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(Review originally written at 21 April 2008)

In all fairness, the 1978 version of this movie already wasn't exactly a great or classic one by any means but at least it had as a redeeming quality that it got made in the '70's and therefor had a great typical distinctive '70's movies atmosphere. This movie its only redeeming quality is its gore even though there isn't an awful lot of it in it.

This movie chooses a different approach and story than the 1978 movie and therefor this movie is more of a re-imagining than an actual remake. The only thing that has remained the same is the setting of an apartment complex and a killer who uses the content of his toolbox for his killings. This movie uses a more supernatural approach of things, while the original was a pure slasher.

Since it's a re-imaging, it obviously also does some things better, compared to the original. The movie picks a main character right on from the start, so the movie is more coherent with its story and characters.

But yet it's not a better movie. The movie had some real good potential with its concept but it just forgot to ever get tense. For an horror movie it's also lacking some serious scares and while the build up is good with its suggestive camera work among other things, it just never pays off in the end, since a climax is never really reached in any of its sequences. It's not that this movie is a complete bore to watch but its concept just screamed for a better execution. It's funny how Tobe Hooper has never made a decent horror movie again ever since after "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", unless you still believe that he also directed "Poltergeist". It's true that the movie gets better toward the end, when things finally start to take off but it's too little too late by then already to still fully save this movie.

The movie is definitely dark but I wouldn't exactly describe it as atmospheric. You can say that the atmosphere is too dark, which ruins some of the movie its tension. It's one of the simples things you can do as an horror director; make ever sequence look really dark but this just doesn't necessarily make a movie automatically tense or scary as well.

The acting is slightly below par, though definitely still better than the average typical B-horror movie entry. Angela Bettis, Rance Howard and Juliet Landau are all some semi-good and known actors.

Not an horrible movie, just not really worth seeing either.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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