Ah, Pennsylvania’s once amazing filming tax credits, which brought a remake of a Canadian slasher to the City of Bridges — well, Kittanning, Bethel, Tarentum, Oakmont, Oakdale and the North Hills — and was smart enough to hire two of our local favorites, stage actor Bingo O’Malley and Tom Atkins, who I don’t need to talk up but I will every chance I get.
Shot in 4K on digital cameras and made for 3D, this movie may have high tech origins but it has low tech old school slasher aims. Directed by Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry, Trick) and written by Todd Farmer (Jason X) and Zane Smith, it follows the original movie and begins on Valentine’s Day, a horrific day for the town of Harmony.
I just want to say — Farmer wrote the scene where the trucker has sex with Irene (Betsy Rue) and she runs through the parking lot naked. He also got himself cast in the part as that trucker. As a writer, I just want to tell you that there can be power in words.
An explosion at the mine leaves only Harry Warden still alive, but he had to murder the others to conserve oxygen. The son of the mine’s owner, Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) forgot to vent the methane lines that caused the collapse and takes the blame. A year later, Warden awakes from a coma and starts killing all over again, starting with the patients and staff at the hospital, always leaving their hearts in boxes of chocolate.
While all this is happening, Tom, his girlfriend Sarah (Jaime King), Axel (Kerr Smith) and Irene are partying in the mine, which is a bad idea at any time and even worse when you think about all the people who died there and Warden being out and killing. He appears in miner gear and attacks them before Sheriff Burke (Atkins) shoots him. Warden goes deeper into the mind as Tom is shellshocked by what he’s gone through. He leaves town for a decade.
When he comes back to sell the mine, he finds that Axel is the sheriff and now married to Sarah. Things go bad as soon as Tom gets there, as the Miner appears — is it Warden? — and kills Irene and starts building its body count. Ben Foley (Kevin Tighe) and Burke know that it couldn’t be. After all, they killed and buried him, except that now the grave is empty.
Is the killer Axel? Or is it Tom, who has spent seven years in a psychiatric ward? Well, getting there means seeing body parts spray all over the screen in increasingly grisly kills. There’s even a tease of a sequel, which one imagines would have been made in Eastern Europe. Whatever — I ended up enjoying this way more than I thought I would. It probably helps that it was made here, right?