I finally saw the Red Riding Hood movie this week. It was totally craptastic. And I loved it!
After being disappointed by I Am Number Four, reading countless bad reviews of Red Riding Hood, and kinda hating the book version, I was a bit wary going into the cinema. I had a feeling it was going to be pretty bad. But I also hoped that it would be the kind of bad that I liked. Thankfully, it was.
If there's one thing Catherine Hardwicke does well, it's sexual tension. Boy, does it permeate this flick. I think that's what made it so much more exciting and fun than the book. The story was the same, pretty much point by point, but the stunning visuals (they really milked that red cloak!) and soundtrack effectively enhance the mood and play up the characters' emotions of longing and paranoia. Of course, there's still a bunch of plot holes that bugged me and quite a few unintentionally funny moments, but I was entertained and happy - which is what you want from a movie!
Changes that worked
- As I mentioned, the plot follows the book pretty closely - or, I should say, the book followed the movie pretty closely, because it is a novelisation after all. So there aren't too many differences, but one massive one that really worked was the fact that the whole boring/weird first section of the book isn't in the movie. Funnily enough, without this extra "back story", the motives and actions of all the characters made a lot more sense - including, importantly, Valerie's love for Peter.
- The actress playing Madame Lazar is even scarier than I pictured her to be in the book.
- There were a few things that weren't explained very well in the book that were a lot clearer in the movie (like how Valerie obtained the contents of her basket at the end).
- The ending, believe it or not, was included in the same product! Unlike the book. Yes, I'm still bitter about that.
- (Spoiler alert) The truth about Lucy's parentage is revealed quite early on in the film, whereas in the book it was part of the big twist ending. I'm not sure why they changed this - I think it works better at the end.
- The snow was pretty, but not much else, apparently. Everyone was running around, quite happily, in thin clothes like it was the middle of summer. It detracted from the movie just a bit (I know, coz everything else was so realistic, right? But it bothered me more than anything else).
I have no complaints about Amanda Seyfried as Valerie - she was beautiful, as usual. And my, what big eyes she has!