Movie Review: Red Riding Hood


by Alyson Raywood


Recreating old fairy tales and cartoon movies into modernized films with a twist has become a frenzied preoccupation during the twenty-first century. We have many examples from the last several years: we’ve juiced up the old, well-known tale of Cinderella into a modernized version A Cinderella Story, diverted the tale of The Frog Princess into a brand new film version called The Princess and The Frog, altered the story of Rapunzel and renamed it Tangled, and all the while have cleverly boosted everyone’s favorite tale of Beauty and The Beast into Beastly.


All of the old tales that we used to only know as books or faded cartoon Disney movies have now become regenerated and renewed into real people, or modernized cartoon characters, taking along the fairy-tale journeys that were once known only on the pages of a book.

"Red Riding Hood" opened in March 2011

The most recent movie that has been recreated into a modernized version of a fairy tale is Red Riding Hood,directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Red Riding Hood stars Amanda Seyfried as Valerie, the most beautiful and intelligent girl in the medieval Alpine village called Daggerhorn. For generations, this village in which Valerie lives in has been haunted by the presence of a wolf, and the villagers are forced to offer livestock as a way of securing their own safety.

However, the wolf’s effortless control soon comes to an end when Valerie’s sister is killed, and the villagers decide to seek revenge on the wolf. Before their voyage, they’re warned by a Wolf stalker, played by Gary Oldman, who tells them that they have no idea what they’re dealing with and laughs at them.

Watching the movie, the viewer finds there are many possible suspects; but the main ones are Peter, a poor village boy whom Valerie has liked since childhood; Henry, the son of the richest man in town; and the man Valerie’s parents want her to marry; or Valerie’s own Grandma who lives within the dark creatures of the woods, in a small cottage.  And that the only brave soul willing to take on this mystery is Valerie.

It’s also soon discovered that the werewolf’s bite is strong enough to kill a person, during a full moon; but during a ‘blood moon,’ one tooth mark can curse a human’s soul forever. While movie elements like violence, witchcraft, promiscuous scandals, and religious superstition keep it going, the basis of the movie is revolved around the true identity of the wolf, and the dark adventures Seyfried encounters.

Amanda Seyfried as Red Riding Hood

This heart-wrenching twist on the old tale of Little Red Riding Hood will keep you on the edge of your seat, and will pull you in with the common intrigue of mystery. The ending will dare you to question the power of trust and love through Valerie’s clever ways to outsmart the ‘monster’ of which every villager is frightened.

This twenty-first century fairy tale “boom”  has sparked a new obsession with the millions of Disney tale lovers that exist throughout the world.  However, some argue that it may not be in the best interest of those who enjoy a good read or a classic fairy tale story.  Some parents can argue that this concept, yet wise and clever, has taken away the common favoritism of classic, old, G-rated stories, and turned them into sophisticated, PG-13 movies that their younger children can no longer enjoy, or for that matter, comprehend. Maybe the stories were better when they were simply words in a book.


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