A Missed Opportunity: Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood is a spin on the classic fairy that we all more than likely were exposed to as children. This adaptation set in medieval times finds a small village tormented by a werewolf. Inside this village lives Valerie a young woman who has problems of her own aside from the lingering threat presented by the bloodthirsty wolf. She has fallen in love with Peter an orphaned woodcutter although her hand has been promised to the much wealthier Henry.  After the wolf takes the life of Valerie’s sister it sets off a chain of events that will change everything for all those who live in the small village.

Going into Red Riding Hood I honestly did not have very high expectations although I will admit that the first hour of this film was rather entertaining and had a chance at being a solid take on the age-old fairy tale. Unfortunately, an extremely tacked on feeling Twilight inspired ending destroys all it manages to do right. Sadly, they also miss a huge opportunity to market this film to a younger crowd who know and love the story of Red Riding Hood due to the young adult ending that they went with. This movie could of easily been edited for a PG rating and would have made a lot more money in my opinion if they would of done so and ditched the whole Twilight vibe that they decided to ad at the very end.

This could have been a beautiful film to introduce young children to the horror genre with the use of familiar subject matter. The entire first hour I spent watching Red Riding Hood I was blown away by the beautiful cinematography and felt myself letting down my guard and really getting into the movie. The writing was solid enough, added interesting twists to the original, and really seemed like it was going to end up being one of those sleeper hits that got a bad wrap early on. Even the CG wolf that I heard everyone complain about looked all right; although I too would of preferred practical effects, they did a pretty good job on the wolf I thought. I was on the verge of deeming this as my next recommendation for parents wanting to ease their little ones into the genre they love oh so dearly.

Once the ending started to play out, I sat and watched what could have been a great film crumble into a pile of nothing. If they would of simply ended it sooner it could have been marketed as a horror film for children and adults a like but they could not resist to turn it into one of many recent films hoping to cash in one the Twilight franchises success. I spent the films final moments finally understanding why so many others before me walked away angry wanting their time and brain cells back after finishing a viewing of Red Riding Hood.

Thanks a lot Hollywood for being to blind to see that this film stood on its own without a silly industry fad being infused into its story arc. With a few minor changes and a new ending you could have had a high grossing film that could have been enjoyed by viewers of all ages instead you choose to take the cheap way out and it back fired horribly like it does more times than not.

Overall, I enjoyed the first hour of Red Riding Hood but was devastated once I realized what the ending hard in store for me. On behalf of The Liberal Dead, I give Red Riding Hood a 5 out of 10. While Twilight fans may very well go overboard for this film most general audiences will leave feeling a bit let down. If watched with supervision and depending on what you feel your children should or should not been exposed to it may also be a hit with the little ones who still have the fairy tale fresh in their heads. Die hard horror fans and adults who despise Twilight will more than likely completely hate the flick or agree with me that it could have been so much more.


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About Ted Brown

I eat, breath, and live the horror genre. Gore translates to beauty, and terror the gateway to happiness.
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