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The Pack

Red Riding Hood: don’t even see it in the hood

By: Dagney Palmer and Lili Samios
Dramatic love affairs, sexy werewolves, and angsty teenagers – sound familiar? If you’ve ever seen or heard of the Twilight movies, you know director Catherine Hardwicke’s style.
Set in a medieval mountain village, Red Riding Hood tells the story of Valerie (played by Amanda Seyfried), a young and beautiful girl, who is torn between two men: Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), an orphaned and intensely emotional woodcutter, and Henry (Max Irons), a wealthy blacksmith whom her parents have arranged for her to marry. When Peter invites Valerie to run away with him, she is torn between a life with Peter and pleasing her family. Meanwhile, the whole village is on edge because the full moon is upon them, and that means they must sacrifice their best livestock for the local werewolf or else it will take its revenge upon the villagers. However, the wolf breaks the uneasy truce by killing one of the villagers, who happens to be Valerie’s sister!
This event makes Valerie’s plans to run away with Peter impossible. The villagers, hungry for revenge, stage an unsuccessful hunt for the werewolf to rid the village of its torment once and for all. They then call upon Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a well-known werewolf slayer, to help them. The villagers learn from Solomon that the werewolf takes a human form by day and could be anyone in the village.
As the wolf continues to kill villagers every full moon, the whole town begins to turn on each other as suspects who could be the wolf emerge. As the suspects narrow down and the wolf continues to attack, Valerie realizes she has a special connection with the wolf and is called a witch because of it. Father Solomon decides that as punishment, he will use Valerie as bait for the wolf; however, Peter and Henry won’t allow that. Soon the whole village falls into chaos and the wolf suspects narrow down to Peter, Henry, or Valerie’s grandmother who lives on the outskirts of the village.
In a rather surprising ending, the werewolf turns out to be Valerie’s father, who wants to turn her into a werewolf. Luckily, as he’s about to strike, Valerie conveniently pulls out the hand of Father Solomon, who had been killed by the wolf and whose fingernails were painted silver. Valerie stabs her father with Father Solomon’s hand, and then stuffs her dad’s body with rocks and dumps him in the lake, with Peter’s help of course. Just when it seems like Peter and Valerie can finally be together, they realize the werewolf had bitten Peter, so he is now a wolf as well. Luckily, Valerie doesn’t mind having a werewolf for a boyfriend, unlike some characters in Hardwicke’s other movies, and she agrees to wait for Peter, living alone in her grandmother’s house, who, by the way, had been killed by Valerie’s father, and who may or may not have been in the stew Valerie ate before discovering the true identity of the wolf.

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