According to Warner Brothers, Red Riding Hood is a “breathtaking vision of a 700 year old legend,” but this is so wrong. With the snowy mountain village of Daggerhorn set in Vancouver (absent of actual snow and surrounded by blurry CG mountains), the only interesting thing about the film is the print novel and multimedia e-book created alongside filming. I’m not sure how many movies do this, but it is a pretty cool trifecta, especially considering the movie had mediocre acting, effects, and is confusingly set in “medieval — or post-apocalyptic” times…or simply 700 years ago. Movie reviewer Roger Moore, from the Orlando Sentinel said it perfectly, “for all the heaving bosoms, the big-eyed flirtation and the cool fairytale hair products, it doesn’t work.”
Director Catherine Hardwicke mentions to the LA Times, “I was realizing as we were prepping for the movie that I felt sad for the back stories of these characters. I wanted to know more about those people.” So what did she do? She hired first time author Sarah Blakley-Cartwright to fill in the blanks! It’s worked for blockbusters like Harry Potter and Twilight, but those books were written before, and by established authors. I do think it’s slightly genius to realize you can create a dedicated fan base by giving them something else to do than just watch your movie…but…
In January, when the book was released, it hit No 1 on the NYT best seller’s list, but it was missing the ending! If you look at the reviews on Amazon you’ll find a whole bunch of frustrated customers. Including comments like “Rip off!” and “publishing company scams customers with incomplete product,” and “SHAME ON YOU to anyone affiliated with this con,” I’ve yet to see a response to these comments. The e-book will release what publishers call “bonus chapters” a few days after the film releases, but in actuality it’s the missing ending. This might have been a smart marketing tactic IF you told your customers you were selling them an incomplete story.
You can check out the author, director and screenwriter chatting about the novel in these video clips.