Kerr Smith ("Axel Palmer," left), Tom Atkins ("Burke," center) and Jaime King ("Sarah Palmer," right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's My Bloody Valentine 3D.
Patrick Lussier's latest addition to the horror genre is bloody brilliant. My Bloody Valentine 3-D is a film that blends all the elements of a classic horror flick and is guaranteed to leave you covered in goosebumps.
Valentine's Day will never be the same for the residents of the small mining community of Harmony. 10 years before, miner Harry Warden awoke from a yearlong coma and brutally killed 22 people with a pickaxe before being buried alive in the mine. The problem is, murders have begun again and the culprit's weapon of choice is a pickaxe. Has Harry Warden returned from the grave?
Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles), Sarah Palmer (Jaime King) and Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith) were present when Warden went on his spree 10 years ago and once again find themselves haunted by a phantom in a miner's mask. The killings coincided with Tom's return to Harmony and since he played a significant role that set things in motion a decade ago, he becomes the prime suspect.
Could the killer be Tom whose whereabouts have been a mystery, could it be Axel who's concealing dark secrets of his own or could it actually be Warden himself? The film races to an ending that will leave you guessing until the very last strike.
I found Valentine extremely entertaining. It looked like a horror flick should. The film has grit to it that harkens back to the gems the genre had to offer in the late 70s and early 80s and gives just enough guts and gore to keep it tasteful. The team behind Valentine stayed away from the current trend of less focus on the character and more focus on how absurd they can get with gore. A film must strike that delicate balance between the two and Valentine does this perfectly.
The flick also offers up enough bad moments to make it wonderful. While you might not see the tube supplying the faux blood like in some movies, there are some ridiculous instances where you should audibly say to yourself "really?" but that's what makes this film work.
The Special Edition DVD comes with both the 3-D version and a standard 2-D version. If this is your first time viewing the film, I recommend the 2-D version. The film might look OK on the big screen, but the technology to bring 3-D images to the small screen just doesn't work. There are moments where the film looks great in 3-D, but most of the time you'll be adjusting your eye line, looking for it.
Ackles and Smith are great together. The tension between the duo is believable and the way they help the film along without getting in the way is superb. Often it seems young actors what to have their "moment", but Ackles and Kerr are two performers that understand story is king.
I've always been on the fence regarding King. I've struggled to accept her in most roles she's played, but in Valentine she gives a performance that is wonderfully unexpected. She's able to bring the viewer in with her confused vulnerability and win them over wholeheartedly.
The disk offers two featurettes, Deep Inside My Bloody Valentine and Sex, Blood and Screams. Both are short and sweet, but offer some nice behind the scenes footage. There are also some deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel and an interesting commentary track with director Patrick Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer. It also comes with four pairs of 3-D glasses.
Final Cut: Perhaps the best 3-D horror flick made. My Bloody Valentine is a strong film that blends a young cast with classic horror elements, resulting in bloody good time.
4 out of 5 stars
My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith
Director: Patrick Lussier
Writer: Todd Famer, Zane Smith
MPAA Rating: R for graphic brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language
* Audio Commentary with director Patrick Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer
* Deep Inside My Bloody Valentine -- a making of featurette
* Sex, Blood and Screams -- The Special Make-Up FX of My Bloody Valentine featurette
* Deleted and Extended scenes
* Gag Reel
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray Tuesday