There is an early Simpsons episode, set in Kamp Krusty, in which the unfortunate campers are being subjected to the cruel machinations of Mr. Black and his goonish group of counsellors. As Bart and Lisa settle into their dilapidated shacks, Mr. Black proposes a toast at his lavish dinner table; “Gentlemen. . . To evil!”.

Stretch this episode out to three films, add in some mushmouthed britons, and there’s Red Riding in a nutshell.

Alright, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but the bad guys are unbearably nasty in a completely ridiculous way. Not to say that there aren’t corrupt cops in the world, but could we perhaps give them a motivation beyond being complete tits? Even if this film were a documentary, I would want a different focus because seemingly emotionless villains are boring as fuck. It seems to want to be the british version of a James Ellroy story, but while Ellroy is all about shades of grey, this is as black and white as a chess board; There’s good guys, and there’s bad guys. They throw in a little Darth Vader character for good measure, but that only serves to highlight the fairytale like nature of the piece.

Speaking of fairytales; Why must every serial killer story revolve around, or reference, a children’s story or nursery rhyme? Just curious.

Also, the photography looked like shit. I know they were shot using 16, 35, and Red One, respectively, but perhaps due to the way they were transferred all looked like digital mess to me. The blacks never got truly black, which isn’t so great when you’re doing film noir.

People comparing this to The Wire or The Godfather; Put the crackpipe down. They’re fun movies, and I’m glad that I got to see them in this fashion, but I feel like they’re ultimately silly and forgettable.