My Bloody Valentine 3-D

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Directed by Patrick Lussier. Starring Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Kevin Tighe, and Betsy Rue. Rated R. 101 minutes.

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In theory, 3-D filmmaking should amplify the effect Roland Barthes foresaw in Cinemascope — that of the viewer becoming a "little god" free to float about at will in the frame's capacious space. In practice, it's typically like watching a shitty movie with the added sensation of getting poked in the eye. Case in point (and point in the cornea): a remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher opus in which an implacable killer in mining gear taps a rich vein of nubile victims. In director Patrick Lussier's dull update, the superior 3-D process is the only attraction: pickaxes regularly perforate the screen accompanied by flung jawbones, jack-in-the-box eyeballs and golf-course sprinklers of arterial spray — and the 3-D gore effects are somehow less impressive than the shots peering down endless mine shafts, or the many flashlight beams sweeping like light sabers across the auditorium. But the movie is defeated by the plodding predictability of the stalk 'n' slash form. There's no excitement or terror in watching the 3-D execution of 2-D actors giving 1-D performances, just the steadily diminishing returns of the same eye-gouge delivered ad infinitum. That said, as a piece of no-tell-motel slasher bait who spends her entire role nude — with one of the movie's screenwriters, no less — Betsy Rue would pop off the screen even without the glasses.

 
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