The old fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood has gone through many retellings and reiteration over the centuries. Among these is the film 'The Company of Wolves', a film directed by Neil Jordan who takes on a more surreal and almost nightmarish approach to the tale.
The film starts with the main character, Rosaleen in 20th century England who has fallen asleep as her torturous older sister torrments her from behind the door. She falls into a dreamworld of fantasy which takes place in the middle ages in a small village in the woods. In this world, she lives with her gandmother who often tells tall, old wives tales which plunge the viewer into a story within a story--a very surreal approach in the film which should be expected from Jordan.
The Red Riding Hood story on which the film is based around looks to have been takes straight out of The Brother''s Grimm. However, the characters of the Grandmother and Red Riding Hood have been fleshed out completely. The Grandmother also seems to know quite a bit about wolves with such advice tidbits like: "The worst kind of wolf is hairy on the inside." and "Beware of men who's eyebrows meet."
The film contains a fair amount of body horror and gore, who's special effects are conventional in horror films at the time. Scenes such as the first initial transformation from the Grandmother's first tall tale in which a man transforms into a werewolf by ripping off his skin, followed by the raw muscles stretching and deforming into a wolf-man-like being.
Scenes of surrealism also make their appearences in the film to go along with the dream-like setting; during the first scene, her sister is running away from a pack of wolves while constantly being hassled by human-sized versions of Rosaline's toy dolls. In another scene, Rosaline, after climbing a tree, comes across a nest in which eggs containing small, porcelain babies.
Similar to The Brother's Grimm, Jordan has also attached the story of Red Riding Hood to a lot of other tales which may have baffled common peasents in the middle ages and which may also baffle people today.