So I ordered Showtime in order to watch Twin Peaks, and was glad to have another source of streaming because I am so tired of and down on Netflix. And I saw that this was available among the movies there, and was like “Oh good, I’ll be happy to revisit that, it was a fun good time!” Only, I realized soon in, this turns out to be the shitty remake that was made only 14 years after the original, not the original.
After a brief prologue, we have an explicit homage to The Shining, and once again I must caution young filmmakers such as this film’s director, Travis Z, that Stanley Kubrick does not need the homage of your stupid little lowest-common-denominator piece of crap horror REMAKE. Especially when the rest of the film demonstrates so clearly that you learned absolutely nothing from Kubrick.
So we have our group of virtually indistinguishable young adults coming from the city to stay at a cabin in the woods. There are two couples and the required asocial jerk who does stupid things. They meet the required weird and angry rednecks who vaguely warn them to “be careful” but don’t say over what. Soon they get to the cabin, which has no internet, no cell reception, and no phone. They only brought two six-packs (for five of them) and somehow, because they have no phone, they have no weed. I think a certain element among us knows that if you’re going to want weed at your vacation cabin, you don’t leave it to some vague circumstance whether you have weed or not. I wouldn’t know, but that’s what some friends have told me.
Anyway, the asocial jerk who does stupid things (he is said to be an avid gamer) has brought a machine gun. Yup, a machine gun. He also spurts lighter fluid all over the ground and lights it on fire, leaving a field of grass still on fire an hour or so later. It makes no sense why any of them would be friends with this jerk—or remain friends with him after any of his dangerous antics (like “accidentally” shooting the machine gun at his friends)—but hey, we’re in a shitty horror cash-in remake. A lot of stupid time-waster stuff happens with the stupid characters.
Now, I remember the original as being somewhat clever, or at least cleverly knowing about it’s stupid genre conventions, and largely about a deadly flesh-eating virus. Maybe I misremember the original, but this one is filled out with lots of new incidents and new, dumb characters, like a stoner hiker who appears for one jump scare and is never seen again [although you lose track of which rotting person is jumping out of which lake]. There’s also a ridiculous female deputy with long blond porn-star hair who seems horny and makes clear that she is ready to “party.” It’s that typical frat bro mixture of self-loathing [“we’re just dumb, sheltered yuppies”] and xenophobia [“Rural people are so, like, stupid and gross!”].
The flesh-eating virus does start to appear here, at exactly 45 minutes in, and it’s there, for sure, as are the greatest hit moments of the original [shaving infected (already completely hairless) legs, sex with an infected person], but this time the focus is on fear of rednecks and what awful people our yuppie protagonists are. This movie just hates all people. The virus takes a significant backseat to the horrible rednecks and the movie is crammed with incident, incident, incident. Maybe the original was, and I just don’t remember it? Anyway, I was amused the whole time and made it to the end, but if you have a choice between this and the original, watch the original.