My Bloody Valentine 3D: Crappy Treatment of Women Flies Right off the Screen
Slasher movies have always been about the spectacle of violence and, as a 3D film, My Bloody Valentine takes this to new levels. The whole film is a series of shots designed to break the barrier between you and the screen: pickaxes, eyeballs, treestumps and bloody jaws fly off the screen right at you. Most slasher films also include some female nudity, designed to titillate the audience and amp up the vulnerability of the film's victims. And My Bloody Valentine takes this to a whole new level, too. The film features nearly five full minutes of actress Betsy Rue completely naked, except for a pair of platform high heels. There's no cheezy 3D gimmick here - it's just an extended scene of gratuitious nudity. But that's gimmick enough to render Rue the ultimate spectacle of the film as she runs in terror from the killer. The scene borders on comical, and that's the real disservice done by the film: the nudity nearly undermines the sympathy we're supposed to have for Rue's victim. It's only because Rue actually pulls off an unbelievably good performance in her scant moments on screen that we feel for her. A lesser actress or a lower budget film would have rendered her a pathetic spectacle.
And Rue's character is actually tougher and more interesting than the rest of the women in My Bloody Valentine! In fact, the film is categorically not interested in its female characters or the slasher formula that has made horror fans out of a lot of women. The film denies us a satsifying final girl moment, preferring instead to focus on a final fight between the film's two main male characters. Adding insult to injury, the film's major female character returns to a crappy relationship with a deplorable man at end of the movie.
In the end, My Bloody Valentine has lously gender politics for a slasher movie, and that's both disappointing and disconcerting because the film has probably made enough money to merit a sequel and inspire other 3D horror movies.
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