Once again, time to return the land DOA reviews, wretched horror films, that sadly haunt the genre, this time a venture into folk tales, named Little Red Riding Hood, a story whose history and origins traces back to the 10th century with several connections throughout Europe, however known from the Brothers Grimm. Sounds intriguing and while the tale has the introduction telling standpoints of Bugs Bunny (a twisted cartoon version that actually aired on regular TV for children), and even the adult film industry with some very creative titles (that’s another article), but the horror genre had better production than this mess. For example, director Catherine Hardwicke’s 2011 version Red Riding Hood, Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010) from director Sheldon Wilson, and lastly, Giacomo Cimini did a version of the tale as well, all these films rank vastly superior to this confusing tale from director Rene Perez. He does somehow crank out a slew of low-budget productions, though this one might be best left unlisted, and covered over by a swamp, nothing could digest this with belching back out and flee from it. His other work, which might becomes reviews on the DOA list, such as Playing with Dolls (2015) and The Dead the Damned and the Darkness (2014). Yes, we have another distasteful flick, and unfortunately clearly showing the lack of finances doomed this production, as these movies require costumes, makeup and some degree of acting and musical score all lacking. While people constantly state this is the worst movie, one only needs to refer to this column, clearly showing what doesn’t make the grade for the horror fans time and money. Now, who enjoys the so very bad it’s just too funny to miss, might want to ward this production, as the story makes no sense, less horror and more drama, if this scares you, it should only be from how ridiculous it sounded and that it got funding.
First this movie lacks on cohesion and understanding the plot or storyline, and that the a new version of the classic tale will like rot either in bargain bin at a gas station mini mart, or someone unsuspecting mind, sadly the second already happened to this reviewer, though I knew it beforehand. Sitting down for the film is one thing, the challenge staying for the entire thing honestly I paused it many times and had many sighs and groans. Let’s begin this stroll, the character Red Riding Hood (Iren Levy, who worked with Perez before on two previous films) is on the way to her seriously ill grandmother (Marilyn Robrahn – another Perez regular), she ventures though a gloomy forest (looks a tad too bright) and monsters lurk everywhere… well not exactly. The monsters or forest slight confused all controlled by a demon, who exchanged his life for immortality, but then there’s dead knight who appears, the disappears, then reappears in modern looking castle, and sits sometimes silently for a long time, but gives many warnings. Sounds entertaining, wait there’s more, then sinister werewolf, or in the credits a Lycanthrope, Louie Ambriz, who stalks and walks (a lot) in the wilderness, but does it very poorly, and not the least bit scary. Fret not, other super scary beasts exists, a Blind Creature; Master Creature and two Sirens, an Evil and Beautiful (normally found in Greek mythology but one showcases her talents very, very well Alanna Forte). If confused, congratulations, you win, nothing but it exists, correctly, but the movie contains numerous flashback sequences showing some things twice over that do not help the flick. Yet, there’s more… Riding Hood (not quite so little) finds her trapped in the castle, needs to kill the lycanthrope and gets more advice from someone else also barred inside with her. Alas, a warrior, in the woods, carrying a very silly looking prop sword, aides her in the fight, and the movie ends abruptly, and bank account ran dry.
Even though some T&A presented nicely in the movie still not a redeeming factor, one can find more on Tumblr and other horror films the use sexuality, rather than as just ‘because’ reasoning. In addition, the scenic beauty gives a splendor backdrop for the audience to enjoy while languishing the awful slow pacing, done likely to stretch the film to a fuller runtime but finishing with 81 minutes including the opening and ending credits. The confusion for the film likely lies more in the lack of dialogue, not that the movie is a silent picture rather the sounds seems drown out, muffled and in some over dubbed, and this leaves the viewer struggling to comprehend everything and left to one’s own conclusions which occurs early in the movie. This movie contains both a period piece and modern, simply providing no reference or baseline for the viewer to understand the story, result in a poorly executed film.
However, one saving grace if for the briefest moments, the castle is none other than Castello di Amorosa, located in the Napa Valley, which allows tours, and serves as a winery, with a chapel inside too (also featured in the movie). Aside from that the front entrance, and looks from many key spots from the 12th and 13th century and has all the features one expects from a structure like this, long stretch dinning, drawbridge, and of course the torture chamber. Sadly, though the location not used to the fullest, and then there’s a force-field lightshow in the movie too, very strange and it doesn’t stop there.
While, the film’s plot plodding along aimlessly other factors stalled the production, namely the costumes and makeup of the character and monsters, respectively. Using masks and outfits from a discount Halloween store, and this given a cast either inept at delivery of lines, or moving through the woods, and no clear indication of direction, well the scenery sells the beautiful likely distracting too. The editing sinks the movie, quickly the transitional cuts make no sense and only lead to more questions, and for example why am I watching this movie? Answer so you don’t have to stumble upon this confusion, the movie renders itself a foggy understanding of the folk tale.
Filmmakers and aspiring ones, just because the one has the film equipment they need to know how to use it properly and correctly, color spectrum shifts during the film. Take the time to hire the right person, to frame the performance, get the best crew possible, not the cheapest, while using the pages from Hitchcock and Carpenter on the recycling crew and cast, they both chose right the first time. Cinematography, lighting and sound truly find themselves as the keys in any production whether a horror film or any other genre, with them it does not matter that is on the set the movie turns to atrocious. When it comes to music, it actually helps the production, it needs to fit the moment, for example somber music for a funeral not a disco number, herein this movie the repetitiveness for no reason, not used to identify a character, i.e. Michael Myers. In fact, the score helps to drop the anchor on movie attaching it to the bottom of wretched film heap, sounds if unsure what notes and sounds really needed, perhaps the composer equally confused by the film. The usage of CGI and effects find them very comical, though Birdemic 2 still holds the title for now. Lastly everything rest buried with cast, the poor acting, incorrect delivery of lines, and emotions wandering with floundering dialogue, overwhelmingly ridiculous nonsense verbiage, sometimes repeating the phrases and lines, again mumbling often.
Unfortunately, one cannot recommend this movie, unless for a torture device, it renders itself almost unwatchable, but rather mind-numbing and leaving the audience perplexed for hours. In other words, if you ever had a head cold, taking dome medication and awoke to the glow of the television thoroughly confused as what you seen it still makes more sense than this movie; it is not enough to make the film somehow worth seeing. Please avoid the anguish of seeing the movie, but take the opportunity to visiting the castle in the film, and of the stellar scripts and performance this wonderful might serve other places. Though for the bad movie watchers hungry for another brain rotting storyline, still avoid, the cheapness echoes throughout the film and never gives any quality laughter just worse editing, even SyFy channel would likely pass on this cinematic masterpiece of rot.
imdb rating (as of 2/4/17): 1.6/10
DOA Rating: 1.6