18 January 2009

At the movies: My Bloody Valentine 3D.

Call it another example of Polar Express syndrome. That film, viewed simply and in two dimensions, is borderline unwatchable. In 3D, it’s worth seeing if just for its use of physical space and imaginative sense of movement. Most films are improved by the addition of that extra dimension, even if it only makes a passable film into something interesting. As a regular, two-dimensional offering, My Bloody Valentine is yet another remake of an 80s semi-classic (and while countless reviews of this new version refer to the 1981 original as being minor, poorly-made, and even badly-shot, don’t you believe it for a second- there’s a grace of camera to that version that few slashers could touch) that, while light years ahead of messes like the remakes of The Fog, Prom Night, and April Fool’s Day, still doesn’t understand what its originator did right.

It’s got one big, movie-derailing problem that is handled dishonestly and in as stupidly Scooby-Doo a fashion as possible, and the three leads all seem way too young to be dealing with the ‘real life’ issues of their characters. That said, My Bloody Valentine 3D is an absolute joy. Stepping up and giving the audience real fear, fake blood, and a pickaxe-wielding psycho with some unresolved issues, this film is gloriously stupid and filled with the violence, nudity, sex, and pokey-things-which-actually-do-damage that 3D cinema has been needing. This movie opens with three consecutive massacres, and that’s just the first ten or so minutes. It has none of the subtlety, subtext, or gorgeous camerawork of its progenitor, but it delivers the kind of unironic jolts that horror movie fans and thrillseekers have been needing for what seems like decades.

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