November 19, 2010

Red Riding Hood: "Twilight" Treatment or Original Intent?

I don't know why I check up  on Yahoo as much as I do, since I keep my spam email there, but I do.  Today over on Yahoo I found this article talking about the new movie that was thought up by Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first twilight movie.  It's going to be Red Riding Hood, and the article talks about giving it the "Twilight" treatment.

But then I watched the trailer, and I thought, nay, it's just finally getting to the point of what the original story intended.

Well, here watch it with me:

My question is why is this the "Twilight" treatment?  Just because Hardwicke is directing it doesn't mean that it's going to be anything like sparkly vampires.  

From the trailer you get that a) there's a love story and b) there are dangerous forces.  But unlike the Twilight Saga, this doesn't look like the young lady is an emotionless vessel being pursued by a creature that technically is a monster but actually is really sensitive and just wants to love.  NO.  You have a young woman who is in a secluded village that is being ravaged by an actual monster, a monster who actually kills people, and she's either dating the monster, betrothed to the monster, or even worse, BOTH.  There is a sense of actual danger because you can't really escape that village.  And the end of the trailer suggests that she's getting punished for associating with the village's enemy.  That's not Twilight, that's an old myth.

The reason I think it harkens back to the original intention of the Red Riding Hood story is that in earlier tales, not only does Red Riding Hood get into the same bed as the disguised wolf, she strips down naked and burns her clothes before doing so, suggesting a sexual predator at the same time a hungry one.  There are even theories that the story was a just a long metaphor for a young girl coming of age as a woman, losing her virginity and therefore her innocence.  

But then why is it a children's tale?  Well, not only did people become "adults" earlier in the day, but also because one of the best way to get your children to listen to you is to scare the bejesus out of them.  "Don't get in bed with strangers, young lady!  It will kill you!"  And although that may not be the best parenting method in the world, it works.

So if the whole point of the story was to convince little girls to not get in bed with strangers (or at least strange looking grandmothers), then this new Red Riding Hood movie is taking the next logical step.  Don't lie in bed with wolves, for then no one has your back.  This is especially true in a setting where you're in an isolated small village who is on a hunt for the one thing that is killing them off.  It's a scenario that we've seen played out in history dozens of times. 

Or at least that's what I get from the trailer.  I could be completely wrong and it's all about emo werewolves and their need to feel understood in a world where the odds are stacked against them.  Like the new Teen Wolf show.

Let's never talk about the Teen Wolf show ever again.


  1. This has to be a joke right? Seriously? Why must they ruin yet another good story? I don't know, maybe I'm just angry because it looks like twilight and I want just forget I ever even heard of the series. It still has that kind of look about it, minus the sparkles.

  2. I think critics say things like "the director is giving it the Twilight treatment" as a variation on "it sucks" or "it's great!" I honestly don't know if it's supposed to be praise or condemnation, in this case. Which is why I don't listen to critics, especially ones on Yahoo.

    The trailer looks like the movie could go either way. I've never been really into fairy tales, so it could turn out to be the most surprisingly good movie since Pan's Labyrinth. Or, it could be as much a bore as the original fairy tale.

  3. Sex has to some degree always made people stupid and/or crazy. One of the things I've found irritating about how modern society treats many things, stories included, is how it not so much neuters everything but how tries to make everything infantile in an odd effort to make things safe. It is more an exercise in making things comfortable for the squeamish. Disney does this all the time, but they do it in responses to socially driven market forces which want that to be the way stories and movies are made. While I am not a fan of "grim dark" of violence for the sake of violence and angst as style in movies and stories, I do like the old stories for their bracing honesty about human nature and the world. Oh well. It looks to be a pretty movie, at least that much can be said of it.