The \"little\" has been removed from the title, and director Catherine Hardwicke has put a pubertal spin on the old folk tale, removing its teeth, pedantically spelling out the lite-psychological implications, and populating it with high-cheekboned hotties smouldering in the twilight. They all yearningly brood and pout, especially the wolf, who is frankly an incredible drama queen. Once upon a time, a small girl in a red cloak scurried through the dark forest to deliver pastries to her worryingly lupine-looking grandma. Now the girl in question is Valerie, played by Amanda Seyfried, a totalicious babe, who lives in a quaintly imagined medieval European village, menaced by a werewolf that lives in the outlying forest. My ideal casting for Red Riding Hood would have been Justin Bieber, but there you go. She is in love with sexy bad boy Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) but promised in marriage to equally dishy posh Henry (Max Irons), who is supposed to be rich, and yet seems to have the somewhat pleb job of ironmonger, presumably to show us his sweaty pecs. In the role of Valerie\'s twinkly-eyed gran, Hardwicke gives us Julie Christie, perhaps inspired by the Don\'t Look Now connection. Here again, I would have preferred a cameo from Marina Warner. Gary Oldman plays the priest-cum-beast-catcher who comes to the village when the werewolf runs amok. He tells the villagers that this terrible creature is one of them transformed: the beast within! But to the suspicion of one and all, Valerie discovers that she can actually communicate with the werewolf. She\'s a bit of a wolf whisperer. And of course, she\'s kind of attracted to this menacing, romantic outsider. But how to update the basic, climactic events of the Red Riding Hood tale? The whole \"gobbling up\" thing can of course only translate into sex, but in true Twilighty style, the film has a tense need to refrain from going all the way. A roll in the hay, during a village celebration, appears ambiguously to end in Valerie not actually having sex. This film is, of course, far too cool to give us a wolf with a comedy frilly hat on its head, doing the comedy old-lady voice, with the duvet pulled demurely up to its neck. Hardwicke does actually use the famous \"what-big-teeth-you-have\" dialogue but in an ironic sort of way, and even flirts unconvincingly with the idea that Julie Christie\'s gran is the wolf. But we all know that the wolf has to be a sexy male or the grad-school high concept collapses. Perhaps Hardwicke will be inspired to give this upscale emo-teen treatment to any number of folk myths. Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway and Mia Wasikowska can be the three little pigs, trembling in their house of bricks while Timothy Olyphant\'s menacing wolf huffs and puffs at their metaphorical walls of modesty. Or Hardwicke could simply do a sequel to this, in which wide-eyed Seyfried, in her red cloak, trips into a 1970s fag-smoking West Yorkshire police station and uncovers a murky conspiracy. It has to be better than this.