13 Oct 2012

SHOCKTOBER SPECIAL: Toolbox Murders (2004) - Will's Review

NOTE: In honour of Halloween, We're taking a break from the DPP list through October to look at some recent remakes.

I can't decide what I think about this one.

I mean, I know exactly how I felt about it, but I don't know how much of that was based on it trading off of, and consequently sullying, the Toolbox Murders name.

The original was a cracking, sleazy, slasher / psychological horror bit; this is a fairly middle of the road supernatural slasher. I honestly can't fathom why the bought the rights to the title, and I think I would have enjoyed this effort a lot more if I hadn't been so directly instructed to compare it to a better movie.

They kept the fact that the kills happen in an apartment complex, and they kept the 3 main deaths (Nail Gun, Claw hammer, and Drill) but beyond that literally NOTHING in this movie has to do with the original.

Now, I'm the first to whine at a shot-for-shot remake (what's the point? We already have that movie), but to keep the title only? Why not just call it something else? It's not like TBM owns the idea of killing someone with power tools!

A young couple move into an Hollywood apartment complex, with paper-thin walls, and it isn't long before she starts hearing things -  but not just the sex-noises and call-back rehearsals one might expect to hear in a shitty apartment... She becomes convinced that she hears an actual murder. When her neighbours start to go missing, and no-one else will listen, she takes it upon her self to work out what's going on... And why every floor is missing room 04...

One of the highlights of the movie is a kid who hacks into his neighbour's (Juliet Landau - Drucila from Buffy) wifi to spy on her through her webcam...  And who's mother catches him just in time to stop him Witnessing a murder!

Speaking of murders - although not gory, the murders here are delightfully vicious - the claw hammer especially shows a real rage in the killer (and goes on long enough to demonstrate a bit of a lack of control).

The lowlights in the movie come from the supernatural elements - I think the killers hiding place was interesting enough, and this would have been a better movie had he been mortal; perhaps if he'd kidnapped someone to his lair - that way they could have actually called this a remake AND had some fun with people hearing the missing girl through the walls.

Body count: 8
Most memorable death: bolt cutter to the spine.

Please use the comments bellow only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the main post for this movie.

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