Revisiting ‘My Bloody Valentine 3-D’ (2009) A Decade Later

Remakes of ’70s and ’80s horror films were all the rage in the 2000s. The box office success of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre remake in 2003 started a bit of a renaissance. What followed was a hodgepodge of mostly watered down studio fluff, including The Fog, The Wicker Man, and When A Stranger Calls. The Hills Have Eyes remake in 2006 was FANTASTIC, and financially successful, and that led in to Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007 and Prom Night (2008).

These films consistently brought in $40-60 million box office hauls against minimal budgets. As we all know, success breeds success. So, in 2009, to no one’s surprise, it was My Bloody Valentine‘s turn. Along with this remake came the resurrection of a technology trick from horror’s past: full 3D! The result? One of the best horror remakes of the past 25 years!

Hop in to the Wayback Machine, horror fam, and return with us to the old Hanniger mine, circa 2009. Harry Warden awaits!

My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009) Synopsis

Tom returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine’s night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, however, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders, and it seems like his old flame is the only one will believes he’s innocent.

Scream editor and Dracula 2000 director Patrick Lussier directed My Bloody Valentine 3D from a screenplay by Jason X scribe Todd Farmer. The film stars Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles, Jaime King (Sin City, The Tripper), Kerr Smith (Final Destination, Charmed), Kevin Tighe (Road House), and the always amazing Tom Atkins (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Night of the Creeps). “Thrill me!” Todd Farmer, the aforementioned screenwriter, also appears in a small but memorable (bare-assed) role.

Here’s a look at the official movie poster, which you’ll note draws attention to the 3D.

My Bloody Valentine 3-D

A New-ish Dimension In Terror

I grew up in the 1980s. I got to witness the primitive red/blue 3D horror wave firsthand. That run included Friday The 13th Part III, Jaws 3D, and Amityville 3D. I also still have my anaglyph glasses from Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991). However, I was never really impressed. I’ll be honest with you… 3D was little more than a gimmick to me. However, I am a huge fan of My Bloody Valentine (1981), so when I saw the remake was coming, I knew I was going to catch it in theaters, 3D glasses be damned!

I went to the AMC Studio 30 theater in Houston, Texas, with a friend of mine to see the film. It was a matinee. We were sitting in the center of the theater and in walks a family of 8: 2 parents and 6 children, ranging in age from 3 to maybe 11 or 12. My friend and I turned around and asked them if they knew which movie they were about to see? We figured maybe they were there to see Hotel For Dogs and got lost. Nope. They said they were good. That family of 8 proceeded to sit through the entire bloody film. They were quiet, to their credit, and none of the kids freaked. Impressive! Especially since they were subjected to things like…

Tom Atkins

A 2D Mind Changed

I’m going to tell you straight out, seeing My Bloody Valentine in 3D blew me away. Holy shit, was it impressive! Like nothing I’d ever seen before. It really felt like I was inside the movie. James Cameron’s Avatar hit theaters in December, 2009, and audiences were similarly flabbergasted. Not me. The 3D in Avatar was nothing compared to My Bloody Valentine. Why? Because this film was designed entirely to take advantage of the technology. In Avatar, as with most of the 3D cash-in films that followed, the visuals felt like a tacked on afterthought. If you weren’t fortunate enough to catch My Bloody Valentine in the theater, find a way to fix that. A midnight showing. A horror festival. SOMETHING! You NEED to see it on the big screen and in 3D. It will change your life.

The technology wasn’t the only thing that impressed me. The movie was sharp. It had great writing and great scares. The killer was imposing and menacing. I loved the look and feel of the production design. It felt true to the original without straight up copying it, although it had some great twists and turns for fans of the first film. As with Savini’s big Night of the Living Dead (1990) twist, it’s always good to give the hardcore fans something new to appreciate when doing a remake. Mission accomplished!

I really dug the soundtrack, too. Michael Wandmacher, who scored a number of Jackie Chan films as well as Schwarzenegger’s The 6th Day (2000) and Cry Wolf (2005), hits a home run here.

Another Box Office Success

My Bloody Valentine 3D opened on 2,534 screens on January 16, 2009, in 3rd place behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop (what in the actual f***?) and Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. The opening weekend box office haul of $21,200,000 exceeded the film’s $15 million budget and ensured it would go on to be successful in theaters and later on home video as well. The theatrical run closed with more than $100,000,000 worldwide, including $51,000,000 domestically. That’s more than Friday the 13th (2009) and enough to make it one of the 15 highest grossing slashers of all time.

It made a ton of money. Hollywood loves money. So that begs the question…

My Bloody Valentine 3-D

Why No Sequel?

It’s surprising to me the 1981 original never got a sequel. At one point, I saw rumors that they were going to make one in the mid- to late 2000s called Return of the Miner. That idea was ultimately scrapped, however, in favor of the remake, which was awesome! If you’ve watched the film, you’ll know the ending set up a sequel perfectly. So, why didn’t we get one? According to Wicked Horror, the studio behind the remake, Lionsgate, felt the box office success was a fluke. They pinned it on the 3D technology and opined it was all a gimmick. They weren’t willing to take a risk on the sequel.

What’s more likely is that Lionsgate abandoned the sequel as part of its overall plan to dump horror in general. From 2000 – 2009, Lionsgate was one of the premiere horror houses, in large part because of the Saw franchise. After 2009, with the exception of the occasional Saw sequel, the studio produced almost zero horror. It’s a shame, really. Lionsgate isn’t the first or last Hollywood studio to treat horror as its dirty little secret. I’m looking at you, Paramount! However, in the end, it’s the fans that end up suffering.

My Bloody Valentine

Final Thoughts

My Bloody Valentine 3D is one of the all time greatest horror remakes. For me, it’s up there with The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and Dawn of the Dead (2004). I hope I get to see it again, in some form, in theaters in the future. It’s only a matter of time before 3D returns to Hollywood horror films. It’s a safe bet that My Bloody Valentine won’t be far behind when that happens. Frankly, I can’t wait. I’ll be there, anaglyph glasses in hand. I hope to see you there!

Until that fateful day, the film is available on multiple digital and physical home video platforms. You can pick up a variety of 2D and 3D DVD and Blu-ray editions over at Amazon. If you own a 3D HD television, you NEED to have this film in your collection. It will blow your mind. I can only hope a specialist studio like Scream Factory or Vinegar Syndrome or Vestron secures the rights in the future. This film is begging for an ultimate edition treatment. That will give me the excuse I need to finally break out my MBV drinking game!

So, what do you think? Any My Bloody Valentine 3D fans out in PopHorror land? Will you be watching the film for its 10th anniversary? Tell us in the comments!

About Kenn Hoekstra

PopHorror Writer. Associate Editor. @PopHorrorNews Tweeter. Also... Screenwriter. Blogger. Horror Movie Aficionado. Wisconsin Sports Fan. IT Guy. Father. Smartass. People's Champion. TIME Person of the Year - 2006.

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