Red Riding Hood Doesn't Venture Too Deep
Amanda Seyfried stars in Catherine Hardwicke's retelling
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 11, 2011 12:25 PM CST

(Newser) – Catherine Hardwicke’s take on Red Riding Hood, the classic story doused in teen angst and good looks, is certainly riding the zeitgeist—but it never really enters the woods, critics say:

  • The film is “gorgeously shot, smartly conceived, cleverly cast, badly executed—the lush medieval beauty here is at best only skin deep,” writes Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. “Sometimes, it's literate and lofty. More of the time, it's mind-numbingly simplistic and served up on a platter like leftovers.”

  • Imagine the story conference, suggests Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times: “Hey! Let's switch the vampires with a werewolf and recycle the theme of a virgin attracted to a handsome but dangerous hunk, only let's get two hunks!” Plus, it’s “dreadfully serious about a plot so preposterous, it demands to be filmed by Monty Python.”
  • In the New York Times, Manohla Dargis is fairly positive, calling the film a “goofily amusing screen fairy tale.” But when it comes to the darker themes, “what sharp teeth Ms. Hardwicke doesn’t have.”