Friday, 10 December 2010

Friday is for Fairy-Tales: Catherine Hardwicke Goes Red Riding Hood

This is a meme hosted by me every Friday.

My post today is about: Catherine Hardwicke's new movie Red Riding Hood

It is time for another movie remake of a well-known fairy-tale, this time (or rather again) of the Red Riding Hood.

It is not the first time this timeless fairy-tale has interested movie-makers. The very first time Red Riding Hood saw the light of day on the big screen was in 1922 when Walt Disney made a short black and white silent cartoon, the copies of which are extremely rare.

I would like to mention more notable animations and movies featuring Red Riding Hood first, before proceeding to the latest version. In 1984, The Company of Wolves was made, which focused heavily on werewolves (instead of mere wolves) and a girl’s sexual awakening. Based on Angela Carter's novella of the same name, it features a lot of symbolism pointing to a girl’s maturation/sexual awakening. (TRAILER) In 1997, Christina Ricci starred as a not-so-innocent Red Riding Hood in a short movie (12 minutes in length) titled Little Red Riding Hood. (TRAILER) Hoodwinked!, a cute animation from 2006, presentes dear Red in a humorous way. (TRAILER)

The whole list of various adaptations so far can be viewed HERE. What most of them have in common is the theme of a young woman’s sexual awakening, accompanied by danger in the form of wolves or werewolves, or men with possible paedophilic inclinations. A young woman can never be too careful. In my eyes, the fairy-tale was meant to teach children to be wary of strangers, but we have started to prefer its Gothic aspects. For the truth is, this fairy-tale offers a great basis for a Gothic or horror story and vicarious excitement is hard to resist.

Catherine Hardwick’s version that comes out in 2011 joins those adaptations that focused on danger, blood and sex. These things are perhaps what draws us to this story - the subtext of danger and the journey of a young person from innocence to experience. But there is a new twist – what if Red Riding Hood fell in love with the wolf that is, for all intents and purposes, the villain of the story? It sure is a possibility, although not a confirmed one. Another possibility people have brought up is that Red Riding Hood herself might be the wolf.

According to IMDb, the premise goes as follows: 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, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. As panic grips the town, Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast--one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect...and bait. (TRAILER)

What do you think about/expect from this new version? So far, I think it looks interesting; I only hope it won't go down the typical route. Do you have a favourite Red Riding Hood movie/book version?


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really liked Hoodwinked! This version looks a lot like Twilight, which is NOT a compliment although since both are directed by the same person, that may be why. I will reserve judgment until I hear more about it.

Blodeuedd said...

Loved Hoodwinked :)
I do hope this new movie will be good, and not just try to surf on the Paranormal wave

Jan von Harz said...

There is a new book called Red Riding Hood, being released in Feb but the author is Sarah Blackely-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson according to the cover the new movie coming out is based on it and directed by the Twilight director.It does look good.

The introduction for this book is written by Cathrine Hardwicke. I have this on pre-ordered and cannot wait to read it. The cover of this one make it seem like Hardwicke is the author as the author's names are not on the front of the cover, which I think is very strange.

Jo K said...

This sounds promising. I hope it will be something different than usually, too. Great post, you provided a lot of information for us, ignorant :) people who stick to the Grimm version :)

Enbrethiliel said...


I think Catherine Hardwicke did a good job with Twilight, so I'm looking forward to her take on Red Riding Hood. I've also been thinking of this fairytale for several weeks. I'll be submitting it to your link up soon in a face-off. ;-)

Enbrethiliel said...


By the way, Irena, I hope you don't mind my leaving an off-topic message here. I tried looking for your e-mail address, but couldn't find it! I'm going to be reprising my "Narnia Day" for Locus Focus on 25 December. I know it's Christmas and that everyone will be busy, but since you were the only one who voted for "Narnia in November" two months ago, I wanted to invite you to link something up. =)


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

@JMJ: Cool! I will post something for Narnia. My e-mail undress can be found under my "Contact" button. Here it is: loriengaladriel909 AT hotmail DOT com