Red Riding Hood Blu-ray/DVD Review

Red Riding Hood Film Poster
Poster for 'Red Riding Hood' - © Warner Bros Pictures

Red Riding Hood – The Basics:
Where to start? The weak acting or the CGI wolf or simple dialogue? There’s a lot wrong with this version of the classic fairy tale, and not much to point to in support of the film. It’s a Twilight-wannabe, which makes sense as it’s directed by Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke and is targeting that same audience. Obviously this film’s attempting to capitalize on the success of the blockbuster vampire franchise.

This re-imagined fairy tale was not worth big screen money and proved so at the box office, at least domestically. Not even the handsomeness of the two leading male love interests, Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons, could overcome shortfalls in the script and the stilted acting. This is a tale of a beautiful young woman (played with wide-eyed flair by Amanda Seyfried), two hunks vying for her love and a big, bad werewolf. Seyfried’s actually fine in her role, but she had very little work with here. The same can be said of Gary Oldman whose scenery-chewing take on an expert werewolf killer can’t save the film.

The Pros:
– Alternate cut if you didn’t like the theatrical version
– Plenty of extra features

The Cons:
– It’s an unworthy version of the beloved fairy tale
– Most of the DVD/Blu-ray extras were not all that entertaining

– Featuring Amanda Seyfried, Max Irons, Shiloh Fernandez, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen and Julie Christie
– Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
– Rated PG-13
– Genres: Horror, Romance

– “Who’s afraid?”
– “Believe the legend. Beware the wolf.”

DVD Release Date:
– June 14, 2011

The Official Synopsis:

Valerie (Seyfried) is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter (Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon (Oldman), to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon’s arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. As panic grips the town, Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast–one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect…and bait..

The Bonus Features:

Red Riding Hood comes with an alternate cut along with the theatrical release, regular DVD and digital copy in the combo pack. Also the combo pack contains a picture-in-picture commentary, “Secrets Behind the Red Cloak,” on the theatrical version only, with comments by the stars and director, plus storyboards and artwork.

There are a number of other extras including a five-minute featurette, “The Reinvention of Red Riding Hood,” on the origins of the classic fairy tale and Hardwicke’s take on it. Included is “Red Riding Hood: Red’s Men,” which is a short feature on the movie’s two male co-stars; “Red Riding Hood: Making of the Score,” comments by director Hardwicke and composer Brian Reitzell; “Before the Fur: Making of the CG Wolf,”; “Casting Tapes,” about seven minutes on the casting of the two male co-stars; “Rehearsals,” three scenes totaling six minutes; and “Red Riding Hood in 73 seconds” – which is my recommended way of viewing this film.

And for the last of the extras there are four deleted scenes totaling about four minutes; a gag reel that lasts about two minutes and is not very funny; a couple of music videos: “The Wolf” and “Just a Fragment of You”; a thirty-second filler called “Play Sec” and the usual BD-Live access.

Buy Red Riding Hood on Blu-ray/DVD