Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The must-have of every horror film: Women in peril. My Bloody Valentine 3D (Lions Gate)
Lions Gate did not screen My Bloody Valentine 3D (opened January 16 throughout San Diego) for the press so I had to seek it out after it opened in order to review it. I have to say that if you are going to remake a horror film, this is the way to go. Don't tackle a film that everyone remembers ( Friday the 13th ) or one that felt distinctly tied to the filmmaking of the times ( The Last House on the Left ) or something that was a classic ( Psycho ). Go and remake a crappy film that no one remembers and then throw in a cheesy gimmick like 3D. I doubt anyone remembers much about the original 1981 My Bloody Valentine except for the fact that the serial killer was a miner and used a pick axe for most of his kills. So the remake is unlikely to face criticism from fans of the original. The premise is the same: a miner goes on a rampage and kills a bunch of people on Valentine's Day. Then jump to the future for a 10 year anniversary of the bloody event and guess what, he's back but this time in 3D. I'm wondering if the pointy pick axe helped inspire the filmmakers to go 3D -- imagine the possibilities. &
My Bloody Valentine 3D is not much more memorable than its predecessor but it was a fun ride -- stupid in all the right ways and delivering on the gore and the gratuitous nudity. It felt very much in the spirit of the old 80s slasher flicks. The film gets moving quickly. Maybe that's because the director, Patrick Lussier, used to edit horror pics ( Scream, Mimic. Halloween H20, Dracula 2000, Red Eye ). So there's a great 3D kill to start the film off. There's also a funny and knowing nod to Friday the 13th when a teen wanders into the mining tunnel and spots the killer and then asks, "Jason is that you?" This remake doesn't aim high but it does what it sets out to do -- deliver an entertaining slasher film. The script is actually better than most with dynamics of relationships playing into the story. It's easy to figure out the twists but the film plays out with energy that's engaging. While so many horror films are dialing back in order to snag a PG-13 and hopefully a larger audience that's more inclusive of the teen viewers, My Bloody Valentine 3D goes all out. Now a lot of people may wonder why do we need violent, mindless films like this at all and I can see their point. But as a fan of horror, sometimes you just want to push your comfort zone and revel in excesses like this. And the gore here is done with dark humor. The audience reacted like it was watching fireworks with the appropriate "ooohs! and "aaahhhs!" punctuating their reactions to the 3D assaults. The 3D effects themselves were good but not great. A few shots took full advantage of the technology but most of the time it was just a novelty that pulled you out of the action to admire the effect. That's still something 3D has to overcome if its to be truly effective.
My Bloody Valentine 3D (rated R for graphic brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language) is an old school slasher pic dressed up in 21st effects. It's fun and dumb, and you'll probably laugh more than scream.
Companion viewing: My Bloody Valentine (1981), Friday the 13th, Haute Tension