Who's In It: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe
The Basics: I thought this was going to be a 3D concert movie like the Hannah Montana one, only with shoegazing pioneers My Bloody Valentine performing a deafening 40-minute encore of "You Made Me Realise." I was wrong. It's a remake of the 1981 movie where a killer in a miner's uniform expresses his Valentine's Day affections via a series of creative open-heart surgeries performed with a pickaxe.
What's The Deal:I tend to hate horror remakes, not on principle, but because they're usually so weak and tired and pointless. And in this case I'm a big fan of the original, as cheesy and dumb as it was. But still, using the latest in 3D technology as a gimmick was exactly the right decision. It's a blast and they don't waste any time getting to the mayhem and the super-gore. It's a slasher movie and that's all that it is, no frills, no detours, no post-horror trickery. So what that means is there are lots of guts flying at your face for 90 minutes, trashy acting, laughable dialogue and lots of guts flying in your face for 90 minutes. I know I said that twice, but that's how many guts there are.
References To The Original: Character names aside, the similarities include plot devices like the killer sending freshly removed hearts to people in Valentine's Day boxes of chocolates, chocolates usually removed and presumably eaten by the murderer to give him a buzz of kill-energy. Oh yeah, and that laundry room scene.
Tom Atkins Alert! Unless you're a horror addict who memorizes cast lists of B-movies and goes to San Diego Comic Con to get the autograph of the woman who starred in Frankenhooker (look, I'm not saying do that myself, just that I noticed she had a booth there last summer) then you might not know Mr. Atkins' name. But he plays the retired town sheriff here and he was also in The Fog, Halloween 3: Season of The Witch, Maniac Cop and Night of the Creeps. You'll see him and go, "Oh, that guy."
Screenwriter Cameo: A guy named Todd Farmer, who also plays the naked trucker who gets a pickaxe through his skull (not technically a spoiler in a movie where everyone gets a pickaxe somewhere in their body) wrote the screenplay. He also wrote Jason X. Now you know.