Title: Red Riding Hood
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Book by: Sarah Blakley-Cartwright (Ebook and Paperback)
Genre: American Horror, Paranormal
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Billy Burke, Virgina Madsen
Believe the Legend. Beware the Wolf.
I do. Do you?
The town of Daggerhorn is a town ruled by fear. Those who live there look over their shoulders and protect their children from a violent beast who threatens the lives they lead. Every month during the full moon they sacrifice their very best livestock trying to appease the wolf.
Wolf, you say? What wolf?
A werewolf. A giant, black hairy wolf with dripping chompers and a menacing growl.
But the sacrifices are no longer enough and the wolf slaughters one of their own. A girl. A daughter. A sister. Valerie’s sister.
Valerie is the daughter of the town drunk, her hand is promised to the son of the wealthy blacksmith, but her heart belongs to the sexy woodcutter, Peter.
Oh, and the wolf wants to bite her.
Panicked by the recent death of Lucy (Valerie’s sister), they call upon Father Solomon, a famous werewolf hunter. He arrives in town with the calvary and a giant iron elephant.
An elephant that he uses to torture people.
But, the wolf is more cunning than the town might once have thought. As it terrorizes the entire town during the Blood Moon (when a bite from a were will turn you), everyone begins to look around them…at each other. Toward their neighbor. Their friend. Their wife.
Who is the beast that lives among them? Who is the beast that has blended in for decades and never once shown the second skin that lies just beneath their human façade?
Valerie knows that the only way to escape the claws of a rabid, yet wily, menace is to kill it. But as she searches the faces of everyone she loves looking for answers, only then does it become crystal clear…sacrificing herself may be the only way to discover the truth.
Grandmother what BIG teeth you have…
As most everyone who knows me even a slightest bit, you know then that I am a card carrying, full moon howling, werewolf stalking kind of gal. So clearly this movie had my name written all over it.
I’d actually like to share a secret…SHHHH. And yes, this is the truth. I myself had an outline and a document saved on my computer and it was titled “Little Red Riding Hood”. I know a real shocker right? Hardly. But it seems that someone beat me to the punch, however…I would have done it better. J
Now onto the review…
Red Riding Hood was first written as a screen play and then adapted into a novel. The powers that be wanted to create buzz around the movie with the book…and Catherine Hardwicke (also the director of Twilight) wanted another blockbuster on her hands and in her pocket.
I read the book first then went to see the movie in the theater…I was excited to see this book come to life, but I was also extremely skeptical because I saw Twilight and it practically slapped the book in the face with injustice. I mean, seriously.
Anywhoo, I figured because in my mind I cannot and will not separate the book and the movie this review will most likely read like a comparison. You’ve thus been warned.
Now because of my werewolf lovin’ ways, I am very picky about my wolves. And this movie/book combo did not disappoint me in the way of the beast. I liked him. I really, really liked him. He was mean and big and black. He had the perfect yellowish eyes and fangs that dripped with yuck….MmmmHmmmmm. Now, that being said, he could have been uglier, scarier, and more gruesome looking. But, you know, the movie didn’t really need him to be any scarier looking because the way he behaved made him very vile. I giggle as I write because I liked it. And let me just say that there is a scene in the movie when the town men decide to be brave and go into the cave where they believe the wolf to live and the screen goes black and silent….then I got my first glance at the wolf….
People laughed at me.
(But hey, I wasn’t the only one screaming…so there)
So, aside from my wolf, how about the rest of the movie? It was good, but not great. The setting was beautiful, the mountains, the snow and the way the town nestled into the earth. But the town and townspeople were very primitive, which isn’t a bad thing because it was done well…almost too well. I’m going to tell you the resounding feeling I got from this movie and the way the people and town came off to me. Don’t laugh. I know not a better way to describe the way I thought and only one word came to mind: dirty.
And not the “Hey baby, is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” kind of dirty.
I mean actual dirty. Like they lived so primitively in one room shacks and traveled by horse and cart…and they all looked well, dirty. The food that they continuously spooned into bowls turned my stomach, and they wore the same outfit throughout the movie (GASP! Have they not been to the GAP?). Okay, I will say that the people back in the day probably looked the same but it made me queasy.
Now, onto the cast. I like Amanda Seyfried, but I kind of thought her acting was fake at times. She was forever taking heaving breaths that pushed her chest up to her throat (and that just made everyman run to their remote for OnDemand) and when her sister died I didn’t really feel her grief, it seemed forced. The woodcutter (Fernandez) and the blacksmith’s son (Irons) were attractive…but to be frank I think Catherine Hardwicke cast them trying to get the next “Edward”. Both boys had that tousled, careless hair (which is hot, but Hell-oo its already done!) and their movements and build reminded me of Edward, it was almost distracting. Sometimes even the lines they said reminded me of Edward.
And NO I am not obsessed with Rob Pattison…Clearly, I am Team Jacob.
Anyway, I almost felt like Hardwicke tried too hard to make the movie into what she thought would be a hit instead of making the movie into what it could have been. Know what I mean?
Now onto the book. I liked it. Was it better than the movie? Not sure about that, but we’ll get to that. The thing about the book (well one thing) that I didn’t like was the writer’s style. Sometimes her descriptions were too much. They could have been simpler and more effective with better wording. Now, that is, of course, my opinion. The book was written well, but style is something you like or you don’t. And might I just say that any writer who has to write a book and develop the characters around a screenplay…well you go girl! Cause what a job that had to have been!
The other gripe I had about the book was the ending….Hell-O..someone forgot to add it.
Oh, wait…they left it out on purpose.
Yups, that right. You buy an incomplete book. No, werewolf reveal here (what a rip off!). But, the final chapter is online. I did not know this and neither did my girlfriends, so we went to the movie and didn’t realize that we would find out who the wolf is…until WHAM! It smacked us in the face.
We were like WHAT?? But I’ll give it props - I liked it. It was a good shock factor.
In fact, I would recommend this. Read the book and then see the movie without reading the final chapter online. Plus, I don’t know about you but I am too lazy to hunt down that chapter. I could put the link here…but I already said that I was too lazy to find it. Just watch the movie.
So was the book better than the movie? I can’t say. The book had a lot more time, you get to know the characters and their backstory A LOT more. In fact, I might not have understood the significance of some of the characters and their stories, in the movie, without the book. But, the book had the awesome factor going for it with the surprise ending. Although, if you read the chapter online, I guess you won’t be surprised. It also has the rockin’ visual of me wolf.
So, it’s a draw. Read the book and then watch the movie. You decide and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. It is after all a subject very near and dear to my heart. So find me on GoodReads, JournalStone.com or leave me a comment right here and tell me what you think.
We can dish and talk fur.
Oh and here's a little extra treat for your Monday from me to you. It's the trailer for the movie, so if you are curious or just want to take a break from your day check it out!