Thursday, December 29, 2011

Straw Dogs (2011)

Just when I thought I couldn't lust after Alexander Skarsgard any more, here comes Straw Dogs.  Aside from Skarsgard, who plays ringleader Charlie, the casting on this movie was pretty off in my opinion.  Kate Bosworth (Amy Sumner) couldn't hold a candle to the foxy Susan George from the original.  While they tried to play Amy off as the irresistibly sexy Southern ex-cheerleader, she unfortunately looked sallow and in need of a burger. During her (intended to be sexy) running scenes, Scream King grumbled "she is way too skinny."  Maybe Ali Larter  would have been a better fit?  James Mardsen, playing David Sumner, also fell pretty flat.  Skarsgard as Charlie, however, was sexy, intimidating, and manipulative, and his posse pulled off the stereotypical good ol' boy vibe.  An almost unrecognizable James Woods played a great drunken ex-football coach. 

So do we all know the Straw Dogs plot?  It's been slightly updated for this version.  Instead of rural England, we're in Blackwater, Mississippi, and David is a screenwriter instead of a mathematician.  Amy is a sometimes actress, seemingly gaining some semblance of fame from an appearance on an NBC crime show.  Besides that, the plot pretty much sticks to the original, with church gatherings being replaced by the all-too-important Southern high school football game. While leaving both rape scenes in, they did cut the apparent "enjoyment" of the Charlie/Amy scene. 

One thing that should have been cut from this update was the whole mentally challenged child molester thing.  This didn't make a ton of sense in the original, and it's even more random in this version.  This iteration of Jeremy is played by the guy from Prison Break (Dominic Purcell) and his love interest is saucy teenager Janice (Willa Holland), who is also the daughter of the aforementioned drunken coach.  For some reason, Janice has a weird infatuation with Jeremy, even attempting to go down on him during a football game.  This plot line just makes no sense, and clearly they only kept it in to have a reason for the crew to attack the house.

On the contrary to the original, the house attack scene in this version is AWESOMESAUCE.  We get hot oil to the face, nail guns through the hand, throat slit by glass, and the most badass kill of all, bear-trap-to-the-fucking-head. 

Overall I liked this movie as a standalone, and preferred it greatly to the original version.  Skeletal Kate Bosworth aside, definitely worth checking out.  Also, just had to stick this in for any ladies reading out there.  Wowza.  You could get it, Alexander Skarsgard ;)