The days when Catherine Hardwicke launched her career with Thirteen are very much over, it seems. Since helming Twilight, the director seems to have found a new path: Red Riding Hood (or RRH, as I want to keep this very much a mini-review) is a classic fairy tale for the Twilight generation and was very much billed that way.
Here are a few reasons why I wanted to try this movie out:
– like Twilight: New Dawn, RRH had an interesting soundtrack. Well, it couldn’t beat the Twilight sequel (which after all included the likes of Lykke Li, Bon Iver and Thom Yorke), but it did offer an OST with instrumentals that swirled around two tracks by Fever Ray. One track came straight off the band’s debut album, one was the first new thing the Danes had released in a while. Which only begged the question: would Hardwicke’s movie do justice to the glorious tracks? (Especially new song The Wolf, which howled as much as its title does.)
– the Red Riding Hood of the title is Amanda Seyfried, of Veronica Mars and Chloe fame. (Allow us to gloss over Letters to Juliet and Mamma Mia.) Ms Seyfried has a mysterious look, so anything that vaguely looks like a mystery should fit her like a glove – or, the Committee for Corny References forces us to say this – a red hood.)
– at a movie quiz I won a RRH letter opener and it’s always nice to see the movie a gadget belongs to. Unless it’s Date Night underpants, in which case you have found a cheap present for people with different movie tastes.
Enough reasons to check out the film then, but was it worth investing time? Well, yes and no. While it is unmistakenly better than most of those teen gloss “Aren’t vampires sexy?” movies, that in itself is not yet a guarantee of a good film. In my opinion, the very best scenes in the film are those with a Fever Ray song underneath them. I say “underneath”, but they are very much present in the scene, so much even you feel the film is becoming more of a video to the song at those moments. And this happens it such a way you realize you’re watching far from a perfect movie. In fact, the film resembles a glossy video for a song or a background for a David Lafayette photograph. Which doesn’t have to be bad: Hammer horrors weren’t always looking like documentaries either, but at least they were good enough to suspend your disbelief. My initial thoughts here were: “So when’s the photoshoot gonna start?”
However, Amanda Seyfriend looks mysterious enough to sit through the film and discover the identity of the wolf – because, in this day and age, the wolf has to become a werewolf. Surely you weren’t expecting anything else?
In two sentences, the soundtrack overclasses the letter opener, which in turn is better than the film. Yet, nothing is awful.
P.S. Here’s what former DV colleague Nekoneko had to say about this film: Red Riding Hood review
– Next update: 02 October –