All right; the trailer for Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood is out, and we need to talk.

(If you were extremely concerned about being spoiled for a Red Riding Hood retelling by a trailer full of people staring at each other as indie rock plays frantically in the background, consider this your spoiler alert.)

Here is a thing about movie trailers: I love them. They are an art form unto themselves and are one of the best things to come out of movie culture. Their evolution is fascinating, their construction is the work of evil geniuses, they often have the best moments of the movie in them, they occasionally ascend to greatness, and I am happy to watch them all day long.

Here is another thing about movie trailers: they are sometimes a pack of lies.

This is not anyone’s fault! This is a natural consequence of boiling down 100 minutes of film into a minute and a half; it is probably going to end up being a lot of lying by omission, is all. (Exceptions include: Michael Bay movies, anything with Katherine Heigl, anything from Meet the [Vague Family Connection], and Baby Geniuses. You can tell everything you need to know about those movies in a minute and a half…if you need that much time.)

So, the makers of trailers have a few choices as to how they tell the most compelling lies possible. Many of them decide to go with plot, thus saving everyone the ten dollars they might have spent to find out how Wicker Park is going to go. (Hint: exactly how you thought Wicker Park was going to go.) Many of them emphasize the movie’s three good lines, or the most expensive explosion, or use Brian Tyler’s Children of Dune music in the background like we’re not going to know who they’re using. (Well, we’re nerds, and we do.)

And many of them, especially spec movies, especially of stories whose plots we know, go for full-on imagery porn, trying to convince people who claim they hate fantasy movies (even though they saw Avatar six times and own every comic book movie made in the last ten years) to spend ten bucks, because sure, it’s Little Red Riding Hood by way of all that second-unit landscape footage you didn’t use in Twilight, but during all the sexing-parts you get to see Amanda Seyfried’s whole leg, almost! MEN, WE BEG YOU TO COME SEE THIS MOVIE.

Well, we will see how that marketing strategy pays off, but for now, let me assure the makers of Red Riding Hood that I will be there. I, in fact, would not miss this. I mean, look at it!

P.S. Before I even begin: yes, The Company of Wolves exists, and it is categorically better than this movie. We’re all on the same page there. Let’s not even worry about it for the rest of this post. There’s plenty of time to hash that one out later. For now, we have a minute and a half of longing glances that need to be made fun of!

First of all, let’s not pretend I’m too cool for school about any of this. Am I a sucker for Red Riding Hood? You are damn right I am – even if, in many retellings, she lacks the good sense God gave a waffle. Am I a sucker for any vaguely fairy-tale movie? You are talking to someone who watched SyFy’s Beauty and the Beast retelling on purpose. Am I a sucker for casts that include Gary Oldman, Julie Christie, and Billy Burke? Please, why are we even asking these questions.

On the other hand, as much as I am into the image of a character in the dark woods in a red cloak (boy, am I EVER), if she is walking up Carhadras in a red cloak that’s fifty feet long, and it’s not a dream sequence, I am going to want some answers, you know? (I am already in line for the answers about why Gary Oldman raids Dumbledore’s closet for his wolf-hunter garb, and have been for a looong time.)

Not that the trailer signals an unmitigated disaster. In and of itself, the trailer is perfectly workmanlike and hints at a movie that might also not be an unmitigated disaster. You know the general tone, you get a vague sense of some plot elements, etc. However, it weirded me out, and on the second viewing I realized why.

I think the most bizarre thing about this trailer is how much it looks like a skillful fan trailer, and much of that is not even how heavily it draws on the aesthetics she used in Twilight (and it does, but we’ll get to that), but because it draws so heavily from other recent fantasy films (the aforementioned LOTR, Sleepy Hollow, even – perhaps ill-advisedly – The Brothers Grimm) that I bet an enterprising fan could actually cobble together a reasonable facsimile of this trailer; if we include The Company of Wolves, which seems almost unfair, I bet we could get something in the uncanny valley!

Okay, now the Twilight part. There’s just no denying; not only did she draw on the same style of cinematography, she used a horny-and-scrappy vs. broody-and-elite love triangle in the center of the plot, and I suspect as more of the movie becomes revealed the similarities will grow in number. (Billy Burke, we need to talk.) But you know what? At the end of the day, no matter how bad the movie is – and I expect it to be pretty bad – I have absolutely zero problem with her pulling from her work on the Twilight franchise.

Was Twilight a good movie? You know it wasn’t. Did it have a 70-million-dollar opening weekend and on to gross what accountants estimate is 100 kajillion dollars? It sure did. Do men directors get away with making the same movie over and over? Absolutely. Are you going to blame Catherine Hardwicke for grabbing some light filters and returning to the hormone-addled pool that gave her the biggest opening weekend ever for a woman director? ‘Cause I’m not gonna.

Anyway, all this to say: this thing looks shitmazing, and I will be the very first person in line, hoping that this movie is unexpectedly great, but suspecting the reverse. (And being fine with that; who are we kidding?)

(Favorite moment of this whole trailer: Lukas Haas creeping around behind the door, getting a contractually-obligated stare in at whatever, and peacing out. HE IS TAKING HIS GOLD-LEAF WOLF DOOR AND GOING HOME.)