My Bloody Valentine
Dir. Patrick Lussier (2009)
Ten years after being the sole survivor of a massacre inside a mine, a man returns to his hometown to discover that the killings have started again.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
My Bloody Valentine, the 2009 remake of the 1981 original, shares the interesting double-distinction of being one of the goriest remakes in horror history and having one of the longest nude scenes in the genre, in which actress Betsy Rue is full frontal (though it’s not visible through the entire sequence) for a total of 6 minutes and 15 seconds, plus a few flashbacks via police video evidence of her murder. It’s also the rare not second sequel to be shot in 3D, and boy howdy does it make constant use of throwing random things at the screen to make its audience jump out of their seat. Interestingly enough, unlike other films that make over-use of the 3D convention, this one doesn’t always feel out of place and doesn’t look half bad when watching it in standard 2D.
The killer in this movie kills people with his pickaxe, tears out their hearts, and puts them in a heart-shaped candy container, like the worst Russell Stover gift ever. That's... kind of dumb actually, but it works really well in this movie. As you can see in the picture above, the gore effects were pretty brutal, which was a nice change from a lot of the movies I've seen recently. And holy shit, a pickaxe is a lot more versatile than I ever thought it would be. It’s a unique choice for a slasher weapon, even though it seems perfectly designed to be wielded by a psychotic killer.
Director Patrick Lussier, who also made three terrible Dracula movies and Drive Angry for some reason, does a pretty decent job of putting together a movie that’s worth your time despite the fact that you probably don’t have much loyalty to the original. Then again, that may aid in your enjoyment of the film, as horror fans tend to get a little butthurt about movies that add to the lore of their favorites. Perhaps it was smart to make a remake of a film that didn’t have a rabid fanbase, and in this case it works pretty well. This version of MBV is gruesome, gory, and well-acted, owing to stellar performances from Supernatural’s Jenson Ackles and the legendary Tom Atkins.
All in all, My Bloody Valentine was pretty good, and it’s one of the better horror remakes in recent memory (at least of the ones that weren’t remakes of old black and white films.) It’s a bit long and convoluted at times, and it seems desperate to find a new and exciting twist but settled on one of the dumber endings in slasherdom. That being said, it's the best Valentine-themed horror movie I've seen, though the competition in this category isn't particularly fierce (looking at you, David Boreanaz). Actually, I kid... I fucking love Valentine. Maybe I'll hit up that one next year.
Who this movie is for: Holiday horror fans, Slasher lovers, Nirvana (Heart Shaped Box reference for the uninitiated)
Bottom line: Chock full of brutal kills and an extended-length nude scene, My Bloody Valentine is one of the more purely watchable remakes on record. It does make a bit too much use of its 3D elements, as 3D movies are wont to do, but it’s got some great performances and more dismemberment than expected. There’s enough blood to fill that elevator from The Shining, and it’s a perfect representation of late 2000’s slashers. It almost feels like the movie Rob Zombie would’ve made if he had been handed the keys to the franchise, with decidedly less potty-mouthed humor.