Catherine Hardwicke tried so hard to make another "Twilight" with this picture. I think she also tried too hard to be like Tim Burton. The result was a superficial copy of greater films. But don't get me wrong - it was entertaining.
The twist on this Red Riding Hood tale is that the Big, Bad Wolf is actually a werewolf. And it likes to terrorize a small town that no one knows the name of back in a year that they never actually mention.
Now, Amanda Seyfried plays Valerie, the daughter of a woodcutter (Billy Burke, aka Charlie Swan [Team Charlie, baby!]) and his wife (Virginia Madsen), who is promised to Henry (Max Irons), son of the wealthiest family in the village. But alack the day! Valeria is in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), a woodcutter like her father and hence, isn't too keen about marrying Henry. Then there's Grandma (Julie Christie), who lives in a house in the woods outside the village limits, and if truth be told, is a tad frightening. You never can quite figure out what her deal is.
When the wolf kills a human for the first time in 20 years, the village flips out and calls in Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), who is a renowned evil hunter. He's actually quite the lunatic, not to mention religious zealot, who will hurt anyone and anything to kill evil. Which really doesn't make sense. He also has these silver fingernails, which are so disgusting that it made me gag slightly. Father Solomon makes matters worse, by announcing that the wolf is someone in the village, and the witch-hunt begins.
I must admit that the filmmakers do a good job of keeping you guessing who is the wolf. The only thing for certain is that it is NOT Valerie, mostly because she comes face to face with it.
As one can imagine, the acting is pretty terrible. But at least the actors are nice to look at. Max Irons is so cute you just want to pinch his cheeks, while Shiloh Fernandez is very intense, and looks so much like Joaquin Phoenix it's disturbing. And Amanda Seyfried talks breathlessly through the movie, batting her giant blue eyes at everyone.
So on the CWeave scale, I rate this movie a 6.5. It's funny, but as I read back through this, it seems like I hated the movie, when in fact, the opposite is true. I quite enjoyed it. And in fact, I'll probably own it when it comes out on DVD. No one's mad about it.