Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen.
This cheap, cheesy, unintentionally laugh-out-loud re-imagining of a favourite fable shatters faith in some of Hollywood’s biggest production companies as well as their supposed acting elite.
Oh my god! And not in a good way. People were actually laughing at the press show during many serious moments of the film. Including me. It was scary. To watch this log-town in the middle of some alpine region that looked more like it was a very shoddy stage setup.
In the movie, it’s not just a wolf that terrorises the town’s pea-brained inhabitants. It is in fact a werewolf. And terrifyingly (and predictably) enough it’s one of them. We need old Gary Oldman playing a power-crazy, over-zealous priest with silver finger nails (because silver kills werewolves) to tell the simple peasants of the town this. They of course simply make merry after killing a regular wolf. Then the real werewolf attacks, speaks to Valerie (Seyfried, our titular belle) — “Oh you can talk,” she says to him causing more hilarity in the audience. Is this an amateur school production?
Red Riding Hood’s suitors are dull and lacklustre. The mystery is equally tame and the scares are pathetic. Remove the music and you’d walk out halfway. Director Hardwicke (Twilight) has tried to infuse some of Twilight’s sickly romance to this film. Sorry, but thankfully it doesn’t work, as some of us don’t want another Twilight Saga in this world.
The CGI, acting, production, story, dialogue and magic of a fable like this are sadly below par. I was actually rooting for the wolf to bite some of the character’s heads off. With lines like, “A man bitten under the blood moon is cursed,” you can’t blame me. Oh and the proverbial red riding hood that good ol’ grandma knits and gifts Valerie is so tacky you’d probably see a bum or beggar using it to keep himself warm. In fact they should donate the wretched thing to one. At least it’ll make sense then.
Seyfried is a talented young girl who shouldn’t be doing this sort of trash. Oldman, well maybe he did it for money or as a favour, but his boisterous acting and hamming will ruin his credibility with fans.