Red Riding Hood

Theatrical Release: March 11, 2011
Red Riding Hood
Not Recommended for Families

Synopsis

Valerie (Seyfried) is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter (Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon (Oldman), to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon’s arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon…

Dove Review

I must say that the story and film was better than I anticipated. I was expecting pretty much a slash fest and, although admittedly there are some violent scenes in the film, the story and suspense take up a lot of the screen time which was nice to see. The development of the characters is also nicely handled.

The movie is set in an atmospheric medieval village called Dagger Horne. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) has known Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) since they were children. They are in love and want to be together but her parents have arranged for a marriage to a young man named Henry (Max Irons) who can give Valerie more worldly goods. When a relative dies at the hands of the werewolf, the picture focuses on finding the guilty culprit. Enter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a man who has had experiences with werewolves before as he had to kill one who wound up being someone very close to him. The plot does an effective job in arousing the audience’s curiosity as to just who the werewolf really is. Is it Valerie’s grandmother? Is it Peter or Henry? The answer to the mystery is forthcoming but is not easily solved.

Despite the suspenseful plot and some romance (which no doubt the young girls will enjoy) the movie falls short of receiving our Dove Seal due to two content areas, the sexual and violence content. Both registered a three, not missing the mark to be family-approved by much, but still outside of Dove’s family-friendly guidelines. It’s too bad because it would have been nice being able to recommend it. Check out the content listing below.

Content Description

Sex: Passionate kissing; man is seen briefly touching woman's breast (still covered); fantasy sequence in which unmarried couple are making love and bare shoulders are seen; it's learned a woman had an affair on her husband; a couple of sexual remarks including, "I don't have to like her to get what I want from her."
Language: G/OMG-4
Violence: A werewolf attacks and injures several people; bloody wounds are seen on some victims; a character's hand is seen cut off; punches are thrown in a couple of fights; a few characters are stabbed; characters are scratched; a couple of characters are put in a heat box to be tortured; a boy holds a knife to a rabbit's throat but doesn't kill it; a girl is briefly shown holding a dead rabbit which she killed; a wolf's head is seen on a pole; a couple of people bitten by the werewolf are put to death by a sword because they will return as werewolves; some deaths in the film; a corpse with a wound in the stomach has rocks sewn in and is dumped into the water.
Drugs: A few characters are seen drinking at a celebration; a man vomits and passes out from drinking too much.
Nudity: Cleavage and bare shoulders; shirtless man.
Other: The topic of death; a priest does some unreasonable things and causes some harm; a few jump scenes as the wolf attacks.

Info

Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Source: Theater
Company: Warner Brothers
Writer: David Johnson
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio
Genre: Mystery
Runtime: 100 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Starring: Amanda Seyfried,
Gary Oldman,
Billy Burke,
Virginia Madsen,
Lukas Haas