Screenwriter David Sumner travels with his wife Amy in his Jaguar to her homeland Blackwater, in Mississippi. Amy's father has passed away and David intends to write his screenplay about Stalingrad in the house. David hires the contractor Charlie and his team to repair the roof of the Barn. Amy was Charlie's sweetheart when she lived there and neither he nor his crew show respect to her now. Charlie invites David to hunt deer with his group and him; but they leave David alone in the woods and rape Amy. She does not tell David what happened. When the drunken coach Tom Heddon calls Charlie and his friends to hunt down the slow Jeremy Niles, who likes his daughter, David decides to protect not only Jeremy, but also Amy and his honor.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The two registration stickers on David's Jaguar E-Type's rear California license plate at first appear on the bottom corners of the plate (which is in itself a goof) but in later shots appear on the upper corners as is correct for California license plates. See more »
Fine as a standalone, but you'll wonder why they bothered as a remake
Most modern remakes carry with them a whiff of disappointment, a general feeling of déjà vu and a sense that watching is time wasted because they're invariably going to be worse than the original (apart from in a few instances). The same can well be said of STRAW DOGS, a film that relocates Sam Peckinpah's controversial classic in the southern USA but otherwise tells exactly the same story, with the same sequences and even the same dialogue beats.
Put simply, STRAW DOGS is a fine enough film in itself and would be more impressive if the original didn't exist. Compared to the original, it comes second in every way; the cast is a lot worse, the direction is non-existent compared to Peckinpah's masterful stylistics, and the power is just lacking. Fans of the original would do better to stick with that because there's no way this film has a hope of coming close to it.
Taken as a standalone movie, though, and compared to other modern thrillers, it turns out to be well, not bad. The slow-building plot is as effective as ever, and the climax doesn't disappointment when it arrives and unleashes a wave of violence upon the screen. James Marsden struggles because you can't help but compare him to Dustin Hoffman in the role, and Kate Bosworth doesn't really capture that level of coquettishness that the Susan George character had, either.
But the supporting players are better, and Alexander Skarsgard is particularly sinister as the bad guy who doesn't really do anything all that bad – although we hate him anyway. James Woods ignites the screen, as ever, and Dominic Purcell offers a completely different performance to David Warner's, so his role is all the better for it.
So what we have here is a film that can be taken in two different ways. As a remake, it's a pale effort compared to the vibrant original. As a standalone movie, it's a pretty tense thriller with a gripping storyline. I liked it enough the first time around, but is it worth a rewatch? Not like the original.
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