As we know, the camera likes certain actors. It certainly likes Amanda Seyfried, who has penetrating eyes and ethereal beauty.
No doubt director Catherine Hardwicke knows that because of the way she has appealingly filmed the young actress in Red Riding Hood.
Don't get me wrong. Seyfried certainly has the chops as an actress, but she isn't overly challenged in this re-imagining of the classic fairy tale.
Hardwicke, the director of Thirteen and the first Twilight movie, has for the most part given us a movie for throbbing teens rather than one with bite, which is something one would have hoped for with a big bad wolf involved.
True to new feminist retellings of the story, Hardwicke's version — from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson — has Seyfried's Valerie as much less prey and more predator than the original folk tale. But the director seems a bit timid in exploring darker themes — afraid, perhaps, in turning off her core (think Twilight) audience or, worse, going over their heads.
Even the gore is on the tame side, with a PG-13 rating.
Gary Oldman as a villain and Julie Christie as a bohemian grandma are brought in to give the proceedings some British credibility, but most of the time in Red Riding Hood you feel like you have been thrust into a medieval mall.
Red Riding Hood retails for $28.98 or $35.99 Blu-ray.