Possibly one of the first 3D horror flicks ever, I just couldn't pass this up, and neither could many others, judging by the enthusiastic response and anticipation in the theatre hall just because of the novelty factor, with oohs and ahhs being echoed each time something seem to fling itself from the screen toward the audience. And I'm only talking about the trailer there. I guess it will take a while for the novelty to wear off, though until then, with the selection of 3D films thus far screened at an affordable price, it might just be one of the pull factors to draw in the crowds and put bums on seats.
Like any horror-slasher flick with potential to become a franchise, My Bloody Valentine started off with a bang, and if not for some sporadic body counts in between to lift the narrative sag, it would have been sunk way before the long-drawn finale. To horror buffs, the clues as to the identity of the killer miner would be so obvious, that you'd just be crossing your fingers in the hope that you're wrong. It begins with a brief history of The Miner Harry Warden (Richard John Walters) who goes on a killing rampage, and in quite exciting terms of torn limbs and dismembered insides. Friends like Sarah (Jaime King), Axel (Kerr Smith) and Tom (Jensen Ackles) come face to face with the killer on night in a party in the mines, only for the police to intervene and save the town of Harmony.
Fast forward 10 years later, and we see Sarah and Axel married, with Tom dropping by after his disappearance that night to rekindle some old flame. But his return also heralds the beginning of brutal killings in the modus operandi of The Miner, and it is only natural that suspicion will fall upon the prodigal son's return, if not for the picture of other characters being painted in unsavoury terms to provide a whole host of suspects.
It's the usual pursuit of a killer who's always one step ahead, and in between we have some attempted drama between love lost, and Valentine's Day being in the the festival of choice (hence the title) to set this story against. But this aspect of a love triangle fell flatly on its face, and seriously, we're not here for the strength of the plot, but by the variety of ways the body count gets chalked up. To that, there's no shortfall of bloody gore, as you can imagine how creative one can be with the weapon of choice – a pick axe – being in the hands of a psychotic killer.
For instance, there's impalement by the masses through different body parts as entry points. You name it, you get it, from the eye to the top of the head, from midsections cut wide open to what I thought was the best use of a shovel thus seen in a slasher flick. Being in 3D also meant the gore factor got cranked up a notch, since copious amounts of blood come splashing onto you, and you just might duck when the pick axe got swung in your direction. Some may comment that I'm being a sadist, but I suppose films designed in such nature are for those who expect exactly that, for entertainment and fun escapism, not meant to win awards.
No new ground was broken as a horror movie because it too relied too much on the usual loud banging noises, sudden appearances and quick edits. It makes no qualms to appeal to the lowest denominator and doesn't even attempt to build up any atmosphere. It does take a while to get to the fun bits, and when it does you'll probably find yourself enjoying every sick part of it. The only obstacle standing in its way of become a franchise spawning many sequels, is the stark lack of motivation of the killer, other than of course being plain psychotic, which is the requisite, and demonstrated so in quite haphazard terms with dots left unconnected.
Should you decide to watch this, do yourself a big favour and do so only on the 3D format. And stay right through to the end after the credits roll for that one final swing.