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RED RIDING HOOD — Movie review April 11, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in Movie Review.

     This movie is well worth seeing for the atmosphere and costumes. Set in an unnamed town “on the edge of a dark forest,” it really invokes the feel of an isolated medieval village, and the mountain views are positively breathtaking, so this film is big-screen-worthy. Details, such as the painting on the church door of an angel battling a werewolf, Grandma’s painted trunk and her fabulous house, purple flowers in the haystacks, the very red blood moon, and the wonderful carved warning moon they set out in the town square to remind villagers that the full moon is upon them, all elicit a desirable aura of fantasy. All-in-all, the setting is fairy-tale perfect!
     One  criticism I have to offer was the condition of the bodies after they had been attacked by the wolf. A little rill of blood coming out of the side of the dearly departed’s mouth or a pool of blood beneath their head wasn’t enough for me. I want streaming blood and guts, severed limbs, and unidentifiable chunks strewn about.  There was a gruesome scene where a body was cut open and stuffed with rocks to sink it in the river, so why not really add some great gobs of gore when possible?  But all in all, any day I get to see a werewolf, is a good one for me.  And what a werewolf it is! I was impressed with him, but didn’t care for the mind-speak between the wolf and Valerie (Red.) Even when the viewer is enlightened as to why this can be accomplished, this staunch critic wasn’t swayed.

    The double star-crossed lovers plot was very creative, and the mention of the werewolf smell was a welcome addition to a story about such a beast. Julie Christie is as beautiful as ever, and I greatly enjoyed her as Grandma. Gary Oldman, of course, was fantastic as the vengeful and closed-minded priest who comes to town to find and kill the beast. As an added treat, he arrives towing an enormous elephant which is creatively used as an instrument of torture.  I did not guess who the wolf was, but I am often fooled in that regard as I tend to take in details and miss the big story. The plot supplied two pairs of disappointed lovers and more than one generation of a particular family sporting  “a certain smell” to  keep things winding along and interesting. The reviews are not very good, but from what I read,  people are too busy comparing it to TWILIGHT, because of the teen romance element, to see it for itself.  When will this world realize that vampires and werewolves were not invented in the TWILIGHT books?  That is only one writer’s  interpretation, not the be-all and end-all by which to measure every other artistic venture. And thank goodness for that.  I don’t like the modern concepts of monsters. I like mine creepy and different; old-world, terrifying and out of control, with dark ancient urges and primitive impulses. 

     All in all, I would recommend this movie, and I plan to watch it again once it comes on out DVD so that I may sink back into that fantastic, foggy, forsaken medieval atmosphere. Although quite a bit of poetic license was taken with the original  Red Riding Hood story, I found this movie to be true in aesthetics, sensation and drama to the Grimm fairy tale, and, that, after all, is what truly matters.



1. Travis - July 14, 2011

I have to admit, the imagery of Red Riding Hood was captivating in the previews but after seeing so many bad reviews I decided to wait until I could get it through Blockbuster online, and I thought it was better than people were giving it credit for and definitely worth watching once.

lycan librarian - July 17, 2011

The reviews always boggle my mind. Just as with books, we hear so much about a movie before we see it that we go in with all kinds of preconcieved notions, and are disappointed when they are not met. Another option is getting movies free from the library. (You knew the Lycan Librarian would come up with that one, didn’t you?) It is fun to see movies on the big screen, but the matinee prices are now what Saturday night tickets cost not so long ago.

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