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Red Riding Hood This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Red Riding Hood is a movie loosely based on the original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale. The main girl, named Valerie (which sort of misses the point of the title) lives in a small village which is plagued by the attacks of a cursed wolf during the blood red moon. On top of that problem, she also has to deal with her creepy grandmother, a drunken father, and the fact that her mother is forcing her to marry a man she doesn’t love. Just when she decides to run away with her true love, Peter, the wolf attacks and kills her sister. Shortly after a hunter comes to town to reveal that the cursed wolf is someone who resides within the town. Since everyone conveniently has the exact same eye color as the wolf, Valerie begins to suspect the ones close to her. It’s up to her to put on her ridiculously long hood and head over to grandmother’s house in a badass fashion.
This is aimed at a teenage audience, so if you’ve ever seen a Twilight film you know what to expect. I knew what to expect when I saw the trailer for this. It was obviously inspired by Twilight, directed by Catherine Hardwicke who, what a shock, directed the first Twilight, and aimed at the kind of audience that would enjoy them (which mostly consist of teenage girls, mothers of teenage girls, and boyfriends dragged by their ears by their teenage girlfriends).
Despite the fact that I am a part of that demographic, I’ve never been into the Twilight Saga. The only reason I even watched those films is because my friends are, so they have dragged me into every installment of the series so far, and will no doubt do so until the last film. I considered myself lucky when they spared me from this one.
But then I had to see it, and I thought it I would be obnoxiously bad like the films it’s based on (I can feel myself gaining popularity already). Then I saw it, and you know what, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, it is bad in a laughable way, but there are a few things I liked about it.
The main girl actually uses her brain to solve the problems that come her way. She doesn’t trust those around her, including her love interests, so she works things out on her own instead of crying in a corner for her boyfriend like some protagonists *cough cough* Bella *cough cough*I could mention. And the boys, while somehow able to spike up their hair hundreds of years before hair gel, at least resist the urge to take off their shirts. I also liked how each character has their own motivation for what they do, like how Red’s mother only forces the marriage because she lost her own true love, the huntsman’s reasons for having no tolerance for werewolves, and Red’s friend’s betrayal just to protect her mentally disabled brother. Though it is played out like any high school soap opera, these kinds of relationships aren’t usually touched upon in movies like these.
Though the reason for this might be because the movie is pretending to be this intriguing mystery, so everyone has to have a motivation (other than having brown eyes) so they appear suspicious. But the movie forgets that no one who bought the tickets wanted to see a mystery. It’s a basic “last person you’d expect” case so all of those character motivations are pointless. But I’ll stop whining for a moment and get back to the good things.
The story takes place in a small village in the middle of the forest, where this allows the story to have an atmosphere while also giving the wolf attacks some plausibility. You can feel that the village has its own culture that it’s been thriving on for generations, so it refuses to take up any other kind of logic when trying to solve its problems. When the wolf attacks get worse the villagers become more paranoid they turn to betraying one another just to save their own skins. Even Red’s friends betray her. It really goes to show just how far people will go just to retain stability in their lives. It actually sort of reminded me of The Crucible. Though admittedly this village is surprisingly clean despite being in a forest far from civilization.
But of course that doesn’t excuse the movie’s major flaws. It’s terrified of letting the audience think. It feels it needs to explain EVERYTHING. Whenever it brings up something important the movie cuts to a flashback or repeats it like we forgot what we saw ten minutes ago. Sometimes they cut to flashbacks that you aren’t quite sure when the heck they happened. Like at the end when Valerie is flashing back to her time with Peter, when was that? Was it before the whole wolf thing or was it in her head or did they just feel like climbing a mountain and then coming back down to where they were? ANSWER ME MOVIE!
Maybe it’s because it doesn’t have much to flash back to since this movie is actually pretty short. That’s probably because once you get past the romance and wolf story the movie doesn’t have that much to offer. It’s a romance story with a wolf, that’s all it really is. It’s fun to laugh at and kills time, but it’s far from an enriching or even a memorable experience.
So in conclusion, Red Riding Hood has some good ideas but becomes too dumbed down by its romantic side to be taken seriously.Though I did enjoy it way more than all of the Twilight movies I’ve seen so far.

I give it two actually threatening werewolves out of four.





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beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm
I felt your review was very honest and spoke truth. While I was doubtful that this movie would be totally awesome or jaw dropping, I was curious to see what it really looked like. I agree with the points you bring up---that some elements from the Twilight Saga are present in the film, but the characters don't exactly fit the typical stereotypes, such as the damsel in distress. The two out of four rating you give the movie seems to be rightly granted. Liked the depth of the review also---usually ... (more »)
 
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