We expected Alexander Skarsgard to blow us away with his hotness and acting chops in Rod Lurie’s remake of Straw Dogs, and did he ever!
Too bad we can’t say the same for the movie itself.
Straw Dogs is about Hollywood elitists, David (James Marsden) and Amy Summer (Kate Bosworth), who move to post-Katrina Mississippi to shack up in her family home for a few months.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how big of an A-Skars fan you are), Amy’s high school sweetheart, Charlie, and his gang of hillbilly rapists are hell bent on running them out of town
What ensues is about 45 minutes of staring in awe at Alexander Skarsgard while he holds a hammer and pretends to build things, and another 45 minutes of hiding behind our hands while Charlie and his gang go bat-crazy and try to kill everyone.
While the first half of the movie had Oscar potential with nuanced performances and great cinematography, the second half turned into a typical horror flick with blood, guts and nail biting suspense. We love a good blood-bath (we are Truebies, after all), but Straw Dogs lost its atmospheric charm after the much-talked about rape scene between Charlie and Amy-cakes.
This was the most disturbing part of the film by far, yet Alexander Skarsgard brought so much three-dimensionality to the role that we still hoped he would redeem himself afterwards. Not a chance.
Post-rape scene, we realized we were watching a less amazing version of Fear, starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Whalburg. Think about it: A group of rowdy men attacks a family who are trapped in a house? All A-Skars had to do was prison tattoo “Nicole 4 EVA” on his stomach and it would have been the exact same flick, minus the ‘90s charm.
Of course, the good guys always win in horror films, and Alexander Skarsgard met the true death when a bear trap snapped shut on his perfect head. Better luck next time, Alex!