Review: My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

2009’s My Bloody Valentine 3D is notable for being one of the first theatrical films to try to bring back 3D shortly before it became a short-lived phenomenon with the release of Avatar later the same year. Fans of slasher flicks know that the 3D gimmick was fully embraced by the genre in the 80’s, and was responsible for many great “point an object toward the camera” moments of buffoonery. While its 3D effects did little to excite audiences, MBV3D was generally well regarded by horror fans for being a proper throwback to campy horror. Except that it wasn’t.

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MBV3D is a remake of a 1981 Canadian horror film, and the story stays relatively faithful to the original. The film is about a man named Harry Warden who takes revenge upon the residents of a small mining town after a tragic mining accident that was inadvertently caused by the son of the mine’s owner. Ten years after Harry commits a series of murders and disappears, a maniac dressed as a miner who may or may not be Harry begins a violent rampage, targeting those connected to the mining accident.

While the plot is generally the same as that of the original film, the remake is much more melodramatic, which feels very out of place in what is billed as a fun, trashy horror romp. We’re talking 90’s CW network melodrama here, with “pretty boy” love triangles and awkward, stilted dialogue. By the time the final twist arrives, it’s hard to care who the real killer is because the events leading up to the revelation are so dumb and convoluted.

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The 1981 film was notorious for having nearly 10 minutes of excised violent content – most of which has never been fully restored into the film. The 2009 remake, on the other hand, is graphically violent from start to finish. While I am certainly no prude when it comes to violence in horror films, the garish violence in MBV3D feels at odds with its earnest dramatic elements. A sequence involving a completely naked woman running from through the woods from a masked pursuer that ends with a dwarf being brutalized is particularly distasteful.

Much like Rob Zombie’s similarly repulsive Halloween remake, MBV3D feels like a love letter to old-fashioned slasher flicks created by someone who does not at all understand the appeal of the genre. While many of the most entertaining horror films have plenty of trashy sex and violence, they feel almost restrained when compared to their more modern brethren. Skip this disappointing remake and watch the 1981 original instead.

Review: 2 (out of 7) – Despite some slick production values, MBV3D feels like a pointless remake that focuses too much on simply being shocking.

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