Starting out as an editor on MacGyver, director/editor Patrick Lussier teamed up with legendary filmmaker Wes Craven on 1994 horror New Nightmare, and hasn’t looked back. Editing almost all of Craven’s films since, including the Scream trilogy, Lussier found a much celebrated mentor en route to his directorial debut in 2000 with The Prophecy 3: The Ascent and more recently the new Dracula franchise and White Noise 2: The Light.
With My Bloody Valentine 3-D comes Lussier’s biggest challenge to date, and added the pressure of remaking the 1981 classic, widely considered to be one of the best slasher films to date.
Mirroring the original story, My Bloody Valentine 3-D is set in the small coal mining town Harmony, shaken by the events of one tragic Valentine ’s Day. Son of the owner, and down in the mines for one of his first times, Tom Hanniger (Ackles) causes a collapse in the tunnels, killing five and leaving the only survivor, Harry Warden (Walters), in a coma. With doctors ready to pull the plug, exactly one year on, Warden woke up, going on a killing spree in search of revenge, murdering all in his path in a mining suit and carrying his trusty pickaxe. Breaking in on an illegal party in the mines, Warden comes face to face with Hanniger and his friends, killed just as he was about to find vengeance.
Ten years on, and life is almost back to normal. With townspeople at last putting the horrific events out of their minds, Hanniger returns to town to sell the mine his recently deceased father put so much work into, but before too long the mysterious killings start again, and Harmony fears Harry Warden is back to complete the job.
Shot using new camera technology finished just days before filming began, My Bloody Valentine 3-D looks visually stunning, which combined with the claustrophobic score, gives a thoroughly immersive experience. While the 3-D aspects are integrated especially well, giving the best extra dimensional experience in cinema to date, and adding little extra work for your eyes and mind unlike the strain similar films created, for the experience as a whole, there’s little to prefer over a cleverly crafted 2-D picture.
As crowds get used to the new technology, Lussier is clever to keep the tense scenes confined, giving you a break to enjoy the film as the story develops, rather than being overly bombarded with a pickaxe flying through the screen in every scene.
While at times the blood and gore feels unnecessary, at no point does it come across as over-indulgent. The film’s main downside instead lies with a cliché that has made horror films so famous. With the films main cast suggested to be barely pushing 25, My Bloody Valentine 3-D is cursed with the classic over-performance you seem to always find in the slasher genre, and as such, for much of the audience, it would feel strange without it.
Certainly a film the original would not be ashamed of, My Bloody Valentine 3-D pushes the envelope when it comes to 3-D technology, and while it feel superfluous to the entertainment, it doesn’t subtract from what is a surprisingly entertaining modern horror.