I swoon for fairy tales taken into the horror genre. Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Brothers Grimm, The Company of Wolves... all thrill me in one way or another. Perhaps it was all those nights being told bedtime stories that were always about wolves, witches, being lost, being scared in dark horrid forests. Being German-Irish, I guess that's what you get.
As they say in this film, Red Riding Hood, "all sorrows are less with bread," and I guess all scary stories are less with cozy blankets and sturdily locked doors. Luckily, this one is not very scary! I recall seeing only little blood, and so few kills.
Some of the soundtrack had much to be desired -as did some acting and much of the direction. Any shortcomings were made up for in the photography and this song:
Now, the previews Scream 4 and and Super 8 (which looks like a long lost sequel to the prequel to Stephen King's It - if that makes sense) were compelling. I was not into Sucker Punch which looks like 9 movies in one - and none of them good.
~ possible spoilers ahead ~
For those who think adultery such as that in the movie is a modern plague, think again. If you looked close at your family tree you would see the same thing if not worse. The nonchalance of it struck me as awfully modern, but the situation is really not.
For comic relief - unless you find comedy in the constant visual reminders that this is torn from the same pre-teen loins as Twilight - wait for the lead villager guy. He struck me as a a Jim Lahey twin.
Some of the side stories involving Gary Oldmans' character are so pulp it drove me to wince. They could have taken out most of his back-story and half of his scenes - made him elusive and spooky - and upped the wolf kills-on-screen. Hindsight, ifs-and-buts...
Oooo yes, contraptions! Although it is no Dark City or Sleepy Hollow, there are contraptions to be had. My inner steampunk delights when they pull out more than two building or makers materials. They scored alright in the science department.
She's the wolf! He's the wolf! The kid's the wolf! The girl is the wolf! The priest is the wolf! Er, no, wait, the priest can't be the wolf... or can he? Will this be one of those 'silver does not work you fools!' kind of things? - That was my inner dialog at one point. Red herrings get a little overdone in this oven, but it is pretty fun.
Now, that song by Sugar Ray (which you should be listening to as you read this) was used during the party scene. Pretty cool. Not too over-the-top, and I was thankful for that. I mean, having seen many films with the obligatory tense party scene, I was relieved that is was short-lived and had no dodgy camera effects. Mad points for the use of masks in the scene too. Very nice.
So, not to cut a good blathering-with-praise scene short, but the wolf looks pretty good and like, everything has thorns on it. Who doesn't like thorns! If i lived in the German Dark Forest in the perpetual winter being ridiculously under-dressed to the temperature or puncture wounds, what i would want to do is sharpen everything to a point. Yup. Spikes on my door, spiky trees, spiky jewelry - yup spiky-fucking-everything.
Ending on sexy wolf-love not did not make me howl, I must say. Ew. After all that non-horror, I wonder how it was classified as such?
If you want a nice diversion movie with a classic Grimm story, this works well - if you can filter out the sappy love story that only serves to dilute a wonderful tale.