Mildly proficient as far as throwbacks go, My Bloody Valentine 3D retains not only signature elements from its inferior 1981 namesake, but also a general, fond sense of what made many of the era’s slasher quickies such guilty pleasures. Between the 3D effects and an early character erroneously calling out “Jason, is that you?” to the gasmask-wearing, pickaxe-wielding villain, the film implies a lineage to the Friday the 13th series that’s somewhat dubious, as the original was really a byproduct of Halloween, and this do-over’s narrative—which revolves around the mystery of its killer’s true identity—more directly recalls memorable schlock like Happy Birthday to Me. Still, by virtue of swift pacing and severe gore, as well as a conception of its fiend as the ghastly outgrowth of inescapable past traumas, Patrick Lussier’s film clearly knows its genre maneuvers well, with its three-dimensional effects adding an extra layer of nasty cheesiness that’s in keeping with its splatterific predecessors. My Bloody Valentine 3D doesn’t have any scene quite as sharp as its source material’s opener, yet it does come close via an over-the-top sequence involving a nude floozy pursuing a john into a motel parking lot to confront him over a homemade sex tape, then being chased by (supposedly dead) killing machine miner Harry Warden under a bed, where she gets an up-close view of a busty midget getting impaled to the ceiling by a pickaxe. Lussier’s predictably goofy stuff-sticking-out-from-the-screen 3D, usually employed for shots of pointy objects piercing eye sockets, lends some good humor to the relatively rote narrative proper, in which suspicion about Harry’s true identity spreads between everyone on screen with little interest in how matters might coherently be resolved. Logic, however, never meant as much to a slasher film as an inventive bit of bloodshed, and in that regard, this gimmicky, brutal retread—pockmarked by inane character behavior but blessed with a few smart visual flourishes (such as climactic subliminal flashes) and the welcome presence of The Fog and Halloween III vet Tom Atkins—acquits itself far more ably than the recent glut of PG-13 horror trash.
- 101 min
- Patrick Lussier
- Todd Farmer, Zane Smith
- Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe, Megan Boone, Karen Baum
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