Straw Dogs

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Straw Dogs is a 2011 American thriller film directed, produced, and written by Rod Lurie. It is a remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 film of the same name, in turn based on the Gordon Williams novel The Siege of Trencher's Farm.

Plot

Los Angeles scriptwriter David Sumner (James Marsden) and his wife, TV actress Amy Sumner (Kate Bosworth), move to Blackwater, Mississippi, where Amy grew up, to rebuild Amy's recently deceased father's house, and so that David can finish a script. David meets Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie Venner (Alexander Skarsgård) and his friends Norman (Rhys Coiro), Chris (Billy Lush) and Bic (Drew Powell), whom he hires to fix the house's roof, which was recently destroyed by a tornado. David also meets former football coach Tom Heddon (James Woods), whose 15-year-old daughter Janice (Willa Holland) is attracted to a local mentally handicapped man, Jeremy Niles (Dominic Purcell), who lives with his brother Daniel (Walton Goggins). Heddon often bullies Jeremy, who may have committed a crime in the past, and believes Jeremy is stalking his daughter.

Charlie and his friends begin taunting David, who is initially condescending to their customs. The taunting escalates into harassment as they make crude remarks towards Amy and play loud music to annoy David and prevent him from working on his screenplay. They break into the house and strangle the couple's cat while they are at a social gathering. David is hesitant to confront the men about the cat's death without evidence of their involvement, so Amy does it. Shortly thereafter, while David is away hunting with the men, Charlie breaks into the house and rapes Amy. While she is recovering, Norman appears and rapes her as well.

David returns, having been abandoned in the woods by the men, but Amy doesn't tell him about the rape. David fires the men the following day. At Amy's insistence, they go to a local football game, where Amy and Charlie meet. Meanwhile, Janice takes Jeremy to an empty locker area and attempts to give him a blow job. Heddon notices her absence and begins looking for her. Jeremy, scared of Heddon, puts his hand over Janice's mouth to silence her, accidentally smothering her to death. He runs away just as Heddon informs Charlie and his friends of Janice's disappearance and deduces that Jeremy has done something to her.

Amy becomes uncomfortable with Charlie and asks David to take her home. On the way, she tells him she wants to return to Los Angeles, surprising him and causing him to accidentally run over Jeremy. David and Amy take him to their home and call Sheriff John Burke (Laz Alonso). Heddon finds out and goes to David and Amy's house with Charlie, Norman, Chris and Bic. Heddon confronts David, but David says he will only turn Jeremy over to the state authorities. Heddon attempts to shoot David but kills Burke. David then takes Amy and Jeremy to the bedroom and prepares to fight off the men.

Chris attempts to break into the house through a window, so David nails his hand to the wall with a nail gun, then tells him he hopes the glass slits his throat. When Heddon tries to follow, David burns his face with boiling vegetable oil. Heddon and Charlie decide to ram one of the house's walls with Charlie's pick-up truck. They succeed, but Charlie is momentarily knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, David overpowers Heddon, takes his shotgun and shoots him first in the foot, then in the chest, killing him. He then beats Bic to death with a fireplace poker. Upstairs, Amy and Jeremy are attacked by Norman who has climbed through a window with a ladder. Norman is preparing to rape Amy again when David and Charlie appear. Charlie and Norman turn on David, giving Amy the opportunity to shoot Norman with Charlie's shotgun, killing him.

David and Charlie fight, and Charlie overpowers David. As he prepares to kill him, Amy aims on Charlie with his shotgun. Charlie says that it is out of shells but the distraction gives David the opportunity to kill him by smashing his head with a nearby bear trap. David, Amy and Jeremy stand over the dead bodies. Approaching sirens are heard and David announces that "he got them all."

Cast

Production

Rod Lurie wrote and directed the remake of Straw Dogs which was scheduled for release on February 25, 2011. However the date was pushed to September 16, 2011.

The remake stars James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård, James Woods, Dominic Purcell, Willa Holland,[4]Walton Goggins,[5]Rhys Coiro[6] and Laz Alonso.[7]

The film began shooting on August 16, 2009 in Shreveport[4][8] and Vivian, Louisiana.[9]

The film was shown at Brandeis University in a special pre-release screening on September 8.[citation needed]

Critical reception

Straw Dogs received mixed to negative reviews; it currently holds a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus "This remakes streamlines the plot but ultimately makes a fatal mistake: It celebrates violence."[10] On Metacritic, which uses an average of the critics' reviews, holds a 48/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 out of a possible 4 stars, and states "This new version of "Straw Dogs" is a reasonably close adaptation of the 1971 film by Sam Peckinpah. Change the location from England to Mississippi, change a mathematician into a screenwriter, keep the bear trap and the cat found strangled, and it tells the same story. It is every bit as violent. I found it visceral, disturbing and well-made."[12]

Box office

The film opened on September 16, 2011 with $1,980,000[13] and would gross $5 million by September 18.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Straw Dogs (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 2011-08-26. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/BFF281018/. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  2. ^ Kaufman, Amy (September 15, 2011). "Movie Projector: 3-D version of 'Lion King' to reign at box office". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/09/box-office-lion-king-straw-dogs-drive-.html. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Straw Dogs at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ a b Michael Fleming (2009-08-16). "Cast set for 'Straw Dogs' remake". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118007327.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  5. ^ Justin Kroll (2009-08-11). "Walton Goggins". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118007164.html?categoryid=28&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  6. ^ Justin Chang (2009-08-23). "Rhys Coiro". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118007616.html?categoryid=28&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  7. ^ Justin Kroll (2009-09-02). "Laz Alonso". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118008053.html?categoryId=28&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  8. ^ "Straw Dogs (2010)". ComingSoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/films.php?id=49005. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Sony Screen Gems' Violent Confrontation with 'Straw Dogs' Delayed". Bloody-Disgusting.com. http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/19285. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  10. ^ Straw Dogs at Rotten Tomatoes
  11. ^ Straw Dogs at Metacritic
  12. ^ "Straw Dogs :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Roger Ebert. 2011-09-14. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110914/REVIEWS/110919991. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  13. ^ "Straw Dogs (2011) (2011) - Daily Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. 2011-09-18. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=strawdogs10.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
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