Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe, Megan Boone, Karen Baum, Joy de la Paz, Marc Macaulay, Todd Farmer, Jeff Hochendoner, Bingo O'Malley, Liam Rhodes, Michael McKee, Andrew Larson, Jarrod DiGiorgi, Selene Luna
Written by: Todd Farmer, Zane Smith, based on a screenplay by John Beaird and a story by Stephen Miller
Directed by: Patrick Lussier
MPAA Rating: R for graphic brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language
Running Time: 101
Date: 01/08/2009

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Bleeding Hearts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The new remake of My Bloody Valentine wasn't screened for the press, which was a mistake; it's actually more interesting, more fun and better made than most of the big movies that were screened. The original 1981 film was produced at Paramount as a quick way to cash in between installments of their moneymaking Friday the 13th franchise, though it was intended as more of a whodunit; the new film hangs onto this idea, making us guess the identity of the killer. And, maybe it was just me, but the solution was never entirely obvious. In the prologue, several teens descend into the town's mineshaft for a party, but find themselves at the wrong end of a pickaxe, wielded by an insane miner. Ten years later, after the disappearance of her true love Tom (the wooden Jensen Ackles), Sarah (Jaime King) has settled and married the jerky Axel (Kerr Smith), who became sheriff. (Axel also keeps at least one young hottie on the side.) Axel's former girlfriend Irene (Betsy Rue) is now a truckstop slut, who becomes the victim of the newly resurrected killer (and has a nude scene that lasts several minutes!). Tom has arrived back in town to sell his family's mine, and coincidentally, the killings start up again, with some sick bastard dressed up in the original killer's exact same mining gear. Is it the same guy, returned from the dead, or is it someone new? The movie cleverly sets up several clues and gives us a roster of at least six good suspects, complete with red herrings. Patrick Lussier -- a former editor on Wes Craven movies -- directs the movie in 3D and because of that format is forced to use a more classical approach, with deep-focused backgrounds and smooth, clean camerawork. The 3D effects are top-notch, with only a few "poking things at the audience" moments; rather, Lussier uses them as a way of increasing the playing field, and thus increasing the possibilities for fright. Best of all, the movie really captures the feel of the small mining town and the community that lives there. Overall, it's not as lively as it could have been, but it's a solid effort.

Best Buy Co, Inc.