Riddle Of Fire Review 2024

Riddle of Fire: “3 goblins, 2 ghosts, 1 fairy, a troll, huntsman, and a witch, the Prince of the Mountain forever grants friends to those with hearts rich,”

Written and directed by Weston Razooli and played to audiences at Cannes last year, Riddle of Fire is an adventure tale at its heart. 

The story centers around three rambunctious, fun-loving kids-brothers, Hazel and Jodie, and their best friend Alice (the three goblins)-enjoying their last days of summer vacation, whose plans of playing the latest gaming system (which was stolen by the kids, with some ingenious planning) is thwarted by the boys’ mom putting a password on the TV. They try buttering her up with cold drinks to make her feel better (she is sick in bed with a cold) but, she wants them to be outside. She finally agrees, after much pleading from the kids, but, first, she sends them on a quest to retrieve a blueberry pie she believes will make her feel much better. 

Set in Ribbon, Wyoming and shot on 16 mm Kodak film, the landscape is grainy, giving a 70’s-80’s movie feel, but filled with the lush greens of the forest, giving Riddle of Fire a very fairy tale, ethereal quality. Even the mother’s room has a magical feel to it, all blue, frames filled with butterflies and a window that only shows blue skies and clouds. She is the sky, the safe haven away from harm. 

Once on their quest, they are met with trials to overcome at every turn—the pie shop is out of blueberry pie, the pie-maker is sick with a cold and refuses to make the pie, but she does give our young heroes the recipe after sending them on a side quest of her own-which is also the point where the character Jodie steals my heart. I won’t say more than that, you’ll have to watch the scene for yourself. The recipe calls for a speckled egg, but at the supermarket, a not-so-friendly type (the huntsman) grabs the very last carton of speckled eggs and refuses to give them one. There is a great scene in the supermarket parking lot, with a snarky clerk, that reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I know that’s an odd comparison of films to reference, but just trust me on it. 

It’s then the quest becomes a bit darker as the kids come up with a plan to steal an egg from the “woodsy bastard” and we meet the witch, the ghosts, and the troll (played by Razooli, himself)—all of whom we discover are a band of poachers looking for the Prince of the Mountain as he will bring the witch a great amount of money after they kill, taxidermy, and sell it. 

The scenes in the woods (a hiding place for the fairy, who helps our three heroes and eventually saves the day, while also being rescued through love and friendship herself) remind me of several different fairy tales, from Hansel and Gretel (luring Hazel in with eggs and sausages) to Snow White (literally the huntsman searching for all of the children) and a few others as well. 

Riddle of Fire made me long for the innocence of days when you could stay out until it got dark, letting your imagination create scenarios of adventuring and magic, knowing you had a safe haven waiting at home. 

This film reminds so much of the kid adventures of the 80s—The Goonies, Stand By Me…stories of adventuring with your best friends, coming up with plans and schemes together, thwarting bad guys, saving themselves and others, first love, and friendship overcoming everything in the end. Riddle of Fire, starring Lio Tipton, Charles Halford, Charlie Stover, Phoebe Ferro, Skyler Peters, Lorelei Olivia Mote, Danielle Hoetmer, and Weston Razooli, is scheduled for release in US theaters on March 22nd.

I loved Riddle Of Fire and thank Yellow Veil Pictures for graciously sending Moviehooker a screener for viewing. 

  • Starring: Lio Tipton, Charles Halford, Charlie Stover, Skyler Peters, Phoebe Ferro, & Lorelei Olivia Mote 
  • Genre: Neo-Fairytale
  • Run Time: 113 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: CinemaScope (Shot on Kodak 16mm)

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