1 hour, 49 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, and pervasive language.
Added DVD Features: 4 Featurettes: Courting Controversy: Remaking a Classic; The Dynamics of Power: Cast; Inside the Siege: Stunts; Creating the Sumner House: Production Design; Commentary with Writer/Director Rod Lurie.
James Marsden ...
Kate Bosworth ...
Alexander Skarsgård ...
James Woods ...
Dominic Purcell ...
Rhys Coiro ...
Billy Lush ...
Laz Alonso ...
Willa Holland ...
Walton Goggins ...
Anson Mount ...
A successful screenwriter David Sumner (James Marsden "X-Men") is planning to get
away from the hustle and bustle of L.A. so that he can concentrate on
his latest project, a film about the 1943 battle of Stalingrad. He and
actress wife Amy (Kate Bosworth "Wonderland") are going to take their extended vacation in her
backwater hometown of Blackwater, Mississippi, where they intend to stay
at her late family's secluded lakeside home. Amy reunites with the people she grew up with and quickly realizes that she should never have returned, while
David hires some acquaintances from her past, led by her part-charming,
part-creepy high school flame Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård "Zoolander"), to fix the
damaged barn roof on their property. David's big-city ways don't exactly
mesh with the locals, but he is determined to
make the best of it even when he's met with a whole lot of
passive-aggressive attitude. Tensions mount between David and
Amy, between the couple and Charlie's gang, until finally the killing of their
cat strikes a warning bell of the danger they seem to be headed for.
For anyone familiar with the 1971 version directed by Sam Peckinpah, this remake has few changes, and those are largely cosmetic. Instead of
England, the setting has been moved to America's Deep South. Instead of being a
mathematician, David is a Hollywood writer. Director Rod Lurie ("The Contender") has duplicated both shots and sequences from the original; from the
broken beer glass near the beginning, to the chess-playing/jump-roping
bedroom scene, to the use of the chalkboard in David's study, to every
last method of murder and mayhem that appears in the climax.
What is most interesting about this version, and what was also interesting in the
1971 original, is that while this Straw Dogs could
have easily become a run-of-the-mill thriller about urban dwellers
terrorized by psychotic country bumpkins, in this particular world, things aren't as black and
white, and therefore no one is completely innocent of
what they are driven to do in the grisly conclusion.