Little Red Riding Hood and the Pedophile in Film: <em>Freeway</em>, <em>Hard Candy</em> and <em>The Woodsman</em>

  • Pauline Greenhill
  • Steven Kohm
Keywords: Little Red Riding Hood, Hard Candy, Freeway, The Woodsman, sex


"Little Red Riding Hood" is one of very few well-known fairy tales that have not come under what Jack Zipes calls "the Disney spell," which has ossified and Americanized so many others. Creators using various artistic genres have thus felt free to rewrite and reconceptualize it. The three "Little Red Riding Hood" films that we discuss explore, as a significant theme, adult-child sexual relationships. We argue that the "Little Red Riding Hood" story offers filmmakers and viewers a metaphorical tool for understanding relations between pedophiles and their victims in novel ways, opening up the possibility of a shift in perspective on this issue. 


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2010.0002


Author Biographies

Pauline Greenhill

Pauline Greenhill is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Her recent publications include The Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife (2 volumes, edited by Liz Locke, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill, Greenwood, 2008) and "A Feminist Perspective on Bioterror: From Anthrax to Critical Art Ensemble" (by Stephanie Kane and Pauline Greenhill, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2007). She has two books forthcoming: Make the Night Hideous:  Four English Canadian Charivaris, 1881-1940 (University of Toronto Press) and Fairy Tale Film and Cinematic Folklore (edited by Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix, Utah State University Press).


Steven Kohm

Steven Kohm is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Winnipeg. His current research focuses on the representation of crime and law in popular culture. His recent publications have focused on reality-based courtroom television and the use of shame and humiliation in popular culture and criminal justice.

How to Cite
Greenhill, P., & Kohm, S. (2009). Little Red Riding Hood and the Pedophile in Film: <em>Freeway</em>, <em>Hard Candy</em> and <em>The Woodsman</em&gt;. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 1(2). Retrieved from