Release Date: August 19, 2011
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Marti Noxon
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Imogen Poots, Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
The remake also understands that it is a horror movie, where the original only occasionally remembers to be scary. Even when the latter circles back to genre terror, it bungles it by dwelling on it for way too long. Yes, it’s cool that the special effects dudes cut their teeth on Ghostbusters and had all these neat tricks to show off, but no amount of SFX can make a 2 minutes and 30 second long death scene exciting. For better or worse, the remake uses the almost entire classic horror dictionary. Farrell slinks around in the background like a sentient shadow, drawing out the fear in his victims and the audience by keeping them constantly in suspense. One of the best scenes in the movie is when Charley and Doris are trying to escape Jerry’s lair and are trapped at the bottom of the stairwell as he walks around the house. We know he knows they’re there and is toying with them—he already half-turned Doris and uses her to mess with Charley’s head—but they think they have one over on him. It’s a tense, silent scene but Jerry’s self-satisfied smirk, Doris’ trembling breath, and Charley’s nervous concentration says everything we need to know…
To read the rest of my review, head over to Tor.com.