Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review: My Blood Valentine 3D

My Bloody Valentine 3D
Dir. Patrick Lussier
Year: 2009
Aus Rating: R18+
Running Time: 101mins

Sometimes when one is sick, one just wants to sit down and watch some silly bimbos and idiotic jocks get murdered in increasingly "suspense-filled" ways. So it was with that idea in mind that I sat down to watch My Bloody Valentine last night. I attempted to watch it in 3D with a flimsy pair of painful glasses that came with my copy of Friday the 13th Part III - my Valentine DVD did not come properly equipped with glasses of its own - but they didn't work so I promptly flipped the disc over and watch it in standard 2D. I can't say the 3D would have given the film much hope of being any better than it was, and watching 3D movies in 2D always holds some amusement to me. The sight of people waving things around in front of themselves for no reason elicits chuckles from me.

The movie, let's face it, isn't the rocket science equivalent of a horror movie, but it held some interest with me. I was glad to finally watch a horror movie from recent times that could be described as "slasher". In my formative movie-watching years the big horror hits were titles like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, Halloween H20 and Urban Legend. At the same time I was discovering older titles like Friday the 13th and Halloween and so it grew that these were my favourite kind of scary movie. All on VHS too! They were rarely genuinely great movies (sometimes they very much were), but they provided a few scares and a whole lotta fun. Perhaps there's just something about a person in a mask with a sharp weapon that is much more enjoyable than Japanese twin sisters or sadistic mind games. You can't say many (if any at all) of the horror movies released in the last few years could be described as "fun". So, yes, it was nice to see a horror title try and be fun again. Not every time I sit down to watch a fright flick do I want to feel like slashing my wrists from the miserable hopelessness of it all (as much as I can actually like those sort of scary movies).

Starting ten years ago we get the deaths of a good 30 or so characters in about fifteen minutes. There are explosions, pick-axe murders and open-heart guttings. Charming. However, the highlight of this opening passage is seeing the likes of Jensen Ackles (29 years old), Jaime King (30 years old) and Kerr Smith (37 years old!) portray teenagers. The film promptly jumps forward ten years, which makes the actors look far less ridiculous, although the image of Smith wearing a backwards baseball cap and pretending to act like he's still on Dawson's Creek would have made the whole affair, perhaps, even more fun. It also reminded me of the days when these movies were filled with casts made up of the entirety of WB's teen program lineups as opposed to nameless nobodies whose entire career will be heretofore made up of direct-to-DVD Saw sequels.

The film follows the expected pattern. Various characters start getting murdered by a man in a gas mask wielding a pick-axe, but this time in 3D! Eyes pop out at the screen, gun barrels are aimed directly at the audience's face, blood splatters in various directions like you're in the front row of a play that requires you to bring your own coat. There's even 3D breasts, which is perhaps the film's most bizarrely hilarious moment. Betsy Rue (what a name!) gets to strut around completely starkers before running away - still completely starkers - from the murderous villain. It'd be offensive if it wasn't so stupidly whack.

(black bars added by me - this blog has some decency ya know!)

Of course, once the final act rolls around and it brings out more and more of the old slasher chestnuts it starts to derail. The red herrings aren't well-played and the big reveal somehow succeeds in being more disappointingly handled than realising it was actually Rebecca Gayheart's giant hair under that woolly parker the entire time! It's around this time that the movie's overriding sense of fun dissipates and ends up as a more cynically motivated piece of trickery. Still, director (and co-editor) Patrick Lussier keeps the film moving at a quick pace - working on Wes Craven's Scream films clearly helped - and visually the techs are well done, even if the 3D effects appear to be entirely superfluous. I know I'd rather spend time with this splatter town than I would the mean-spirited and nasty ones of recent times. C+


Simon A said...


The Rebecca Gayheart reveal is still one of my favourite moments ever. Spectacular.

Glenn Dunks said...

Really? Maybe I'm forgetting something. Or you're being sarcastic. Either way...