Red Riding Hood parents guide

Red Riding Hood Parent Guide

It is hard to find anything redeeming or engaging about this tale, especially when we feel like we've been down this road before--with that vampire guy.

Overall D+

A small village is terrorized by a werewolf that prowls through the town at night looking for human prey. But the arrival of a famous hunter causes more strain among the citizens when they discover the wolf takes a human form during the day and could be any one of them. This movie stars Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas and Gary Oldman.

Release date March 11, 2011

Violence D+
Sexual Content C
Profanity B
Substance Use C

Why is Red Riding Hood rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Red Riding Hood PG-13 for violence and creature terror, and some sensuality.

Run Time: 98 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

If this film has an eerie familiarity to Twilight, don’t be surprised. Director Catherine Hardwicke was behind both. And though the setting differs by a few hundred years, the tale and production are much the same, as are some of the actors.

Unlike the morose Belle, Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) lives in a medieval village terrorized by a werewolf during every full moon. For two generations, the townsfolk have managed to keep the animal at bay by sacrificing their best livestock on an altar built for the beast. Then all that changes when Valerie’s older sister Lucie (Alexandria Maillot) is savagely clawed to death. Following the wolf’s attack, the men form a hunting party and go in search of the animal, thus putting more lives in danger.

But, the loss of her sister isn’t the only challenge for Valerie. Although she’s in love with the woodcutter Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), her parents (Virginia Madsen and Billy Burke who plays Belle’s father in the previously mentioned franchise) intend to marry her off to the blacksmith Henry (Max Irons). Wedding plans are put on hold however when Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) is summoned to the village by the local priest (Lukas Hass) who hopes His Eminence will invoke his religious powers to protect the people. Yet rather than bringing comfort to the frightened villagers, Solomon bears bad news, revealing to the populace that the beast resides among them, human by day, werewolf by night.

Suddenly suspicions soar as everyone looks at their neighbors with questioning eyes. Meanwhile, the anguished love story resumes. Valerie is heartbroken when Peter tells her he’s not good for her. Henry confesses his love and tries to win her affections. She is torn between two men who seem unreasonably smitten with her. (Heard this all before?)

The script similarities to the aforementioned franchise might be tolerated but for the cheesy bits that weave their way into the dialogue including the famous line "Grandma, what big eyes you have." Other wolfish folklore also shows up in the movie with references to stories like The Three Little Pigs and Peter and the Wolf.

Although Valerie’s friends are a fickle bunch, taunting and turning her over to the authorities one minute and defending her from certain death in the next, they aren’t the only concern parents may have with this new version of the classic fairytale. Valerie’s passions lead her to a romp in the hay that stops just short of disrobing. Later however, a similar encounter showcases more lip-locks along with bare backs and shoulders. Plenty of swords, knives and a torture chamber are all put into use in the town during the werewolf inquisition and gory scenes of death, severed limbs and violent animal attacks are also shown. However for viewers who expect a good scare from this film, the jump scenes are both predictable and mundane.

While the wintery scenery adds an element of chill to this story, it is hard to find anything redeeming or engaging about this tale, especially when we feel like we’ve been down this road before—with that vampire guy.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke . Starring Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas, Gary Oldman. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release March 11, 2011. Updated

Red Riding Hood
Rating & Content Info

Why is Red Riding Hood rated PG-13? Red Riding Hood is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence and creature terror, and some sensuality.

Violence: Children trap and prepare to kill an animal by slitting its neck with a knife. Numerous dead bodies are seen throughout the film, along with one that is laid out in a home in preparation of burial. Soldiers use weapons to fight the beast and to keep the locals in line. Severed limbs are seen on several occasions, as are bloody injuries. During attacks, men and animals are tossed, slashed and killed by the werewolf. Characters are frequently beaten, whipped, shot with arrows, stabbed and placed into a large oven-like torture chamber. A man pulls at and eats raw meat. A girl is taunted before being placed on a sacrificial altar where other animals have also been killed. Characters cut into a dead man’s chest and later stitch it closed with a bloody needle before dumping him in a lake.

Sexual Content: A couple kisses passionately and begins to undress. Later they are involved in a sex scene with bare shoulders and backs. Characters engage in seductive dancing along with brief sexual innuendo.

Language: Taunting, name-calling and terms of Deity are used in this script.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Men imbibe often in a tavern. One man drinks frequently from a flask. Characters become intoxicated and one falls into a drunken stupor. Villagers also share a toast to a successful hunt.

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More parents' guide for Red Riding Hood after the break...

Red Riding Hood Parents' Guide

How does Father Solomon incite suspicions among the people? How does this lessen their ability to work together to fight the werewolf? What other leaders have turned their people against one another by raising doubts among them?

Valerie is very much the central character of this story. Does the focus on her hinder the development of the other characters? Do you think the villagers’ response to her is reflective of the time in which they lived? How did superstition and fear affect the actions of people during medieval times?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Red Riding Hood movie is June 14, 2011. Here are some details…

Red Riding Hood releases to home video on June 14, 2011.

Red Riding Hood on DVD

-Theatrical cut of movie (98 min.)

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

- Extended Cut of movie (100 min.)

- Alternate Ending

- Secrets Behind the Red Cloak - PIP w/ C. Hardwicke, A. Seyfried, S. Fernandez and M. Irons

- Reinvention of Red Riding Hood

- Red Riding Hood’s Men

- Making of the Score

- Before the Fur…Making of the CG Wolf

- Casting Tapes - Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons

- Rehearsals - The Dance, The Festival and The Wolf Attack

- Music Video: The Wolf by Fever Ray

- Music Video: Just a Fragment of You by Anthony Gonzalez of M8

- Red Riding Hood in 73 seconds

- Easter Egg: The Wolf Goes to a Hamlet Audition

- Deleted Scenes

Related home video titles:

An isolated group of 18th century fundamentalists are haunted by a mysterious creature that keeps the townsfolk from venturing into the forest until an emergency drives a blind girl from the safety of The Village. Werewolves have gained a new surge of popularity thanks to the teen romance Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke directed the first movie in that franchise as well as this horror flick.). Hugh Jackman plays a hunter on the trail of werewolves, ogres and other things that go bump in the night in Van Helsing.For a more lighthearted take at this fairytale, check out Hoodwinked.