Perhaps I am among the minority, but the “Red Riding Trilogy” did little to entertain or inspire me. Much like the reception I gave “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” the “Red Riding Trilogy” does little to set it apart from any other films in the suspense/thriller genre. In a way, these films take a step backward in feeding the viewer recycled versions of their predecessors. Murder and serial killer mysteries are only mildly entertaining without a fresh delivery of the age-old tales. As far as the “Red Riding Trilogy” is concerned, we should be dishing out the washed-up Jack The Ripper murder mysteries the same way, regardless of how badly they need to evolve.

The characters throughout the three films are uninspiring and uninteresting. Perhaps the tasks at hand are so drab the characters come off colorless as well, but overall, there was little to no viewer-character connection. Most of the time, I found it hard to be drawn to the screen, let alone the characters within that frame. Completely unappealing, there is little left for the “Red Riding Trilogy” to deliver following the disappointing plot and characters.

The story of the three films involves:
Corrupt Yorkshire police.
A convict serial killer.
The men that want to detective their way through the plots of the three films.
In the end, not one of the films comes off as unique or above average and barely skims the red line of being unwatchable.

The “Red Riding Trilogy” saving grace includes three directors with a different medium for each of the three films. The first (1974) films on 16mm stock, the second (1980) on 35mm, and the last on one of the Red high definition cameras. The viewer truly experiences a different feel for each film and allows for the only standout feature of the trilogy. The third film (1983) is set apart from the rest of the trilogy solely by projecting high definition and giving a more decadent feel to the overall story, most notably in the end, where Mark Abby’s character is sent to a chicken coup to save a child.

The harsh reality is that these films will be regarded highly by most who view them, but this viewer was less than impressed, which leaves little hope for the upcoming installments of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” trilogy. Although extremely against Hollywood’s remakes of films within a few years of a film’s original release, Hollywood cannot make this trilogy over soon enough. Add some more flair and originality, and this film trilogy could come off much cleaner and well-respected, at least from my side of things.

February 19, 2010

Julian Jarrold (1974)
James Marsh (1980)
Anand Tucker (1983)

Tony Grisoni

IFC Films


300 minutes

Rob Hardy
Igor Martinovic
David Higgs

Adrian Johnston
Dickon Hinchliffe
Barrington Pheloung

Andrew Hulme
Jinx Godfrey
Trevor Waite

Mark Addy
Sean Bean
Jim Carter
Warren Clarke
Paddy Considine
Shaun Dooley
Gerard Kearns
Andrew Garfield
Rebecca Hall
Sean Harris
Eddie Marsan
David Morrissey
Peter Mullan
Maxine Peake
Lesley Sharp
Robert Sheehan
Laura Carter
Danny Mays

David Peace
Tony Grisoni

Leave a Reply