Total Recall: 3D Horror Films

With Texas Chainsaw 3D hitting theaters, we look at some memorable fright fests screened in three dimensions.

My Bloody Valentine 3-D

57%

Plenty of people dislike Valentine's Day, but the pickaxe-wielding antagonist of 1981's My Bloody Valentine took things to the next level -- and his gorily irrational hatred of our annual celebration of love made the movie a natural fit for the cheapie horror reboot/remake craze of the aughts, leading to 2009's enthusiastically brutal My Bloody Valentine 3D. The storyline was essentially the same -- small mining town finds itself under attack from a crazed psychopath -- but the improved visuals may have given the new-look Valentine a critical boost with scribes like Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times, who credited it with blending "cutting-edge technology and old-school prosthetics to produce something both familiar and alien: gore you can believe in."

Mode: HLS Link

My Soul to Take

9%

Wes Craven's legacy as a horror movie maven is beyond compare, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been responsible for his share of clunkers -- and 2010's My Soul to Take, which found him emerging from a lengthy hiatus to write and direct his first horror film since 1994, is one of the most bitter critical and commercial disappointments of his career. Nonetheless, a few scribes found a dash of redemption in this 3D slasher, which follows the slightly convoluted saga of a killer whose multiple personalities are somehow transported into the souls of premature babies on the night of his murder; as Simon Abrams put it for Slant Magazine, "That Craven is earnestly trying to make an on-the-level, snark-free horror flick signals a welcome sea change in his career."

Mode: HLS Link

Night of the Living Dead 3D

——

Rather loosely adapted from George Romero's 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead 3D was made without official permission or participation from anyone involved with the original -- and although it did add a third special-effects dimension, that wasn't enough for filmgoers, who mostly ignored it, or for the critics who greeted this chapter in the ongoing zombie franchise with almost unanimous disdain. One exception was Luke Y. Thompson of the L.A. Weekly, who enthused, "As a 3-D zombie flick on the big screen, it offers something new and fun: Zombies, breasts and copious joint-passing coming right out of the screen."

Mode: HLS Link

Parasite

11%

A career footnote for Demi Moore, who nabbed her role here just as she was starting out on General Hospital, as well as for slumming effects wizard Stan Winston, the little-seen Parasite helped kick off the early 1980s 3D revival with a breathtakingly silly sci-fi/horror hybrid about a dystopian future (set in 1992!) in which a scientist (Robert Glaudini) unwittingly cultivates a gross parasitic worm with a taste for the human stomach. While it's become a minor cult favorite in certain circles -- Film4 calls it "somewhat of a classic, admittedly for all the wrong reasons" -- most critics had no use whatsoever for Parasite, with Time Out's Geoff Andrew describing it by writing, "Uninspired actors intone a banal script, reduced by clumsy pacing to a minimum of suspense."

Mode: HLS Link

Piranha 3-D

73%

1972's Joe Dante-directed Piranha is one of the more critically respected entries in the creature feature genre, so when word got out that Alexandre Aja would be restarting the franchise -- in 3D, no less -- the reaction from many film fans was somewhat less than positive. Happily, 2010's Piranha 3D turned out to be that rare exploitation flick whose cheerful embrace of cheese yielded surprisingly entertaining results, largely thanks to a wildly eclectic cast that included Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Jerry O'Connell, and (as Hollywood's most unlikely sheriff since Suzanne Somers) Elisabeth Shue. Cheerfully shameless in its pursuit of over-the-top gore and gratuitous nudity, it earned thumbs up from critics like Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman, who enthused, "It's hard to imagine how scenes of mass dismemberment set during a wet T-shirt contest could be staged any better."

Mode: HLS Link

Saw 3D

9%

An annual Halloween tradition for the better part of a decade, the Saw series finally made the jump to 3D with its final (for now) installment, 2010's Saw 3D. While it would probably be a stretch to say that many Saw fans really felt the franchise was crying out for an added dimension -- or, that after six previous chapters, that the markedly grisly series truly needed to continue -- the saga concluded with another 92 minutes of death and dismemberment that made the audience feel like it was truly part of the picture. (Hooray?) Perhaps looking forward to the sagging box office fortunes that seem to have put a stop to the series, Salon's Andrew O'Hehir sighed, "I'm grateful that I (presumably) never have to see any more of these ever again."

Mode: HLS Link

Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don't forget to check out the reviews for Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Finally, here's the trailer for Robot Monster, one of the most terrifying 3D fright fests ever:

Comments

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Maze Runner is Better than Average

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

100 pics from Toronto Film Fest

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

Talk Like a Pirate Day
Talk Like a Pirate Day

Memorable pirates picture gallery

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile