It doesn’t take a genius to see the logic behind the reconstruction of the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. In fact, I would even expect the teenage girls that this film is transparently marketed for to clearly interpret the obvious ploy to duplicate the success of another popular fantasy film franchise. Somewhere between The Village and Twilight lies the pitiful Red Riding Hood, an abomination of a classic tale in a pathetic love triangle narrative and obnoxious mystery.
The mystery is available in Red Riding Hood because the wolf in the woods isn’t a wolf at all. Changing this character into a werewolf instead allows for the beast to be simultaneously human, though it is easy to guess who this killer is by simply ignoring the half-dozen red herrings. The bigger mystery for me was how the red riding hood managed to change lengths so many times throughout the film. The remainder of the film is about a love triangle between a beautiful young village girl named Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) and two handsome young men from different walks of life. One of them is a vampire and the other is a werewolf… Wait, no. Sorry, wrong film.
It is easy to criticize this film for attempting to imitate the successful plot points (and creatures) of the Twilight franchise, especially when considering it was directed by Catherine Hardwicke. This isn’t the first time that Hardwicke has attempted to follow the path of success by imitating a trailblazer, having made A Nativity Story in the wake of The Passion of the Christ, but this time she is sadly trying to imitate her own success. No longer attached to the Twilight franchise, which was passed on to another director after the first film, Hardwicke just looks pathetic making a film like Red Riding Hood. In fact, I feel sorry for everyone involved, especially Gary Oldman.
The Blu-ray release offers two versions of the film; the theatrical and the alternate cut. Don’t get too excited about the largely over-hyped wording for the alternate version. There is merely a slightly longer sex scene at the end of the film and an obvious variation on the ending which only follows further in the footsteps of the Twilight franchise. The Blu-ray disc includes a DVD and a digital copy, with additional deleted scenes in the special features. There is also a picture-in-picture commentary track with stars and director, a gag reel, music videos and a feature about the young studs in the film, transparently directed at hormone enraged teenage girls.