At first when I had heard about this movie being remade back in early 2009 when I first saw the trailer, I had many concerns about whether or not this movie would show any respect for the source material that the excellent 1981 slasher gave us and that has been celebrated for nearly 30 years. I have to admit that it all looked tempting from them selling it with the 3-D element and coming up with a creative ad for it.
Well I would say that how good this remake is is based simply more on how thrilling it is by its own merits and not in contrast with the original. As I see it both versions are great in their own special ways. I won't be comparing this version and the original but rather just to state what is good about this version solely.
The opening credits are awesome visually as computer effects(intended in particular for the 3-D aspect of this movie) are used to show a series of newspaper articles regarding the several slayings brought on by Harry Warden during Valentine's day.
Harry Warden still has a massively menacing appearance with the dark creepy miner's get up. Once he walks steadily but surely with his big pickaxe you know that things are going to get freaky, brutal, and messy with him leaving few to no survivors.
The intensity, gore, and kills are all very well handled. The miner is vicious, scary, and unrelenting in his brutality making for one intense serial killer with no limits to what he'll do. He especially goes from biding his time in the shadows of the mine to subduing his victims with small effort. As for the gore well it's awesomely bloody and graphic even in the aftermath. The gore design may not be entirely as impressive as the practical gore shown in the extended version of the original but the gore showcased here still gets the job done in it's gruesomeness. The kills don't vary a whole lot in execution but the masterful way that Harry wield his pickaxe through people's mouths and chests are remarkably done.
There's not as much nudity as there should have been but still there is still one bit of nudity that is sweet and enjoyable.
As for the actors well, Jensen Ackles did a great job as Tom Hanniger, gorgeous and smokin' hot Jaime King is good here and there as the lovely Sarah Palmer, horror movie veteran Tom Atkins was great as always playing Sheriff Burke, but Kerr Smith as Axel Palmer he really sucked. Not only was his acting terrible but he was cheesy looking, not believable as a small town cop, and most of all he just couldn't hold a candle to Neil Affleck.
The cinematography by Brian Pearson was beautifully and fully shot showcasing gorgeous pictures of the forest, the town of Harmony, the well-lit yet creepy mine, the lovely interiors of the police station, the bridge over water and beyond, the grocery store, and interiors of the character's houses. I also am highly impressed by the creepy and chilling dark and dreary night scenes.
The fight choreography at the end is intriguing and lots of fun to watch as well.
The 3-D aspect of this movie is really cool and it makes this movie all the more fun to watch.