Red Riding: 1974 Reviews
The Red Riding Trilogy consists of three very different, yet similar films.
1974 is the most cinematic of the three, with a more fictitiousness and entertainment feel than the other two. It's also stereotypical at times and some scenes are easy to predict because of this.
1980 has a more historical feel, opening with and continuing throughout with actual footage and pictures, making you feel like you're experiencing some of the events caused by the actual murders.
1983 feels slightly like both previous films, but has a unique feel all of its own, ending the trilogy in superb ways and explaining unanswered questions and secrets in the previous two films.
As a whole, this is beautifully constructed trilogy with films that could have stood alone if it weren't for scenes that directly linked them together.
P.S. I would highly suggest watching it with subtitles. Some of the actors have thick Northern English accents that leads everything they say to come out as "hshrhghcnwrtytg". This only applies to certain actors of course, but without subtitles you're likely to miss a number of key plot points.
A serial killer is at work--and children are being kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. The police, led by the low-key Maurice Jobson (David Morrissey), and the pugnacious Billy Molloy (Warren Clarke), are hard at work on the case, but don't seem to be making much progress. In 1974, The Yorkshire Post assign Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield), a young reporter, who tries to find information on a series of missing girls. Meanwhile, John Dawson (Sean Bean), a local businessman and developer, bribes members of the West Yorkshire Constabulary (WYC) and local councillors into letting him purchase local land and gain permission for a shopping centre he has planned. This is done by burning down a Roma camp previously existing in the area. One of the murdered girls is found on Dawson's land, having been tortured and strangled--with swan wings stitched into her back. Young, cocky and naive, Dunford pushes his investigation into dangerous areas after being forewarned to stay away. "Red Riding: 1974" is the weakest of the three Red Riding films--but it is effective at setting the stage--introducing some of the characters, and capturing the attention of those who love gritty, uncompromising dramas about police corruption and the dark side of human nature. It is still by all means a competent made film.
"The Red Riding Trilogy" is a bit of a challenge, and is not easily summarized--and it demands constant viewer attention. For American audiences, there is an additional problem--the accents are so thick that it can be difficult to decipher dialogue, and entire passages may be missed. There are versions of the trilogy with subtitles that help tremendously. "RR 1974" is the most difficult to understand, with the second third installment--the accents aren't nearly as thick, and easier to understand. Only in the third and final chapter of the trilogy, "Red Riding: 1983"-- all the pieces of the dark puzzle finally find its place--revealing the terrifying truth behind the disappearance and death of the girls.