Red Riding Hood survived, of course. The wolf died. But wolves still prowl the forest, so the story goes on. Randall Allen Dunn’s The Red Rider cleverly blends the tale of Red Riding Hood with the legend of werewolves. Playing out in a darkly dreamlike version of France, this story digs its roots deep into religion. Catholic Christianity, savage witchcraft, and whispers of new churches form its conflict and themes. Fantasy yields to horror as the inherent ghastliness of a wolf stalking a little girl increases and spreads until finally overwhelming the original story’s fairy-tale aura. The Red Rider bears teeth, but horror fans will find it gives an exciting chase.
Best for: Adults, fans of horror and fairy tale retellings.
Discern: Gore, considerable violence, grisly images; not appropriate for younger readers.