Little Red Riding Hood

David Kaplan’s brilliant short film is an oddball retelling of the original Brothers Grimm tale, but made with such gorgeous, twisted brilliance that it deserves to be saved from its obscure lair. A 90’s film festival hit, Little Red Riding Hood stars a pubescent Christina Ricci, who was just the right age for Kaplan’s exploration into innocence and sex by way of a universally-known fairy tale.

Of course, in today’s culture, trying something like that is quite a risk, as it would most likely be met by a mountain of accusations about sexualizing teenage girls and exploitation- but if you actually bother to watch the film, you’ll realize it’s too intelligent and subtle to be dismissed as anything in that vein. The wolf’s beautiful ballet-like movements, Ricci’s innocent- but knowing- glances, and… last but not least… Quentin Crisp’s delightfully piercing narration all swirl into what can only be called art; every frame of this film is not only aesthetically moving, but also in the service of a greater creative vision.

By keeping the classic characters and plot, but changing the context of the story, Kaplan’s retelling becomes a celebration of the drives and needs that all animals- including us humans- share. Told with humor, passion, and poetry, Little Red Riding Hood does exactly what all films should do, in about as great a way as it can. Despite the unfortunately poor VHS dub quality of this copy, Kaplan’s masterpiece manages to shine through in grand form.

2 thoughts on “Little Red Riding Hood

  1. I believe I saw this movie years ago. It was utterly delightful! Thank you for sharing this film! Can’t wait to watch it again.


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