After directing the first Twilight movie, Catherine Hardwicke moved on to fresher fields. LOL. Not really. In Red Riding Hood, Amanda Seyfried is really just Bella with blonde hair and a red cape, anxiously chewing her bottom lip over which stud muffin to hook up with. The poor woodcutter Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) has dangerous bedroom eyes. Winner! The rich blacksmith Henry (Max Irons) oozes nice guy. Duh! Where’s the real conflict? A werewolf (you heard me, an ordinary wolf is for fairy tales) rampages through the rustic village of Daggerhorn every full moon thirsting for blood. And this effects little Red how? Well, Peter or Henry could be the wolf. Who’s a girl to trust? Not the screenwriter, that’s for sure. David Leslie Johnson (Orphan) contributes dialogue that works like Ambien on the ears.
Hardwicke, who has done sterling work on Thirteen and The Lords of Dogtown, seems solely dedicated on styling her young leads as succulent morsels. I focused on how Daggerhorn looked zoned for 90210 and that both Peter and Henry had manicured locks expertly poofed with hair product that would cost a mint in Beverly Hills. Twi-hards desperate for a fix can decide whether to fall for this feeble facsimile or if they’re Team Peter or Team Henry. The rest of us can wonder if Hardwicke will ever get her mojo back. Even wild man Gary Oldman, as a priest ready to eighty-six the wolfman with silver nail polish, can’t liven up this humorless hogwash. And it’s just sad to see the legendary Julie Christie stuck playing the grandmother. The better to scam you with, my dear. Seeing the plot of Twilight get stuffed into Little Red’s riding hood is a painful business. But look for a fat box office. The only one screaming for mercy will be you.