It is not very often that a remake is better than the original. It’s just too hard to exceed expectations, especially if the original movie was enjoyable. When comparing My Blood Valentine 3D to the original I found that, while I enjoyed the remake more, the two are unable to be compared because they are almost two completely different movies. Of course, we wouldn’t have the remake without the original, so we should look at that first.
My Bloody Valentine is by no means a terrible movie; it is your standard early ‘80s slasher movie with a decent plot. The movie centers around a group of kids who are being picked off by a man in a miner’s uniform. Though they don’t know for sure, the townsfolk think it is the mentally disturbed miner Harry Warden who went on a killing spree in town years back before being committed to a mental institution. As the kids fight for their lives, the town elders desperately try to figure out if Harry is behind the newest massacre. There is the perfect amount of suspense and a great ending that had to have thrilled audiences in 1981.
I re-watched My Blood Valentine 2009 as a refresher before writing this piece, and I have to say that it is better than I remembered. For one, it stars a surprising number of familiar faces including Kerr Smith, Jaime King, Halloween 3 alum Tom Atkin, and a pre-Supernatural Jensen Ackles. Though it shares the same name as the original, the plot is only loosely based on the source material.
The movie centers around Tom Hanniger, the son of the owner of the mine, who made a mistake that trapped Harry Warden in the mine and turned him into a cannibal. Years later Tom shows up to a party at the mine, but so does Harry and a bloodbath ensues. Just as Harry is about to take Tom’s life he is shot by the town sheriff played by Atkin. After that night Tom skips town leaving his girlfriend (King) and the rest of his life behind him. He only comes back 10 years later when his father dies and he inherits the mine.
It turns out that Tom isn’t the only one who comes back to town as the Warden murders begin again. The movie departs from the original in such a great way and does a fair job keeping you wondering who the killer is until the final act and then continues to offer thrills until the very last scene. The story is much better told than the original with more detail and better character building but that is not the only reason why the remake is better.
My Bloody Valentine 3D didn’t just ride the wave of the 3D trend, it showed what a 3D movie should be. They proved that 3D could be a benefit to a movie when used correctly and doesn’t need to be the main driver of the movie. Every scene where the 3D really stood out seemed to be a fluid part of the movie instead of a set up for the technology. Perhaps the most telling detail is that the movie is just as good when you watch it again in its 2D format.
The bottom line is that both of these movies are worth the watch this Valentine’s Day. They both have their strong points and they are different enough that it is not like watching the same movie twice. If you can only choose just one this Valentine’s Day I would definitely suggest My Bloody Valentine 3D for a straight forward horror movie with a great plot and a surprising final act that stands up to multiple viewings.