My Bloody Valentine – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Ten years ago, an inexperienced coal miner named Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) caused an accident that killed five men and put a sixth, Harry Warden, into a coma. A year later, on Valentine’s Day, Harry woke up and murdered 22 people with a pickaxe before dying. Now Tom has returned home, still haunted by the past. And something else is back in Harmony: a pickaxe-wielding killer in a miner’s mask, who may be the ghost of Harry, come to claim Tom and his friends. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 61% (Critics) / 44% (Audience)
MetaScore: 51 – mixed or averagee reviews
Directed By: Patrick Lussier
Written By: Todd Farmer and Zane Smith
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Tom Atkins
Studio: Lionsgate

My Bloody Valentine 2009 Animated Gif

The Good:
The cast of the 2009 My Bloody Valentine is great and such an upgrade from the middle-aged company of community theater players that made up the 1981 My Bloody Valentine cast. Jaime King was a solid Final Girl, Kerr Smith was a very convincing scumbag reluctant hero and Tom Atkins was just reliably awesome as Mr. Atkins always is, and Jensen Ackles handled the nuances of the “hero who was really the killer” role. There is a particular scene near the end of the movie where Ackles goes from being petrified with fear to the coldness of a serial killer that was just an amazing performance that you really don’t expect to see in this type of movie.

Tom Atkins in My Bloody Valentine 2009

Director Patrick Lussier also did a great job with the kills here. The kills were inventive, gory and brutal with the practical effects used for the results of The Miner’s savagery being truly top notch as this scene of the aftermath of Henry Warden’s initial rampage that ran through the opening credits show is horrifically beautiful detail:

I have always found the visual of The Miner to be pretty unnerving; being clad in full miner gear along with the gas mask and light helmet is just one of the best slasher villain looks in the history of slasher horror. The whole thing is just creepy as hell.

Jaime King in My Bloody Valentine 2009

The chase scenes in this movie are also very well done. The best is the supermarket chase with Jaime King and Megan Boone as The Miner’s target but a close second is the chase scene with the eventual victim being butt naked that somehow manages to not feel at all exploitative or icky mostly because of how confident Betsy Rue was in her scenes leading up to her encounter with The Miner.

Jaime King and Megan Boone in My Bloody Valentine 2009

The Bad:
While the practical effects are killer, the CGI stuff has not aged well in the 14 years since this movie was released. Some of it is outright laughable with how bad it looks on the screen. Check out a little taste of the janky special effects that look like it was made on an old Apple eMac:

I have to admit to not being a fan of this movie pulling a fake out on viewers by showing Ackles character witnessing The Miner kill someone and then revealing that it was just a psychotic hallucination. Keeping Ackles character as a suspect in the minds of viewers before then revealing through flashbacks that he was the killer would have been much better than trying to fool the audience the way it was done here.

Jensen Ackles in My Bloody Valentine 2009

The Ugly:
The dryer scene is probably the most iconic scene of the original movie so it was a bit of a bummer to have the victim be a maid who has two lines and less than 2 minutes of screen time. That death deserved to go to a more important character like how the original film used it to kill off the beloved laundromat owner Mable. The makeup effects on the burned up maid were pretty sick though.

Dryer scene from My Bloody Valentine 2009

Final Verdict: My Bloody Valentine embraces the old school bloody goodness of 80s slashers with great kills and a wonderful cast. This is definitely one of the better horror movie remakes of recent years.

Loomis Rating: My Bloody Valentine gets 3 out of 4 Gun-Totin’ Dr. Loomis’

Gun-Totin’ Dr. Loomis Rating

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