Follow us on:





RSS Feed to all our Blu-ray Reviews



RED RIDING HOOD ($36) is a semi-adult version of the classic fairy tale, wrapped in the trappings of a horror movie. Considering the choice of director and the PG-13 rating, I would have to say that RED RIDING HOOD has made certain concessions (and marketing choices) to the lucrative TWILIGHT teen movie audience. Attractively cast and stylistically photographed, RED RIDING HOOD is certainly very nice to look at, but the film is also lacking where the script and other bits of substance are concerned. The performances are a bit of a mixed bag- ranging from professional to amusingly hambone to barely credible. Amanda Seyfried is always beautiful and manages to carry much of the film with a performance that rises above the material. As expected, Gary Oldman chews though the scenery with the same ferocity as the film’s werewolf chews through the film’s hapless villagers. Notable professionals on the RED RIDING HOOD payroll certainly earn their paychecks with good performances, however certain less seasoned members of the cast seem to be there solely for their eye candy value to the film’s target audience.

RED RIDING HOOD is set in a dark fairy tale village in which the townspeople have had a longstanding truce with a werewolf- an offering of livestock at each full moon in return for the safety of the human populace. Living in the village is the lovely young Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), who has been promised by her parents to marry Henry (Max Irons), the son of a wealthy blacksmith. However, Valerie is in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), a penniless woodcutter, and plans to run away with him, just as the werewolf breaks the longstanding truce with the village by killing Valerie’s older sister. With the truce broken, the townsmen go out to hunt for the werewolf, and think they have met with success. Still, the local priest summons famous witch hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), who advises the townspeople that they have only killed an ordinary wolf, and not the werewolf that plagues their village. The hunt for the werewolf then turns back on the villagers themselves, as Father Solomon reveals that in its human form, the werewolf could be any one of them. The cast of RED RIDING HOOD also features Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Julie Christie, Shauna Kain, Michael Hogan, Adrian Holmes, Cole Heppell, Christine Willes and Michael Shanks.

Warner Home Video has made RED RIDING HOOD available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. RED RIDING HOOD looks pretty impressive on Blu-ray. For the most part, image sharpness, depth, dimensionality, fine detail and texturing range from very good to excellent. There is some intentional diffusion within the image that gives a bit of a fairly tale quality to some of the visuals. Color reproduction is very good, with bright hues popping out from more somber tones. Warm tones like reds and golds are exquisitely rendered throughout the course of the film. Overall, there is excellent color stability and true to life flesh tones throughout. Blacks are totally inky, whites are pure, plus the picture produces wonderfully smooth contrast. Shadow detail can be quite good, or intentionally murky depending on what the filmmakers want the audience to perceive from out of the dark. The elements from which RED RIDING HOOD has been mastered are free from flaws. There is a light veneer of grain within the image, which maintains the organic quality of the presentation.

RED RIDING HOOD is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. All of the outlying channels are well implemented with plenty of directionality being present during the film’s supernatural and action tinged moments. Talky passages tend to become more front heavy, with only modest reinforcement to the rears. Additionally, the sound design is fairly effective at raising the tension level at key moments horror movie atmospherics and monster noises. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is pretty terrific; the music has a full-bodied quality, while the sound effects have weight. The bass channel adds the proper level of fortification. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Starting things off is an Alternate Cut of RED RIDING HOOD that features an ending not seen in theaters. Next is Secrets Behind The Red Cloak, a picture-in-picture Video Commentary that is augmented with additional pop-up supplements (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Featurettes and other programs in the thirty-five minute Behind The Story section include: The Reinvention Of Red Riding Hood, Red's Men, Making Of The Score, Before The Fur, Casting Tapes, Rehearsals and Red Riding Hood In 73 Seconds. Deleted Scenes, a Gag Reel and Music Videos close out the standard extras. RED RIDING HOOD is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, along with a Digital Copy of the film.

RED RIDING HOOD attempts to marry the classic fairy tale to the trappings of a horror movie then targets the whole shebang at the TWILIGHT crowd. Had the script been stronger on plot and characterization and gone for a hard "R" in the ratings, instead of looking for teen dollars, the marriage would have really worked. The Blu-ray presentation is generally excellent and will please anyone with big eyes and big ears.


Red Riding Hood (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2011)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links