Original vs Remake: My Bloody Valentine (1981) vs 3D


Remakes pop up out of nowhere, trying to scare us all the time; but few truly rip the heart right out of your chest.

About a month before Valentine’s Day 2009, the remake to the 1981 holiday slasher flick leaped onto screen and out at its audience, with the help of the 3D gimmick. How does it hold up compared to the original? Is it one of the better horror remakes?

Well, marketing it as a date movie certainly helped it. Despite being released on Jan. 16 rather than Feb.13, (like the Friday the 13th remake that year) it actually proved more successful at the box office than the latter; making it a seemingly unusual case, as release dates may actually be important to a picture’s overall success.

For example: does Orion Pictures or Disney know that, on June 21 of this year, both the Child’s Play remake and Toy Story 4 will hit theaters? Sure, it may be a weak connection of two stories about kids playing with toys, but add in the fact that, at least in the original Child’s Play, the kid’s name is Andy. Now do you see why that’s funny? Anyway, the My Bloody Valentine remake still managed to be financially successful, but, it it any good? As we examine the story, characters and the film’s overall quirkiness, we’ll get to the heart of the matter.

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Copyright Paramount Pictures, 1981

Although the title is blatantly utilized to capitalize on the success of holiday-themed slasher films, this one seems like the creative team behind it were actually trying, instead of just splashing fake blood on walls and calling it a night. There are some pretty decent acting turns in here that enriches the story as it unfolds. Virtually every aspect of the film felt natural; the look of the actresses and actors, the location, the cinematography and hardly any of the dialogue felt forced.

Overall, My Bloody Valentine is a decent slasher movie, worthy of reconsideration. It’s interesting to think of what could’ve come from a sequel or if the story was simplified and the “urban legend” of Harry Warden was of a madman who didn’t like Valentine’s Day and he were to pop up anywhere, like a ghost, just on that holiday. Maybe “The Miner” would’ve been made a slasher villain, worthy of the praise of Freddy, Jason and even Michael.

My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

Jensen Ackles (“Tom Hanniger”) stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment’s MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D. Image Acquired from Lionsgate Publicity

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Patrick Lussier’s and Todd Farmer’s 2009 3D remake took liberties with the source material all the while remaining true to it and I can’t think of a sweeter Valentine than that. The backstory, which we’re given in the form of newspaper clippings, takes the plot of the original and uses it as a launching pad for how the story unfolds. Harry Warden is still the town boogeyman. At least the memory of him is. In the original, it’s a copycat at the Valentine’s day dance at the mine.

In this film, however, Harry is responsible for the massacre of 1999. Pretty much the third act of the original is part of the opening, virtually wiping the slate clean for a less predictable story. The leads, Jensen Ackles, Jaime King and Kerr Smith all give terrific performances and horror fans will be elated to find Tom Atkins along the cast.

Just like the original, it’s loosely a whodunit mystery, only less subtle than the original. For instance, there’s a moment early on in the ’81 version in which John lifts his girlfriend Sylvia by the head to kiss her. Later on, her attacker lifts her the same way. This version is pretty straight forward with who it’s trying to pin the murders on and you’ve got a fifty percent chance of being right or wrong.

It’s certainly one of the better remakes to come out of the 2000s and the creative team behind it took serious subject matter like PTSD and incorporated it into a fun retelling of an underrated classic. It’s filled with gore, suspense, laughs and, yes, it’s got heart.

Next. Sam Raimi: When Joss Whedon saved his film. dark

Which My Bloody Valentine did you watch this Valentine’s day? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.