By Monica Jaramillo
What used to be one of your favorite bedtime stories when you were young has now transformed into a movie filled with horror and suspense.
Red Riding Hood is a new twist on the 700-year-old fairytale, “Little Red Riding Hood.” Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) put her own touch on the story, but made what was supposed to be a thriller into just another teen movie with juvenile drama and a lackluster plot. It is a delicate love story where good triumphs over evil, but has a very bland story line and is ultimately a childish attempt at a suspense flick.
While the basic story of “Little Red Riding Hood” is present, it is devoid of any and all of the charm the timeless fairytale holds on its own. There are no simple wolves, but rather treacherous werewolves who are the evil forces lurking in the forests. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried, Letters to Juliet) lives in a town deep in the forest that fears these werewolves. During each full moon, the town takes every precaution to ensure these beasts don’t attack anyone.
Valerie is in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez, Happiness Runs), her childhood friend, and wishes to run away with him. However, she is betrothed to Henry (Max Irons, Dorian Gray), who her mother thinks is better suited for her since he can offer her a better life. This does not stop Valerie from loving Peter and eventually having an affair with him.
As all this teenage drama is occurring, Valerie’s sister is slain by a werewolf and all the town’s men decide to kill it to avenge her death. They find a wolf, kill it and celebrate. While in celebration, Father Solomon (Gary Oldman, The Book of Eli), an expert werewolf slayer, travels into town and tells them that they had not slain the guilty werewolf but rather a mere wolf. He explains that the werewolf who has been attacking the town is someone among them. It could be a friend, brother, sister or truly anyone. By day, it is human in disguise, but by night, it is in its true form: a beast.
On the “Blood Red Moon” night, a werewolf bite doesn’t kill the victim but transforms him into a werewolf. When the werewolf attacks the town, it stops when it comes to Valerie and speaks to her. She understands it perfectly and is then arrested for being a witch because only witches can speak to werewolves. She is scheduled to be a sacrifice for the werewolf.
Despite their disagreements, Peter and Henry devise a plan to get her out. The plan fails because Father Solomon’s men thwart the two. The werewolf appears again and speaks to Valerie once more, asking her to go away with it. He demands Valerie go far away from the town and deep into the forest and she refuses, which causes it to run away.
Throughout the movie, many wonder who the werewolf is. Valerie even accuses Henry, Peter and her own grandmother numerous times of being the perpetrator.
In the end, just like in the fairy tale, Valerie pays her grandmother a visit, which results in an array of disastrous occurrences.
What was meant to be a thriller ended up being another weak, run-of-the -mill teenage drama that lacked plot and substance and left the audience hanging and questioning what they saw. Needless to say, don’t waste the $10 and just wait for the DVD to be released.