won't say anything plot-wise after this scene because this is where things get great, and quite frankly, we don't want to ruin things.

Romance-wise, we were invested. We would have been happy with Valerie choosing either one of her gentleman callers. Unlike other werewolf love triangle movies directed Catherine Hardwick where there is CLEARLY only one smart decision...

Thriller-wise, we can honestly say we jumped on more than one occasion.

Mystery-wise, we were left guessing the werewolf's identity until the final reveal. And we were still wrong.

As long as Amanda Seyfried keeps starring in things and Hollywood keeps making fairy tale remakes, we'll watch everything that involves all of the above...using the big eyes we have.

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