Red Riding Hood (2011) Believe the legend. Beware the wolf

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This horror mystery is not like the fairy tale that you grew up on. This is what the tale could have been based on, even the tale of Peter and the Wolf. This film sets the tone perfectly from the beginning. It pulls you into a world that seems real and believable and keeps you guessing what is going to happen next all the way to the end. The film also looks are various stereo types and how they have been seen throughout history and why people see them that way. This is a story that wont let you go, not even when the film ends, but that is a good thing with this film.

In an Orthodox village on the edge of a dark forest, people live in fear of the wolf. They have lived with this fear for generations even before the church came to their town. They have developed rituals to keep the town safe from the wolf but have never really understood the way the wolf worked. You see the wolf is actually one of them, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, that makes sure that his lust and desire for blood is satisfied each and every full moon. This time it is different, it is time for it to make more of its own kind. It is time to make more wolves for HIS pack. Time to move on to richer hunting grounds but this time not alone.

As we find in the story, newly turned wolves are not all that strong and easy to kill except for one particular kind. The kind that are hardest to kill are the generational ones, the ones that have passed their blood on their their children. With each generation and each turning the resulting wolf is stronger then the one that sired it. Because of the way that the village of Daggerhorn has taken care of the wolf to keep it from eating its villagers they have let it grow strong. This wolf and all before it have been able to hide right in plain sight and even guide what would be sacrificed to it to sate its hunger. Things have changed though and hell is going to be unleashed on the town for the indiscretions of but one woman.

Suzette (Virginia Madsen) loves her husband Cesaire (Billy Burke) but didn’t always as her first love was that of Adrien Lazar (Michael Shanks). In a moment of indiscretion and lust she had an affair with Adrien which resulted in the birth of a daughter named Lucie (Alexandria Maillot). Knowing the mistake that she made she returned to her husband’s bed and eventually had another daughter named Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), one of the prettiest girls and young woman in town. All the other girls her age are jealous of her beauty and her love of the forester Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). She loves him dearly but is actually betrothed to Henry Lazar (Max Irons) which her sister Lucie had a secret crush on. Suzette knowing that a match between Henry and Lucie could never happen she made the arrangement for Valerie to be wed to Henry instead.

When Lucie is killed by the wolf the town takes up arms to look for it knowing that the truce between the wolf and the town has been broken. So into the mountains they go and to a cave they think the wolf is hiding. There Adrien is killed by the wolf and the villagers kill a grey wolf thinking that it is the wolf that plagues their town. Father Auguste (Lukas Haas) warns them to not go as he has already sent for a hunter named Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) but they don’t listen. Father Solomon comes to the town as they are celebrating the death of the wolf and tells then that they are mistaken, it is not the werewolf that they have killed but they don’t believe him. That belief changed quickly as the wolf comes to claim its own during the celebration.

There are many twists and turns in the film and you try to figure out who the wolf is right along with Valerie. You never really know who the wolf is till almost the end of the film when she has to confront it to end the towns curse. It is amazing that the director and the script writer were able to weave the stories of Little Red Riding Hood and Peter and the Wolf together so well. Nothing was missed in the stories and you even get glimpses of a third story in there but that just might be me with all that I read and see. This is going to be one horror film that will have you wanting to watch it again and again even if you know how it ends. You have everything in this film, romance, drama, fantasy, thriller and more all rolled up into one great film.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★★