Starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke and Virginia Madsen. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. 100 minutes. PG
This was one of the most anticipated films of the year for me, which was tough to justify at first. I mean, it’s by the original Twilight (a series I despise, though mind you haven’t seen any of) director Catherine Hardwicke and aimed at a similar (if not the same) teen, vampire-loving, Pattinson-obsessing audience. Why should this film appeal to me? Maybe it had to do with my love of Little Red Riding Hood adaptations (may I recommend Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber?). But besides that, it’s not really aimed at people like me, or adults in general. So it should come as no surprise that I wasn’t very impressed with the film. Though not much disappointed either.
It’s a twist on the old Perrault fairy tale and, as evident by the trailer, a much darker one at that. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), our Little Red, lives in a small isolated village under threat of a wolf who terrorizes at night. Usually animal sacrifice would suffice as a decoy, but lately, the wolf has been taking on human victims. After surviving a personal encounter from the wolf, Valerie is determined to uncover the man behind the beast and begins reconsidering who the townies truly are, even those close to home.
Another reason I was drawn to this film was Seyfried, who’s been killing it in some of her most recent work (Chloe, Jennifer’s Body). But although Seyfried did take the titular role, it didn’t demand enough of her to bring out her capabilities. As far as her performance goes, it might as well be lumped among her rom-coms. And we know she’s really so much more.
Although this was a darker rendition of the children’s tale, it could have been even more so to reach out to adult audiences. But we have to keep in mind, this film wasn’t intended for us. And I can’t speak for the Twihard kind. B