Eat your hearts out, Lindsay and Megan: Amanda Seyfried is officially a leading lady thanks to Red Riding Hood, the Catherine (Twilight) Hardwicke-directed gothic take on the fairy tale that I completely ate up.
Blonde, blue- and wide-eyed Seyfried stars as Valerie in this dark retelling of the fable, set in the beyond-photogenic medieval village of Daggerhorn, which a big bad werewolf has been terrorizing for a couple of decades. (Btw, I thought the movie was shot in Washington, but it was actually the gorgeous wilderness of Vancouver that lent its beautaciousness to the movie, according to the Google.)
Designed to appeal to tweenagers – and, it seems, twentysomething man-writers – everywhere, the oh-so-lusty Red Riding Hood features a most good-lookin’ love triangle: Valerie has been promised to Henry (Max Irons, son of Jeremy), a noble rich boy whose family’s fortune can elevate hers in status and standing, but she is and forever has been very much in love with the nothing-to-offer bad boy Peter (Shiloh Fernandez).
As it would happen in a movies such as this one, Valerie is more concerned with feeling like she is being sold to Henry, and thus kept from true happiness with Peter, than with the fact that whenever the moon is full Daggerhorn goes into absolute panic mode, especially now that the wolf has claimed a human life (her sister’s, no less).
As the body count increases, the townspeople call upon Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a famed werewolf hunter, to track down the monster and kill it before it wreaks more bloody havoc. But as suspicions brew among the dwellers of Daggerhorn, thanks to Father Solomon’s reveal that the wolf is, in fact, one of them in human form, the people of the once peaceful village begin to turn on one another, letting the innocence of their weary, yet formerly happy community fall farther and farther into the past.
As the central figure of Red Riding Hood, though, Valerie is essential to unraveling the identity of the wolf, as well as all the secrets that surround its provenance and existence, some of which may hit closer to home than she thinks (the whole thing is a bit too dense for its own good, and, ultimately, a little grody, but it sets up a revisit kinda nicely, IMHO).
Plus, she has a sexy choice to make, and to see Seyfried consider Fernandez and Irons is fun.
My Rating ***
Photo: Warner Bros.