Posted: 01/16/2009


My Bloody Valentine 3D


by Jason Coffman

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Film fans in general and horror fans in particular constantly debate the remake. Horror fans tend to be more vocal, mostly due to the fact that it seems like the last decade or so has seen a tremendous upswing in horror remakes, most of them pretty awful. Even the decent ones have to deal with the cherished memories of the original films, and it’s probably no surprise that the most well-received horror remakes jettison everything but the basics and create something completely different. As technology improves, 3D films have started to become more popular as well, and it was only a matter of time before the horror remake trend and new 3D technology collided.

My Bloody Valentine 3D will instantly feel familiar to anyone who’s seen any recent remakes of classic genre films— the cast mostly looks like they’re on loan from The CW, but the film departs immediately from its PG-13 contemporaries within the first 15 minutes. The film gets the off to a rousing start with a pace that rarely lets up throughout its running time. It still looks as slick and shiny as any other horror remake, but the emphasis here is on returning to the genre’s roots and getting as much blood as possible up on the screen, and killing off as many people as possible to keep the audience on their toes.

As the film opens, miner Harry Warden (Rich Walters) wakes from a coma a year after being rescued from a collapsed mine and goes on a killing spree. He’s eventually chased back into the mine by Sheriff Burke (genre legend Tom Atkins), but not before murdering a slew of teenagers and traumatizing a young Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles). Ten years later, Tom returns to town after mysteriously disappearing to find his girlfriend Sarah (Jaime King) has married his old rival Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith). Unfortunately, soon after Tom returns to town people start turning up dead, and the townspeople believe Harry Warden has come back to finish what he started.

The film shares some similarities with the original— aging the characters up a bit was a nice touch and a nod to the fact that the characters in the original were a lot older than the standard teen machete fodder. There’s also at least one very direct nod to one of the original’s more memorable kill scenes that fans will appreciate. The 3D shots are sort of a ridiculous gimmick, as they are in pretty much any other 3D film, but a few of them are nicely done. All in all, however, the film is probably just as enjoyable in regular ol’ 2D— it was good enough for the original, after all.

Whether you’ve seen the original or not, MBV3D stands up on its own as a surprisingly gruesome modern take on the classic slasher formula, and hopefully points the way for a better class of horror remake for 2009. The sneak preview audience I was in seemed excited about the upcoming Friday the 13th remake, and they were enjoying this, so that might indicate a little better who exactly the audience is for this movie!

Jason Coffman is a film critic living in Chicago.

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