With Red Riding Hood, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has turned the age-old fairy tale into a glossy fantasy chiller. And by serving up the same mix of mild supernatural scares and teen-friendly romance she’s clearly trying to push the same audience buttons as her earlier hit.
Once again, the heroine – played by the luscious Amanda Seyfried – is a young woman torn between two chisel-jawed hunks (poor woodcutter Shiloh Fernandez and rich blacksmith Max Irons, son of Jeremy), who both look as though they’ve rocked in from the high-school prom. The setting, though, is a medieval village whose surprisingly well-scrubbed inhabitants live in fear of the monstrous werewolf that prowls the surrounding forest but assumes human form during the day.
Who could the creature be? When Gary Oldman’s zealous wolf-hunter rolls into town with his armed retainers (a curiously multicultural crew), the finger of suspicion points every which way. Sadly, Hardwicke’s direction is clueless and the acting – save for ripe performances by Oldman and by Julie Christie as granny – is mostly wooden. Seyfried, though, her creamy complexion strikingly set off by that hooded red cape, looks scrumptious enough to eat.
On general release from 15th April.