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Red Riding Hood - 11/4/2011 12:34:06 AM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
- 11/4/2011 12:34:06 AM   
badsanta

 

Posts: 126
Joined: 15/5/2006
From: Shanghai
"Brief flashes of the creature attacking are effective, but later extended shots show a purely pixel-powered lycanthrope that would make Rick Baker shake his ponytail in disgust."

Colour me surprised.

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Post #: 2
Very generous... - 11/4/2011 12:53:58 PM   
Taggart

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 5/10/2005
William Thomas is incredibly generous with his review. The film is devoid of any acting talent, and while the trailer looks like there's at least some stylized directing, there's very little of that either. But the worst thing is the appalling script. How this got past the money men is baffling. There's also a rather pathetic attempt at recreating the Twilight love triangle, but it's so lacking in development/performance it makes it makes Twilight look Oscar worthy. Avoid!

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Post #: 3
- 11/4/2011 1:58:43 PM   
jace007


Posts: 70
Joined: 14/5/2007
Strictly for girls who like horror movies ruined by women directors (who have no clue about the genre).

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Post #: 4
- 11/4/2011 1:58:45 PM   
jace007


Posts: 70
Joined: 14/5/2007
Strictly for girls who like horror movies ruined by women directors (who have no clue about the genre).

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Post #: 5
another interesting rating - 11/4/2011 3:50:51 PM   
Notmyrealusername

 

Posts: 19
Joined: 26/3/2011
critics on rotten tomatoes have it at 11%, user reviews on rotten tomatoes have it at 40%. Empire has it at 60%

With this and sucker punch, im starting to think Empire doesnt know how to review a movie anymore


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Post #: 6
RE: - 13/4/2011 4:14:28 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8651
Joined: 13/4/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: jace007

Strictly for girls who like horror movies ruined by women directors (who have no clue about the genre).

Your remarks are so offenvisive, and untrue it is shocking. Why can't a female understand the horror genre, lets face it there are plenty of men doing a shitty job at it right now, and Hardwicke has proven in her other work to be a very solid talent.

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Post #: 7
RE: Red Riding Hood - 15/4/2011 7:08:02 PM   
R W

 

Posts: 343
Joined: 23/6/2006
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter: David Leslie Johnson
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie

Synopsis
When the medieval village of Daggerhorn is terrorised by a werewolf, the infamous hunter Father Solomon (Oldman) suggests that the beast is one of the village folk, while Valerie (Seyfried) gets involved in the middle of it all.

Review
When Catherine Hardwicke dug her teeth into the first Twilight (no pun intended), there have been a number of films that have been trying to attract that youth market. These films (which I would like to call Twi-hards) have included emo protagonists, teenage heartthrobs and young rock music. Having started this trend over two years ago, Hardwicke returns to it with this new version of a classic fairy tale.

The figure that is Little Red Riding Hood has been depicted in so many generations that you ought not to be alive if you’re not familiar with this tale. In terms of cinema, there is Neil Jordan’s gothic horror The Company of Wolves as well as Matthew Bright’s over-the-top modern thriller Freeway, and perhaps Eclipse director David Slade’s brilliant debut Hard Candy.

In the case of Hardwicke’s new film, this is a dark fantasy thriller set within a Crucible-esque village. At the centre of it, there is a conflicted love story in which the young woman is forced upon marrying a wealthy blacksmith’s son despite being in love with the hunky woodcutter. While love gets complicated, conflict ensues as the whole village is not only afraid of the werewolf but also Father Solomon with his sick methods, as well as themselves.

On the basis of the description from the last paragraph, clearly David Leslie Johnson’s script isn’t original as you can sketch out where its clichéd storytelling is going, but to how Hardwicke handles the film makes it a good watch. What she learned from Twilight echoes in Red Riding Hood as she brings a modern teenage sensibility to this medieval-set thriller. Best examined in one long sequence in which a party celebrating the village’s “victory” becomes a rock video featuring moments of teen sexuality along with music by Fever Ray.

The music video aesthetic (which include young men walking through the snow with unbuttoned shirts) towards this can get silly at times, but the director manages to keep things gripped during the wolf attacks as well as any scene featuring Gary Oldman whose non-specific European accent provides a sense of both power and suspicion.

As for the eponymous Red Riding Hood, Amanda Seyfried is top-notch as the strong heroine who is quirky and seductive, and as she goes into dark territory, the more we believe in her performance. With an ensemble supporting cast surrounding Seyfried and Oldman, not all the actors don’t hit the mark as much as the two leads, particularly the male heartthrobs Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons (son of Jeremy).

Verdict
Although it tries to capture that intelligence that Twilight had which doesn’t entirely link well with this darker story, Hardwicke makes a decent medieval fantasy that will attract a young audience, thanks to its two compelling leads.

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Post #: 8
3 Stars really???? - 17/4/2011 11:36:31 AM   
J_BUltimatum

 

Posts: 144
Joined: 20/1/2007
From: Edinburgh
seriously... this got more than no stars!!! At a push I may have given it 1 (that would be just for Gary Oldman). I didn't expect much from the trailer and the fact that it was from the director who brought us Twishite, but this was just plain awful... almost on a par with Fred: The Movie!!! Avoid at all costs!!!! Plus I give this one star because I have too!!

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Post #: 9
Jesus Christ - 18/4/2011 1:53:36 PM   
AboyNamedSue

 

Posts: 283
Joined: 17/12/2005
3 Stars!? Are you joking? This was atrocious.

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Post #: 10
RE: Jesus Christ - 18/4/2011 4:24:02 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8651
Joined: 13/4/2006
No it wasn't that bad. The story is very boring, and due to how bland the male leads are it is nearly impossible to engage with the love element. But on a design level it was impressive, and Gary Oldman is very good fun. At times tidous, but still enough in it to prevant it being terrible.

5.5/10

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Post #: 11
Arsehole reviewer! - 19/4/2011 5:50:39 PM   
sephiroth7

 

Posts: 152
Joined: 14/10/2009
Fuck you Empire!!!! I went against the popular opinion that this was shit because you seemed to think it was good. Not that I put any stock in your reviews anymore (Attack of the Clones way back when saw to that) but surely to fuck it wouldn't be THAT bad. Surely it was closer to a 3 than a 1. Go and ask my bollocks, if you consider this to be good. SHOCKING!

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Post #: 12
RE: Red Riding Hood - 28/4/2011 10:33:47 AM   
Johnny Major

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 26/4/2011
Caution: This review contains spoilers.

Grandma, what big teeth you have. All the better to nibble you gently with my dear. If there is one thing this dark twist on a classic fairy tale is missing, it’s bite.

I hurried down to my local cinema last Wednesday night, itching with anticipation at being plunged into the depths of a haunted world that would leave me terrified of the big, bad wolf. I was expecting to leave an hour and forty minutes later, looking over my shoulder for the prowling beast ready to pounce out of the shadows at any moment. Instead I found myself making my way back to my car stung by the bitter taste of mild disappointment.

Like so many other Hollywood releases that exhibit great potential, Red Riding Hood’s principal downfall is in its basic story structure. Primarily a ‘your enemy is amongst you’ thriller, Red Riding Hood brings the well-known children’s tale out of its bubble of picking flowers and skipping to grandma’s and into a gritty world of wicked betrayal and gruesome murder, aimed at adult audiences. Unfortunately, the tantalising ‘trust no one’ elements of the story have the life sucked out of them by hollow, romantic subplots between the two-dimensional main characters.

The film begins well, rapidly establishing an isolated village that is plagued by a werewolf and the love interest between Valerie, a.k.a. Red Riding Hood, played by Amanda Seyfried, and Peter, the lumberjack, portrayed by Shiloh Fernandez. Upon learning that she has been betrothed to the wealthy, young suitor Henry Lazar (Max Irons), Valerie plans to run away with Peter. However, their plan is quickly foiled by the re-emergence of the werewolf and the brutal murder of Valerie’s sister. The villagers are quick to launch a hunting party to slay the werewolf, returning with its head on a pike. The people rejoice in the defeat of the monster that has terrorised their village only to have their celebrations interrupted by the arrival of Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a seasoned werewolf hunter, who attempts to convince the village folk that the head they bear on the pike is no more than that of a common, grey wolf.

The film reaches its high point here, about a third of the way through, as the werewolf brings the festivities to a gory end with its most bloodthirsty killing spree yet. After the villagers flee the wolf in an enthralling, edge of your seat chase through the village’s dark alleyways, they are quick to take heed of Father Solomon’s words and accept the grisly truth that not only is the werewolf still very much alive but in fact walks amongst them. The story maintains an absorbing pace as a tumult of distrust and accusations grips the village. Sadly, the film looses all momentum as its most dynamic elements are swiftly drowned in a tiresome sea of longing looks and unrequited love.

The audience tries desperately to cling on to the threads of suspicion, attempting to determine the wolf from the likely suspects. Though interest in the wolf’s true identity becomes increasing difficult to maintain when you are constantly bombarded with insipid displays of affection. The Valerie, Peter, Henry love triangle is inundated with the clichés of whispering sweet nothings, confused feelings, selfless acts of love and inevitable reconcilements. By the end of the film you are less interested in the identity of the wolf than you are in escaping the discomfort of cinema seating and restoring feeling to your rear end.

Red Riding Hood certainly looses its edge of tension due to its central focus residing with romance, though when considering the talent attached to the project it is perhaps unsurprising that the film should have taken this direction. Catherine Hardwicke, famous for directing the immensely successful Twilight (2008), headed the production of Red Riding Hood as director. Hardwicke has a real talent for creating engrossing, enchanted worlds brimming with misty forests and mythical beasts, a talent that is exemplified by both Red Riding Hood and Twilight. However, Hardwicke has a tendency to laden her films with overbearing, romantic scenes of intense heavy breathing and melodramatic declarations of all conquering love. Such scenes are at home in films like Twilight, which are aimed at younger, female audiences who are beguiled by extremely attractive vampires spilling their deepest affections for human females. But in films like Red Riding Hood, which are aimed at mature audiences with their gritty stories and coarse imagery, such scenes are cumbersome and detract from the more thrilling elements of betrayal, mistrust and deception.

With that said, Red Riding Hood did exhibit many enjoyable features. Aside from the worn love triangle, the story possessed some engaging aspects, in particularly the tensions of doubt and suspicion amongst the villagers. The visuals were stunning, taking you on a visual feast through twisted woods, ghostly caves, eerie villages and snow-covered plains. The minimal costume design was exceedingly powerful, with Valerie’s scarlet cape drawing your attention against the earthy backdrops. In addition to this, Amanda Seyfried gave an excellent performance as Valerie, portraying her as a wide-eyed, vulnerable, terror-struck victim when in the shadow of the snarling wolf.

Red Riding Hood is the first to come in a line of classical fairy tales to be retold in a sinister light, with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Snow White and the Huntsman set for release in 2012. I look forward to seeing these films in the hope that they will achieve the dark, magical ambience of Red Riding Hood without the humdrum love plot. With some luck I’ll be scrambling back to the safety of my car checking over my shoulder for wicked witches and evil queens, not a care in the world for how numb my bum is.

Summary: Red Riding Hood is visually captivating and brings the timeless fairy tale into darker waters. If it had only shed its clichéd, romantic focus in favour of its more thrilling elements it may well have been a classic in its own right.

Overall Score: 6/10

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Post #: 13
RE: Red Riding Hood - 3/5/2011 8:49:16 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3887
Joined: 19/10/2005
Although there’s already been  A Company Of Wolves, the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood is so rich in symbolism and metaphor, not to mention potential horror, that it could easily use a somewhat closer film adaptation.  Red Riding Hood certainly succeeds visually, with Mandy Walker’s gorgeous photography really evoking a sense of a fairy tale world-there’s a really early shot of two children in a garden which is one of the most beautiful shots I’ve seen in ages.   The script vies between being a toned-down werewolf horror movie with a typically poor CG creature, a fairly gripping mystery which at least kept me in surprise, and, unfortunately, a sub-Twilight love triangle, replete with some really atrocious dialogue.   Gary Oldman clearly relishes a chance to chew the scenery as Father Solomon, but Amanda Seyfried is her usual doe-eyed, constantly surprised self, and the two males vying for her attention seem to be competing to see who can give the worst, blandest performance.  Despite this, Red Riding Hood does hold the attention, aided by an anachronistic but quite effective, atmospheric score by Alex Heffes and Brian Reitzell, it kept me guessing as to it’s outcome which has got to be a good thing, and climaxes with a rather effective enacting of the original fairy tale.  Not great, but nowhere near as bad as you’ve been led to believe.

6/10

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Post #: 14
Red Riding Hood: Review - 8/8/2011 2:10:55 AM   
Edward9630

 

Posts: 63
Joined: 8/8/2011
From: Ireland
Red Riding Hood is a bad film. My problems with this film is the fact the title is misleading. The Red Riding Hood I heard in my childhood was nowhere near what this movie was. I couldnt really care about the characters or who lived or die and the film is just boring. The only good part in this film is the wolf scenes in the film are pretty cool. I would recommend not to see this film.

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Post #: 15
So bad it's funny - 28/8/2011 9:27:19 AM   
carolinedevoecht

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 30/8/2010
This definitely doesn't deserve three stars! I even liked Twilight (although I won't pretend it's one of the best movies ever and the acting isn't top class either) but this was just awful. My sister and I had a lot of fun watching it, but not because it was so good, we just laughed at the clichés (all 257 of them) and the badly written lines. Seyfried wasn't that good, actually none of the actors succeeded at adding depth to their characters (although the grandmother was intriguing), but I don't know if it's their fault or just the writer's fault for giving them such bad lines. Really, this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen...

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Post #: 16
I liked it - 15/10/2011 9:46:26 PM   
Caster


Posts: 5612
Joined: 30/9/2005
Not perfect but looks great. Could have been better though.

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Post #: 17
RE: I liked it - 21/11/2011 10:33:55 AM   
NCC1701A


Posts: 3786
Joined: 12/3/2011
From: Space Dock
As a film this is awful but as a comedy film it's awesome.

1/5.


Love werewolf films just not this one.

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Post #: 18
RE: I liked it - 22/11/2011 10:31:06 AM   
szoni

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 22/7/2011
The main problem with this film that it is superficial. Okay, there are many films about desire and wishes, but here these all somehow change into almost naked selfishness.

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Post #: 19
RE: I liked it - 23/11/2011 11:24:47 AM   
DONOVAN KURTWOOD


Posts: 9157
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: PLANET G
Crap. Just crap.

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Post #: 20
RE: I liked it - 9/2/2012 5:03:53 PM   
OPEN YOUR EYES

 

Posts: 4394
Joined: 5/2/2012
This film was rubbish.
Just a drawn-out pop video piece of poo.

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Post #: 21
just AWFUL - 13/5/2012 12:27:18 PM   
Hughezyvstheworld

 

Posts: 38
Joined: 5/5/2012
it's even bad on a technical scale: it looks like they live on a film set, not a small village.

plus, it's set in a snowy mountain area.... YET NO ONE ACTS COLD EVER!

plus, when they walk on the show it sounds like... FAKE SNOW!

should rename it Little BROWN Riding Hood..... see what I did there?

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Post #: 22
RE: just AWFUL - 3/1/2014 11:45:07 AM   
princessa


Posts: 734
Joined: 6/6/2006
LOL Hughezyvstheworld - i agree with your review 100%

this was just utter cr*p - from the poor script to the really bad cinematography. God it was awful. So glad i watched this on DVD. I only watched for Max Irons.

BTW - I found it unintentially funny. LOL @the lead in her mouse iron mask - hilarious!!!!

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Post #: 23
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