‘Tis the season to be gory, or so Hollywood hopes. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the phrase “he took my heart” has been given a decidedly unromantic connotation by Patrick Lussier’s “My Bloody Valentine 3-D.” Caught in between old-school cliches and new technological advances, this film, like a box of cheap chocolates, leaves behind a bland and unsatisfactory aftertaste.
The plot is as formulaic as the slasher genre dictates: there’s the Psycho Killer, the Hot Victim (Jaime King), the Obstinate Cop (Axel Palmer) and even the Hot Victim’s Ex-Boyfriend (Jensen Ackles of “Supernatural” fame). The Psycho Killer, decked out in a full miner suit, is supposedly after Ackles’s character (who, causing an accident in the mine, put him in a coma for a year), but that doesn’t keep him from single-axedly chopping up over twenty completely unrelated people in the meantime. Ironically, he’s shot before he manages to get to his actual target, who in turn disappears for ten years, only to return on (you guessed it) Valentine’s Day. Very promptly, Psycho Killer seemingly rises from the dead, limbs fly anew and the rest of the movie is devoted to figuring out just which lunatic has donned a miner’s suit.
Good news is, the above turns out as atrociously campy as it sounds. For the true horror buff, this is a rather acceptable offering. The degree of senseless mayhem is satisfactory, the corpses are disgusting, there is gratuitous nudity, and besides, who doesn’t love a killer with a weirdo mask?
What, you don’t? But you want to go to this anyway because, let’s face it, who needs plot, or good acting, or original thought, or any of those old-fashioned things, when we have 3-D, right? If only. In a perfect world, a 3-D horror would come up with inventive, shriek-worthy ways of shoving its bloodiest, scariest antics in your face. It would not repeat the same cheap scares over and over again. It would probably go so far as to be (gasp!) imaginative. No such luck in this case. The movie starts strong, eliciting a few cringes and “ew”s right away (the gouged eyeball remains a personal favorite). However, it quickly loses momentum and the excitement factor dwindles. Throughout the rest of the film, the 3-D-friendly pick-axe is pointed at the audience countless times and… well, that’s about it. Instead of escalating in intensity and broadening its scope, “Valentine” plunges into horror mediocrity, ignoring the possibilities of that overhyped (in this case) third dimension. The result is just another slasher flick, whose supposed redeeming feature unfortunately becomes its main drawback.
Bottom line: the trailer for “Coraline” might just be the only thing worthy of your 3-D glasses. At least those pretty birdies were fascinating.