After the twisted brilliance of 2003’s Thirteen, it’s difficult to accept that once-edgy director Catherine Hardwicke is responsible for this toothless, Twilight knock-off. Tapping today’s fertile paranormal romance market, Red Riding Hood is riddled with emotionally flat acting, clichéd camera tricks and laughably unconvincing CGI.
Opening on overhead shots of snow-capped mountains and flower-flecked meadows, the film bears copyright-infringing resemblance to Twilight from the off, leaving the viewer feeling as trapped and powerless as the movie’s werewolf-terrorized villagers. Worse still, it’s not long before Edward Cullen wannabe Shiloh Fernandez (famously pipped to the post by Robert Pattinson) is unveiled as Little Red’s (Amanda Seyfried) love interest. Despite being set in a deep midwinter of bygone times, our brooding hero appears gelled and primped within an inch of his life, pouting for the many lecherous close-ups that feature heavily throughout the movie.
Predictably caught in a love triangle, Seyfried plays a similarly sketchy, half-baked character who, unruffled by the death of own her sister in the opening sequence, remains flawlessly made-up and serene from start to finish. A surprise appearance from Gary Oldman in a purple frock sees the plot plunged ever deeper into absurdity with a predictably demented, witch hunter-type character. Topped off with a “beast” that’s more overgrown domestic mongrel than monster, Red Riding Hood is possibly the worst werewolf flick ever created.
It’ll take more than silver bullets to erase the memory of this parent-pleasing, cinematic stinker.