Review: My Bloody Valentine 3-D
PLOT: Ten years ago, a young man caused a fatal accident at his fathers mine. The survivor of the collapse is one Harry Warden who they find in a coma soon after the incident. But after one year, when he wakes up, he goes on a massive killing spree and disappears into the mine. Although it is rumored that he died, it seems that the arrival of the young man that caused the accident may have brought the killer back, just in time for Valentines. Soon, people are getting cut and chopped in all sorts of interesting ways, and if you search it out, you can see MBV in all the glory of 3D. So watch out, Harry Warden may be coming after you next.
Imagine a slasher film that takes itself seriously, but not too seriously. And now imagine that you have characters doing questionable things without referring to another horror film. After all, when you are really terrified, you may not always think straight right? Now what if this horror movie didn't have the latest heavy metal band or rap artist blasting throughout each scene and it actually used a score. Well, it would almost be like you were back in the heyday of the slasher genre, way back in 1981. Put it all together and add a love triangle and of course, a mean muther f*cker named Harry Warden, and you have the latest horror remake, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D. And guess what? It is one of the best times I've had in a horror movie in years. I carry the original close to my heart as I still think it holds up very nicely thank you very much. I dug the fact that you had the three lead characters, Axel, Sarah and T.J. who were likeable enough. I also respected the fact that it mixed a bit of "drama" into the pickaxe wielding action. And now, I'm happy to report that this new and improved version kept all the drama yet it pumped up the action, nudity and gore without losing its heart.
This time, the story remains the same for the most part (but there are twists my friend, at least compared to the original). You have the three leads, Sarah (Jaime King), Axel (Kerr Smith) and Tom (Jensen Ackles). Okay, so they tweaked T.J. to Tom, but I'm okay with that. And there is still that same old romantic triangle, but this time around, we also see the three when they were younger [eighteen-ish]. You see, Tom's father owns the Hanniger Mines and it is Tom whose inexperience leads to a cave in that kills five miners. But one survived. Harry Warden survived by sticking the business end of his pickaxe in the heads of the other men in order to save oxygen. When they find Harry, he is in a coma but still alive. You know this guy is gonna wake up, and when he does, there is hell to pay. He goes on a killing rampage, taking out twenty-two people, and then disappearing into the mine. And all this is within the first fifteen minutes or so of the film. There is no skimping on action here. When the pickaxe falls, it rips out jaws, it drives through someone's skull, I was utterly impressed at the many ways this weapon was used. And let's not even talk about the shovelÖ you gotta see that one for yourself.
While movies like this were a dime a dozen back in the early Eighties, it is ridiculously surprising at how true MBV 3D is to the "golden age" of slasher films. Aside from the technology and the obviously modern take on a small town under siege by a psychotic miner, this felt like one of the b-movie classics. Yet the nudity, the gore and all the expectations of this kind of sub-genre are met with care and respect by true fans of horror. Writers Todd Farmer, Zane Smith and director Patrick Lussier handled this re-imagining with a lot of love. There is no torture here, and there is no self-referential bullshit. This is a balls to the wall slasher film that wears its label with pride. It pays tribute to the original by taking some of the best moments and giving them a twist without treating it like a joke. It is a grand thing to have the whodunnit angle return with a more than willing cast. And speaking of ready and willing, props must be given to Betsy Rue who spends almost her entire role naked when she comes face to face with the pissed off miner. This is one of the most memorable sequences in horror movie history and she is pretty damn tough when she ain't wearin' a stitch of clothing. What an awesome performance from this lovely lady.
Now I'm not saying this is necessarily a brilliant film. But I am saying that it is a damn fine horror flick that knows exactly what it is. Yet it still has the courtesy to tell a story, and even have a bit of a character arc. How refreshing is it to have a movie like this offer up a believable enough relationship between the three leads. And then you have to add a spot-on supporting cast including the lovely Ms. Rue and the legendary Tom Atkins. Need I say how damn cool it is to see Mr. Atkins again. He is always in fine form, especially as a rugged detective who witnesses what Harry Warden left in his bloody wake. The hospital sequence is down right creepy, especially with the power of 3D. Oh and don't worry, I'll get to the 3D soon enough. But the truth is, I would like this film in 2D, because Iím a sucker for those early slasher film, and you donít come much closer to a true Eighties homage than this. This reminded me why I like horror movies so much in the first place.
Literally, as the movie begins and the Lionsgate logo appears, you can tell that this is special. And Iím talking WOW. The 3D is nothing short of spectacular. I was utterly impressed at how amazing this looked. And the beauty of it all is that Patrick didnít pull out the tricks and start shoving things at the camera. Yes, things will pop out at you, but it felt like energy and thought was put into it. And speaking of thought, how nice it is to see so little boo scares in a recent horror flick, and the ones they do offer are completed with a nice payoff quickly afterwards. Iíve always thought that 3D could be used pretty brilliantly with a good horror movieÖ I guess I was right. And truthfully, as a fan, I would probably give this a higher rating than what I finally decided on. But I have to be honest and mark off a few points for occasionally silly dialogue, but either way this is a B-movie turned into an unbelievably fun ride. Itís a great cast, a great story and I canít imagine having any more fun than this film if you are a fan of the golden Eighties of slasher. My rating 8.5/10 -- JimmyO