Mini-Review: Red Riding Hood (Trailer)
By Douglas Rusley
Originally published to Examiner.com on December 24, 2011
We’ve all heard the saying “life imitates art” or “art imitates life” when our real lives start to resemble movies or vice versa. But what’s really weird is when the thing being imitated is parody. The best way to watch this particular teaser trailer, for me anyway, is to pretend it isn’t a real trailer. Just imagine that you’re watching a movie or a show that pokes fun at the movie business, like Tropic Thunder or Entourage, and imagine that in the movie/show, someone is making a gritty reboot of Little Red Riding Hood. Sounds ridiculous, right? Now watch the trailer, and try not to laugh. That’s exactly what this is. This thing is just surreal. Not only that, but it’s oozing with Hollywood exploitation: on the one hand, there’s the dredging up of an old and obscure story/property to make a quick buck. On the other, there’s the resemblance to…well, we’ll get to that in a moment.
So we start off with Amanda Seyfried macking with her crusty manly plaything out in the woods. They get back to find that “the wolf!” has attacked somebody in the village. Then Gary Oldman shows up. (Oh, of course Gary Oldman would be in a movie like this. Well played, guys.) He’s there to explain that said wolf assumes human form and is someone in the village. So a significant glance tells us that Amanda’s manmeat guy is probably the wolf, she seems to know he’s the wolf, but she won’t tell anybody about him. More snippets of plot are doled out: wolfboy tells her that he’s “wrong” for her. She doesn’t care. Another better-dressed dude tells her it’s all gonna be okay. The two guys circle each other menacingly. Amanda Seyfried stares meaningfully at things. (Seriously, is this sounding familiar yet?) Soon enough, the caption pops up to tell us who’s behind all this madness: Catherine Hardwicke, the director of—duh—Twilight.
A montage of images builds to the title (while some new-age goth singer screeches at us) and it’s about what you’d expect: Amanda strolls through the forest with her oversize red cape artfully billowing and flapping in the wind (oh, too funny). There’s snowy landscapes! There’s group dancing! There’s firelight! Some people run around in a panic! Amanda Seyfried runs through the forest with her red hood and basket…IN SLOW MOTION! And there’s the slightest, slightest hint of a monster. Slightest. Oh, and the final caption? "Who's Afraid?" Perfect. Just perfect.
Really, why not make a movie based on Little Red Riding Hood? Why not give it the dark and gritty reboot treatment? Why not tailor it for the Twilight crowd, as a stark teen romance dressed up like a monster movie? Because that’s what this is, folks. There’s really no getting around it. I can't say I'm looking forward to this release in the slightest, but the good news is: this is hands down the funniest trailer I’ve watched in a long time.
Rating: Not Applicable.