“RED RIDING HOOD” HOWLS WITH A NEW TRAILER

The legend of “Little Red Riding Hood” is getting an opulent new update this spring, and a trailer for it has clawed its away online. Check it out, after the jump.

Amanda Seyfried dons the crimson cape in this loose retelling of the classic tale, which appears to aim more for old-fashioned Gothic romanticism than fairy tale fantasy. In this period tale, the lovely Seyfried plays Valerie, a young woman caught in a love triangle between a town outcast (Shiloh Fernandez) and the wealthy boy (Max Irons) she’s arraigned to marry, all while her town is stalked by a werewolf. Gary Oldman is on hand to play a religious werewolf hunting expert, who thinks the beast may actually be someone from the town itself. Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas and the legendary Julie Christie also star.

Personally, this flick leaves me…ambivalent. It’s directed by Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke, and Warner Bros is certainly working the Twilight angle here hard, emphasizing the star-crossed love story angle and the “from the director of Twilight” credit to full annoying-teen-girl courting effect. Now I’m a sucker for a good love story myself (re: good) but Stephanie Meyer’s limp-dick vampire romances aren’t good by any stretch of the imagination, and I worry that this film will essentially be the same thing…except with a hunky werewolf front and center instead of a pallid, well-coiffed bloodsucker. And, when I inevitably see this sucker, if I detect the merest hint of Twilight decay, I’m probably going to wretch harder than the day after a New Year’s bender.

On the other hand, Hardwicke is hardly a terrible director, Twilight be-damned, with the excellent youthquake drama Thirteen on her resume, and Red Riding Hood has a MUCH better cast on hand: Oldman, Christie, Madsen, Seyfried…c’mon that’s a lot of talent there. (Then again, Oldman was completely wasted in The Unborn…) Fernandez himself is a talent to be watched (see: Deadgirl) and frankly, the literary source material is well…definitely superior to Meyers’ defanged crud. The film also looks AMAZING, with its beautiful cinematography — especially that striking red-cape-on-white-snow eagle’s eye shot. In fact, the trailer somewhat reminds of Neil Jordan’s sumptuous early-80s werewolf flick The Company of Wolves as much as Twilight, so here’s hoping maybe, just maybe, Hardwicke and co. will pull off a successful blend of romance and horror, and create a halfway decent throwback to the Gothic melodramas of yesteryear. I’m keeping fingers crossed, though a shotgun loaded with silver pellets is prepped justincase.

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