My Bloody Valentine: Original vs. Remake

Happy October, everyone! We’re excited to bring you our annual Halloween-themed posts for the month. For 2015, original and remade horror movies will go head-to-head, and we’ll try to pick a favorite. We hope you enjoy the reviews, and comments are always welcome!

My Bloody Valentine: Original (1981) vs. Remake (2009)

Photo: denofgeek
Photo: drafthouse.com
Photo: denofgeek
Photo: denofgeek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the remake came out, I remember several bad reviews because they changed nearly everything. I can understand how purists would argue it’s terrible because so much changed. However, I think you have to look at it like a re-imagining, much like Zombie’s Halloweens, which is not always easy. With that in mind, I love these movies, and they deliver delightful horror fun in different ways.

Similarities:

I was surprised by how much I loved the original My Bloody Valentine. It has a solid story, strong characters, and is shot very well. The laundromat scene is probably one of the best kill scenes during this time period. The camera work in this scene has a monster-movie feel to it and increases your heart rate a little. The remake of My Bloody Valentine is just good slasher fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and when you watch them back-to-back, I don’t think the remake was supposed to. They did not intended to outdo the original, just modernize it for a new generation.

There really aren’t a lot of similarities. Sarah’s character is the same. They both use Axel’s name, and the Harry Warden story line is used. Both slasher movies are set around Valentine’s Day, and we can assume the killer gets away. That’s about it.

Differences:

These are what set the movies apart. The stories are completely different: they reversed the two main characters, the killer is different, etc. Here’s a breakdown:

  • The original focuses more on the “curse” or urban legend surrounding the holiday. For example, if the kids have the Valentine’s Day party, people will die. The killer moves the hearts upside down when he kills, and we see way more extracted human hearts. In the remake, the holiday is more of an aside, and the movie could take place any time of year. This allows the original to have more purpose, whereas the remake feels almost like a senseless revenge film.
  • Both take place in a small town, but the original has more of a close-knit feel. In the remake, the characters don’t seem to like each other. They back-stab, allow adultery, and just put up with one another. In the original, the adults hang together and watch out for the younger adults, and the YAs party together. There’s also an even mix of both age groups in the original, and you get to know the town. In the remake, you only get to know the younger adults, who act like their 50 instead of 25.
  • The remake is more scandalous. I’m sure this was done to appeal to 21-century audiences, and it works. As much as I love comradery, I enjoy watching Irene (Betsy Rue) chase the trucker down while completely naked. Tom (Jensen Ackles) locking himself in the cage is pretty ingenious. Sarah (Jaime King) trying to save the little skank sleeping with her husband is touching. The remake was also meant for 3D, which does not add a lot, but it adds a more fun element.

So, how to I rank them? It’s a tie for me. Both My Bloody Valentines entertain and rank high in my slasher movie cannon. For a solid film, watch the original; for a less serious treat, watch the remake. Either way, both are tons of bloody fun!

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