Revenge is, as the saying goes, a dish best served cold. Which is what I was left thinking after watching ex-Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke’s latest project Red Riding Hood.
Hardwicke’s Twilight was a teen flick which transcended the genre until it snowballed into a phenomenon. But despite a $400 million worldwide box office gross (that’s still growing every day), Hardwicke was allegedly fired from the franchise following a dispute with the studio, despite her claims she left of her own accord.
And what did she do to get her own back for not getting to helm New Moon and Eclipse? The answer is Red Riding Hood, which is both a depthless re-telling of the legend and a charmless re-make of Twilight.“I liked the first book best,” she recently told Newsweek. “Liked” it? It looks like you loved it!
The list of similarities between Red Riding Hood and Twilight are numerous. Some are minor – the period costumes (straight from All Saints), the over lit forest shots (more dry ice than a Celine Dion concert) – and some are major (the cheap CGI Big Bad Wolf, Amanda Seyfried’s Bella-like voice over, Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez squaring off like smelling-the-fart acting versions of R-Pattz and Taylor Lautner) and you’re left with the overall impression Hardwicke’s accidentally remade Vampires Suck.
Perhaps the saddest bit of this whole fiasco is that the cinematic potential to the fairytale, as anyone who’s seen In The Company Of Wolves can attest to, is huge.
In its original form the Little Red Riding Hood legend dealt with all manner of horrors (cannibalism and incest to name but two) and bursted with possibilities that, if executed correctly, could truly horrify.
But the only moment of genuine pit of your stomach squeamishness in this Red Riding Hood comes in the unexpected form of Fever Ray. Her track for the film ‘The Wolf’ is everything the film should be but is not; raw, unsettling and darkly compelling.
My advice? Just go home, turn off the lights and listen to this in a darkened room. Because you won’t find this kind of spooky thrill on the big screen.
Red Riding Hood is out on Friday.
Exclusive clips from Red Riding Hood