In my nearly 34 years of existence, I have never seen a 3D movie in the theater-until tonight. My Bloody Valentine opened tonight. As many of you may know, I spent my childhood and adolescent years as a slasher-film fan. I own every Jason Vorhees movie on DVD. I have, admittedly, never seen the original version of Valentine, but I don’t think that it would have changed my feelings about this update.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Have you ever watched one of those movies where the movie’s ending shocks you? For example, The Sixth Sense? We have a shocking ending in Valentine. It really took a great deal of time for me to formulate what it was that really bothered me about this movie. The problem, first of all, was the execution.
With the classic Sixth Sense, we were shocked when we realized that Bruce Willis was “dead people.” I will admit that I didn’t see it coming at all. And, when you looked back on the subtle things that the director threw in during the movie, the ending made sense. And some of you, no doubt, figured it out beforehand.
But that’s not the case here. What you have are two possible killers. You have Tom and you have Axel. The problem is with one very important scene. The killer kicks Tom into a mine elevator and locks him in it. We see the two of them staring at each other. We see Tom trying frantically to escape to help the man who is being slaughtered outside of the elevator. We see some miners pry the bent bar off of the cage door to the elevator in order to free Tom. We see the deputy tell the sheriff (Axel) that there is no way that Tom could have done it, since these men had to free Tom from the elevator. My friend, Bobby, who normally cracks these things pretty quickly, concluded that Axel must be the killer.
So when Tom was revealed to be the killer, I felt cheated. Perhaps it was a good plot twist, but what makes these plot twists so enjoyable is having the chance to figure it out on our own before the revelation. And the director went out of his way to make sure that this didn’t happen. Yes, he showed that Tom was insane and had a split personality, but only after the fact. Leaving the elevator scene out of the movie would have made the twist so much more satisfying.
Another thing that intrigued me was my reaction to the staples of the genre. The “obligatory” nude scene lasted not seconds, but probably five minutes of the movie. I was more disgusted by this that I would have been ten years ago. The over-the-top murder scenes grew irritating after a while. I used to like these movies. I am planning to see the remake of Friday the 13th. But I am beginning to simply ask myself, “Why?”