With better photography and budget this remake is too glossy for it's dirty subject matter as if someone tried to make it more accessible doing the rape "sexy" instead of dirty, gritty and disgusting. Most laughable is it when the parents don't care when their daughter arrive with a gunshot wound but falls totally apart emotionally when they discover she was raped - okay if she is dying but not if she's raped?
The '72 version benefited from its amateur nature as its grittiness made it therapeutic for the Vietnam-era. This remake is a Hollywood product; shown in the photography's corporate sheen and safety nets reminding you that it's only a movie. It lacks the naturalistic quality in the dialogue/acting, too. It may fix the contrivances in the plot and is always dead-serious, but unlike the original, it's not affective.
Terrific performances all over the place, but Monica Potter was the highlight of this movie for me. Seeing a shocked, grief-stricken mother take revenge with those glazed-over eyes, her body seemingly moving on its own, was really, really stirring. Loved the ending too, with such cold brutality contrasted with serene, beautiful shots of the woods in morning light.
I never watched the original, so I can't compare this movie. But I've seen practically all recent horror movie remakes and this is, without a doubt, one of the better ones. Good acting performances and a good story. The movie never gets boring, which is a good thing. I'm curious to see how much better the original is. 4/5
Well shot, and the tone was maintained very well. To summarize Stephen King, if this movie had been shot in a foreign language and hit the festival circuit, people would be looking at it differently. Still a bit of a bastardization of Virgin Spring, but a helluva lot better than the Wes Craven film.