What was most impressive was the feeling that you could reach out and touch Kevin Shields nose as you were being deafened…

My Bloody Valentine 3D impressed me. Not the 3D. I only have two dimensional vision in real life so, so its unlikely cure my lack of depth perception in the cinema and give me a good shaking. So despite its main selling point and more visual fourth wall breaking than normal (cameras probably got busted by those pickaxes) I still liked My Bloody Valentine 3D. I went to see if the 3D unbalanced the cinematic tensions inherent in a horror movie. I came out having enjoyed a film which feels like a fresh take on the slasher genre.

In itself, a fresh take on a pretty reviled genre seems to be promising diminishing returns. But if you consider the current horror trend in torture exploitation movies, it is refreshing to see a film where the psychotic bad guy in an iconic mask (gas mask) is just out to kill. And in the first ten minutes he kills a lot of people. Its not a film that wants to tip-toe in slowly, it attacks the audience from the outset. And then it is ten years later and it all starts over again. It reminded me as a good counterpoint to Aliens vs Predator 2, similar small town set up but proper characterisation (no matter how crude) and a sense that it liked and was interested in its flawed blue collar town.

What I liked about MBV3D was that it was happy to play up to its own exploitation roots whilst not being completely dumb. Its central mystery (who is the bad guy in the gas mask) is pretty simplistic, but at least it plays it out honestly for our final girl (final woman in this case). Yes there is an extended sequence with a naked woman running and hiding from the killer, but the film happily plays that tongue in cheek without any of the characters winking at the audience. Indeed the film is very faithful to its tonal seriousness, unlike many 3D movies, things don’t just get thrown at the screen for a laugh. It has been directed with an eye for how the 3D can enhance the film, rather than the only selling point.

But to that 3D. Its been successful, and whilst a fad its a fad which a lot of people are throwing money behind. Coming next week is Bolt 3D and later this year is Monsters vs Aliens 3D. It raises a few questions. First will all 3D films append 3D to their name. But will 3D really be a market driver? Jeffrey Katzenberger of Dreamworks is convinced of it.

“In the entire history of film, there have been two revolutionary events,” says Katzenberg, “the transition from silent movies to synchronized sound in the 1920s and arrival of color in the 1930s. Now, seven decades later, the movie industry is entering the third period of revolutionary change with the arrival of 3D. The first two, sound and color, were about bringing a better film experience to audiences. This one is about bringing audiences into the film experience.”

Hmm, a bit too evangelical for my liking, especially when he moves on in the article to the small subset of people for whom 3D is not so great:

“For instance, there are people who have a great difference between their right eye and left eye as far as seeing. That could put a strain on them. Anyone who has actually had eye surgery, so they have one eye for distance and one eye for reading, this will give them a headache.”

Cheers Jeff. Cos I have one eye for reading and one distance viewing. Nice that you are going out to deliberately make films that will give me a headache. Appreciate it. Its like a band deliberately doing live gigs that will give their audience hearing problems.