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A young couple (James Marsden and Kate Bosworth) moves to a quaint southern town. Soon their perfect getaway turns out to become a living hell when dark secrets and lethal passions spiral out of control. Trapped by a pack of depraved locals led by a ruthless predator (Alexander Skarsgard, TV’s True Blood), they face a night of agonizing suffering and endless bloodshed. Now their only hope for survival is to become more savage than their merciless torturers. Also starring two-time Academy Award® Nominee James Woods (Best Actor, Salvador, 1986 and Best Supporting Actor, Ghosts of Mississippi, 1996).
Forty years after Sam Peckinpah's hugely controversial 1971 original, Rod Lurie adapted and directed a new version of Straw Dogs, with a very deliberate change of location and an updating of the social context. Instead of being set in Britain, the story now takes place in small-town Mississippi, where Hollywood screenwriter David Sumner (James Marsden) is moving with his wife Amy (Kate Bosworth). She grew up in Blackwater, which she aptly refers to as "backwater," but has since become a much-desired TV actress. In their isolated house, David will write while Amy's ex-beau (Alexander Skarsgård) repairs the adjacent barn with his redneck buddies. In drawing the unease between this effete, conflict-averse intellectual and the swaggering, flag-waving, God-fearing locals, Lurie (The Contender) seems to be aiming at the hostility between red state/blue state America in 2011. But the movie breaks down when it gets to the sadistic plot turns that lead to the savage finale, a siege in which David is pushed to his primal self. In the Peckinpah film, this was a hellish and ambiguous exorcism, but here the events just seem ugly, and the movie loses control of its perspective about halfway through. James Marsden is a game actor, but he can't be as convincing a bookworm as Dustin Hoffman was in the original film. Kate Bosworth's ambivalence is the most interesting thing at play here, as she suggests the marriage might have been less than perfect all along. That subtle discontent is more intriguing than the movie's lurid collapse into ultraviolence. --Robert Horton
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Audio Description: : English
- Item model number : 23915949
- Director : Rod Lurie
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 50 minutes
- Release date : December 20, 2011
- Actors : James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgard, Dominic Purcell, Laz Alonso
- Dubbed: : French
- Subtitles: : English, French, Spanish, Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Korean
- Studio : Sony Pictures
- ASIN : B005TK22R0
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #32,970 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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Then you have the other kind of remakes.
Straw Dogs is a remake of an ultra violent seventies movie about a man and woman who move into a new home in Cornwall, only to run into trouble with the locals. In the remake, the action has been moved to America, but the plot is basically the same.
If you know what to expect then you're waiting for the violence to finally kick off. It does, eventually, but not before well over an hour of `build up.' This build up shows us how the young, nice, happy couple completely ignore all warning signs that they have a town full of redneck psychos all around them until it's too late and the afford-mentioned psychos are throwing bricks through their window and trying to lynch them.
The originally Straw Dogs was only famous (or rather infamous) for its violence. Since then, we've seen far worse gore and brutality on screen and remaking it (quite faithfully to be fair) seems a little pointless. There isn't enough gore to keep the `gore-fiends' happy. It's too slow to be classed as a psychological thriller. And the characters are too stupid to know what's coming until it's too late.
I think, if this was the first incarnation of Straw Dogs, it might be called a `home invasion' film. However, the fact that there are other films out there which have already secured that particular niche genre, makes this one even less original. Funny Games, The Strangers, that British one that I watched and completely forgot its name - all of those have beaten the Straw Dogs remake to the punch,
However, if you're a fan of Kate Bosworth and like the idea of watching her running around in not very many clothes for the whole film, then you might get something out of it.