MOVIE RECOMMENDATION: director Neil Jordan's second feature, 1984's The Company of Wolves. It's a beautiful, spooky, extravagant piece of sexy gothic dreaminess about a young woman whose sister is killed by wolves in a fairytale forest that's filled with werewolves, rapacious hunters, and heaving bosoms. It's a stylish, pretty flick. Now what's the opposite of a movie recommendation? A condemnation? 'Cause that's what I want to give director Catherine Hardwicke's (Twilight) flaming pile of wolf shit, Red Riding Hood.
Similar to The Company of Wolves, Red Riding Hood tells the tale of a pretty girl (Amanda Seyfried) who lives in a snowy mountainous village where everyone dresses in breezy cottons and lacy shawls. She's in love with a be-gelled boy she can't have, as she's betrothed to some other obsessive hair-product user. Each full moon, the village sacrifices a cute little animal to keep a big bad wolf at bay—but even after a delicious pig tribute, the big bad wolf kills Red's sister. The villagers hunt and kill the wolf, and then the villagers party in the most embarrassing orgy this side of that stupid Zion dance in The Matrix Reloaded. But GUYS: The wolf is really a WEREWOLF. And lo, the villagers didn't really kill it.
Enter a purple velvet-clad Van Helsing of werewolves (Gary Oldman, shame-faced), who's there to sniff out the werewolf and also, for some reason, cook some people in a big iron elephant statue. Meanwhile, Battlestar Galactica's Colonel Tigh (Michael Hogan) and Stargate SG-1's Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) start stomping around, accurately evoking the experience of watching a mediocre rerun on the Syfy channel. While Red Riding Hood very much wants to be the gauzy, fantastical tale that Jordan nailed in the '80s, instead it's a film that will make you die 1,000 slow, painful deaths—not the least of which is watching poor Julie Christie play a grandma with dreadlocks.