Director Catherine Hardwicke returns to the teen horror genre with another angst-filled monster movie that’s as equally dull and harmless as the Twilight series (of which she directed the first installment). Allentown’s Amanda Seyfried stars as the titular character caught in a love triangle amidst a renewed series of werewolf attacks on her medieval village. The villagers live in olden times so they believe in the supernatural and hold pagan-like celebrations ala The Wicker Man, but sillier and sexier. Like Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, the script takes a well-known story and inserts a murder mystery plot that relies on random red herrings and excessive explanatory exposition rather than well-placed clues. The film takes itself quite seriously despite the presence of a talking wolf and the inclusion of dialogue straight out of the original tale (ie. “My what big…”). The only bit of fun is provided by Gary Oldman’s obsessive monster detective who rides into town with silver fingernails and an over-the-top seriousness. A forgettable film that is only the first in a new wave of modern teen-oriented retellings of classic fairy tales. Can’t wait.
Red Riding Hood opens wide in Philly-area theaters today.