While watching the trailer for Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood, two thoughts crossed my mind. The positive was that Hardwicke – from Thirteen to Twilight to The Nativity Story - has an authorial, thematic concern. And that concern is young girls fuckin’. Well, maybe just exploring/understanding/controlling their sexuality, but something about a young girl’s first time/ first love is the well to which Hardwicke has returned again and again. Note: also, watching supplements for older movies, it’s funny how often Harwicke turns up. Recently I saw her on the Three Kings and Tombstone Blu-rays.

The negative thought is that the film this most reminded me of was Rolland Joffe’s 1995 film The Scarlet Letter, and not just because Gary Oldman starred in both. Perhaps it’s because the premise of Little Red Riding Hood has generally concerned itself with a little girl, a wolf, her eaten grandmother, and the lumberjack who kills the fuck out of the wolf. This looks to be somewhat in the sphere of Ginger Snaps as it seems to connect the wolf to budding sexuality. This looks purple, florid, and well aware of its passions, but stuff like that either plays or dies. I thought Hardwicke was trying to be a little sneaky with the first Twilight film, so I’ll give her some credit as a smuggler, but this is a weird looking movie.

The film stars Amanda Seyfried. I like her, though I think it’s weird how her career (along with Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan’s) mutated after Mean Girls.  Lohan had her moment, blew it, McAdams had The Notebook, but walked away only to return as the boring love interest in Sherlock Holmes, and now can’t launch a movie that co-stars Han Solo. Whereas now Seyfried is in everything, and I guess she’ll pass the torch to Lacey (Lost in Space) Chabert when she’s done. The trailer features Lukas Haas, who seems to be on a career resurgence that I pin on his role in Rian Johnson’s Brick. Not shown in the trailer are Virginia Madsen and Julie Christie, who’ve obviously been brought in to class the joint up.

I liked Jennifer’s Body more for what it wanted to be than what it was, so the very fact that Hardwicke directed this film, and it’s about female sexuality is enough to get me excited. Bad choice of words? Sure. but no less subtle than the use of red in this trailer. Will her cloak be thematically connected to menstrual blood? Vegas oddmakers say: Even money. Anyway, see what you think and post your thoughts below or on our message boards.


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