Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

Tom Hanniger has just inherited his fathers mines, the life blood of his small town, the town he abandoned after being blamed for a mine collapse and surviving the following brutal Valentine’s Day murders committed by one of the miners that survived the accident. Ten uneventful years have passed since the tragedy and Tom is ready to sell the mines, until attacks start occurring again and the townsfolk are torn over the identity of the killer – is the original miner dead and someone else is taking on his mantle or did he manage to survive in the mines all these years?

My Bloody Valentine is a remake of a cheesy 1980’s slasher film and all I really know this new version of the flick added was the 3D gimmick; that being said, I am kind of sad I didn’t get to see this film in 3D. Just watching on DVD in 2D I could tell that Patrick Lussier used every trick in his tool shed to make this film pop in 3D, sure he used the clichés of things swinging at the camera, but he used a lot more than that which probably made the film fun to watch in 3D. The DVD does come with 3D glasses & the ability to watch the film in 3D but I don’t think home video has been able to replicate the 3D available in the cinema. I could do without the naked scene and eyeball pop in 3D though, those are just bad.

All kidding aside this is still a movie I can’t decide if I liked or not. It’s not a bad movie, it’s somewhat entertaining to watch, but there are definite things wrong with the movie and definite things that work and are interesting to watch – it’s like the film was half well directed, and half lazy because it’s a remake. It’s a strange combination I’m not sure I’ve really seen before.

Let me first say that the women in this film are some of the stupidest I’ve seen in film in a long time, and I’m sorry to say they really were chosen for their looks not their acting ability. Not only did their performances feel forced, but they did the horrible things like chase after the killer down a dark alley and search abandoned buildings on their own with full knowledge that there was a killer at large.

I also have to say that this script was really loose. Even if you are stuck within the confines of a previous work a good writer can manage to spice up even a dead end story with a bit of character development, or at least making the twist ending a little less absurd – but none of that was done in this film. In fact, you spend most of the film thinking that Tom Hanniger is the main character only to realize about three-quarters of the way through that his ex-girlfriend Sarah actually is. This is a problem because you can’t empathize with her, as an audience you haven’t really been paying attention to her, you’ve been paying attention to her husband the sheriff and Tom – of course even those two you don’t really connect with.

As I began to state previously what really did work in My Bloody Valentine was the visuals. Patrick Lussier really make a pretty rich looking film for what this movie should be, a 3D gimmick. He took time to make otherwise uninteresting shots energetic by adding movement and depth to them, helicopter shots were used frequently in this film. There is also a bit of editing at the end that is just brilliant, as the killer walks through the mines smashing light bulbs every time a light pops the image changes between the killer and the killer fully dressed in his typical garb.

What I can genuinely complain about in this movie was the ending. Most horror films are made great or horrible based on their ending, and in most cases this is the final reveal of the killer. One of the worst final reveals I’ve ever seen was in the French horror flick High Tension. it made the entire rest of the film impossible. The ending to My Bloody Valentine isn’t as bad, but it does come out of left field and make you wonder why this character got the lack luster treatment they received most of the movie, the reveal isn’t as good if you don’t care about the character and their relationship with everyone else in the film…and it really shouldn’t leaving you shrugging your shoulders at the reveal.

My Bloody Valentine will probably be a film I’ll watch again. It’s kind of fun, and Jensen Ackles knows how to work a camera, but if I’m being honest the only reason I will watch this film is to test the 3D or ogle Ackles. That man needs to be in more movies, he’s a star waiting to happen.

Director: Patrick Lussier
Writers: Todd Farmer & Zane Smith
Tom Hanniger: Jensen Ackles
Sarah Palmer: Jamie King
<>Axel Palmer: Kerr Smith
Deputy Martin: Edi Gathegi

Ben Foley: Eloquent, Sheriff. You make us look like an inbred mining community.
Axel Palmer: We are an inbred mining community, Ben.

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