Suppose hundreds of years ago, a fraction of our ancestors lived a grim life inside a fairy tale.
Among the mountains and plains sprinkled with flakes of snow lies a small village made of Lincoln Logs in the heart of a dense forest. This small community is subjected to constant werewolf attacks.
This is the world of “Red Riding Hood,” a film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, known for her directing of the original “Twilight” movie.
Valerie, played by Amanda Seyfried, is the protagonist of this film and takes up most of the spotlight.
Even though her village is under attack by a ferocious beast of damnation, her main concern is men.
She must either follow her heart and give her love to the rebel Peter, played by Shiloh Fernandez, or marry the respectful man named Henry, actor Max Irons.
This love triangle goes on for most of the movie, and plays out like old fashion high school drama.
To deal with the task at hand, the men of the village raise arms and hunt down this wild beast, only to fail miserably without realizing it.
Luckily an old cleric appears – on schedule for this type of movie – with impressive military force.
Solomon, played by Gary Oldman, giving the audience of this bland story something to rejoice about in the hope of real talent.
This demon-slaying cleric warns the town of its mistake, and that the head of the beast they thought was their enemy was just the cranium of some random wolf.
Ignoring the cleric, the town decides to party. During this cheesy festival of bad acting, the public takes pride in watching men play the parts of the three little pigs while pretending to be drunk with eyes wide open. Valerie continues to make Peter jealous, Peter pretends not to care and Henry acts like a clingy stalker.
Not long into the ceremony, the werewolf attacks again, killing a small percentage of the villagers and injuring many soldiers.
Solomon decides to boast out loud that he was right and takes control of this small village with his mighty military power.
Through torture, this new divine leader sets up a religious tyranny.
These are the three main conflicts of this film: Who is the werewolf? How will the villagers rid themselves of this wild animal and the clerics grasp? And the most important question in this time of catastrophe, who will Valerie go out with?
Failing to pierce the interest of viewers, audience members will only get a yawn out this turmoil.
“Red Riding Hood” is ultimately unfulfilling.
Not because it finishes as expected, but because you simply don’t care anymore by the end of this film. This movie is full of cliché statements, stale acting and dull drama. One good note: the costumes were well done, elevating this dismal film to two goodie baskets out of five.