Review in a Hurry: The first slasher film to be released in the ultraslick "Real D" 3-D format only needed to live up to the standards set by Jaws 3-D and Friday the 13th Part 3. Unfortunately, even that modestly placed bar proved too high to clear.
The Bigger Picture: The original 1981 My Bloody Valentine always seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as killers went. Honestly: a Darth-Vader-breathing miner in a gasmask? What does that have to do with Valentine's Day? Seriously, homicidal crazy dudes, if you're going for a Valentine-themed rampage, either impersonate Al Capone or dress like a winged baby and shoot people with arrows.
The remake, directed by Patrick Lussier (of the unfortunate Dracula 2000, a movie Gerard Butler's career only recently recovered from), fails to find much of a motive for the mayhem, but at least promises some 3-D pickax action. And while some of that is nicely done, it can't excuse the rest of what's up there onscreen.
Things start off promisingly, with a coma patient waking up and going psycho, followed by several tremendously hammy line-readings from overemoting character actors.
When both a voice-over and an onscreen title inform us that ten years have passed, there's still hope that this could be awesomely bad. And then, when there's a sequence involving a stray dog, a bald trucker, a little person and a naked woman running around with a gun, viewers might hope that this could be the most amazing entertainment of its type since Zombie Strippers.
But no...after that, the film tries to sort of take itself seriously, and that's a real bummer. Will Jaime King choose to stay with her obnoxious cheating husband, or reunite with her brooding ex who has a dark past? Who cares! Get back to the pickax!
The end credits scroll over a single long tracking shot that goes progressively deeper into a coal mine, and the fact that it's creepier and more atmospheric than anything preceding it is a sad statement.
The 180—a Second Opinion: There's a chase sequence in a darkened supermarket that's skillfully paced and shot, the only instance in which Lussier seems to realize that a good build-up can make the 3-D money shot 10 times more effective.