Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey went into the woods with “Little Red Riding Hood,” here’s an excerpt from her review…
The horror-tinged romance of “Red Riding Hood” is at its heart nothing more than a fashionable fairytale version of what’s all the rage in teen love stories these days. The basic formula includes a moody beauty falling for the wrong boy, who may actually be a vampire-alien-werewolf-whatever. Can “Pinocchio at 15” be far behind?
With “my, what big eyes you have” Amanda Seyfried as the girl in the scarlet cloak and that edgy shaman of young angst, Catherine Hardwicke, in the director’s chair, the movie comes with great expectations. So it kills me to say — or at least it bothers me a lot — that what we have here is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Gorgeously shot, smartly conceived, cleverly cast, badly executed — the lush medieval beauty here is at best only skin deep. If this were a four-letter-word newspaper, you would see a string of them now. In Hardwicke we have a director who understands and is able to channel onscreen the impossible ache of the adolescent girl with a rare authenticity. Probably best realized in 2003’s “Thirteen,” and at the core of 2008’s “Twilight,” the opening gambit in the current phenom, it surfaces here in fits and starts…
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– Betsy Sharkey
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