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Hello, Grandmother—What Big Eyes You Have

Michelle Blackley

November 16, 2011

A review of Little Red Riding Hood (DVD). Warner Bros. PG-13. 1 hr. and 40 min. Horror, Romance.

Once upon a time in a little village at the edge of a forest, there lived a little girl and her family. This little girl was the sweetest, kindest child there ever was. In 2011, she’s Amanda Seyfried playing Valerie in Little Red Riding Hood.

Seyfried doesn’t have to try hard to capture an audience’s attention. In the movie adaption of the famed fairy tale, she plays a captivating character torn between two men. In an age-old tale of arranged marriages and true love, she desires to be with mysterious and handsome Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), but it is well-off Henry (Max Irons) who she is supposed to wed. Her porcelain face covered with a red hood, of course, is the perfect symbol of innocence against the werewolf that just killed her older sister and continues to prowl the dark forest surrounding her village. This recent development prevents Valerie and Peter from running off together.

The themes of war and trusting thy neighbor are continuous throughout the film as a team of characters reveal the uneasy truce that has existed with the beast for years as long as the creature is offered a monthly animal sacrifice. The villagers call upon celebrated werewolf hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), whose unexpected actions causes the death toll to rise.

Valerie’s ability to understand the wolf soon leads to the looming possibility and conclusion that the real beast is indeed someone she loves. Whose side does she choose? Who can she trust? Is someone so good, pretty, and perfect capable of trickery and siding with a monster? Definitely a quandary worthy of the DVD player.