Ah, there’s nothing like a horror movie remake to get you though the holiday season, is there? Especially when it’s a remake of a weird movie that isn’t really that well-known in the scheme of things.
When I first heard of My Bloody Valentine I had no idea it actually was a remake, I just knew it was going to be a movie about some dude in a miners get up, killing people on Valentine’s Day. Seemed like a real winner to me. But then it got made in 3-D (and this was back in the time before Avatar and every other movie that annoyingly gets made into 3-D, which is to say that the standards of 3-D were shit.
In this re-imagining of the original film everything has been given a trendy update. The cast is better looking, younger and generally more photogenic. Their fashions are a lot more forward and everyone has great hair, particularly the men folk, who are not only sporting some excellent gel work, but some pretty cutesy facial hair too – I’m looking at you, Axel.
Jensen Ackles plays Tom and this time he’s the son of a wealthy mining magnate. Clearly Tom isn’t cut out for life working miles underground and, after a night of being remiss in his duties, is inadvertantly responsible for an explosion that traps Harry Warden and a bunch of his fellow miners. Much like the first film, Harry is the only man to make it out alive and it soon becomes clear that he has only done so because he’s put a pick axe through the foreheads of his buddies so as to conserve his own air.
Again, as before, Harry ends up in a coma, only to awake on Valentine’s Day in order to slaughter the town. After going through an entire hospital ward, he heads over to the mine, where Tom and his girlfriend Sarah are having a secret party with her friends, Axel and Noreen… or Doreen – I can never remember cause she is that inessential to the plot.
One thing I will say for this version is that the set up with Harry Warden makes a bit more sense and paves the way for a smoother delivery. As before though, little is said around why Harry freaked out to begin with. Sure, surviving a mine collapse is going to mess a brother up, but would it really be reason to kill all your buddies. More than that, is there any reason really to slaughter an entire hospital nursing staff? And, perhaps more importantly, what does Valentine’s Day even have to do with anything in this version? While in the original it was the annual V-Day dance that was responsible for the mine collapse, in the remake there is little rhyme or reason around why Harry decides to start cutting out hearts, except perhaps for his dumb luck coming out of a coma on Valentine’s Day in the first place.
Back to the plot though… since we’re dressing this one up a bit, in this version Axel is the town sheriff and he is married to Sarah (Tom has been away for 10 years this time instead of 5) and they have a son and Axel is also having some kind of tawdry extra-marital affair with the girl in the picture below. No prizes for guessing what happens to her.
Sarah, rather than being successful, works for her parents, stacking shelves and packing bags in their grocery… way to help out the women’s movement love, but I guess the world needs check out chicks too. Anyway, Tom returns to town after the death of his father, in order to sell the mine that has caused such distress. This in itself stresses out the locals and acts as some kind of call through the ether to Harry Warden, who uses this opportunity to return to the community to once again cut out some hearts and cause some general mischief.
(torn between the ever handsome Jensen Ackles and the never aging Kerr Smith – who will Sarah choose?)
Unlike the original, there were some parts in this one that I genuinely found scary. As mentioned above though, it was shot for 3-D and as such a lot of the camera work doesn’t carry over to the standard DVD format and certain angles and scenes are peculiar. Don’t even start me on the scene with Noreen either. I find the whole concept distressing.
Despite the advances in visual effects, I don’t think this one has the same sort of heart (tee hee) as the first one. The reduced cast makes the plot easier to follow and there is no shortage of gruesome deaths because of it; still, I have a lot of trouble focusing on this one through to the end. I think the issue that I just don’t care who lives and who dies. Ultimately, they’re all kind of jerks and it’s hard to have a successful horror film when there’s no one to root for.
With that in mind, I’d only be recommending this one if you’re feeling a bit hard up for a horror film or if you’re really into 3-D movies that you can’t actually watch in 3-D. I know a lot of Supernatural fan girls might get their knickers in a twist about me dissing Dean Winchester (and look, I’m a Dean girl), but this ain’t Dean – this is Tom and he’s a douche.