‘Straw Dogs’ Trailer: James Marsden Spits On Your Grave

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

Straw Dogs remake trailer Straw Dogs Trailer: James Marsden Spits On Your Grave

What’s a day in the movie blogosphere without news about a Hollywood remake? The cinematic reworking in question today is Straw Dogs, a contemporary take on Sam Peckinpah’s controversial 1971 thriller about a spiraling cycle of senseless violence and revenge involving a married couple (Dustin Hoffman and Susan George) and the locals of a small English village.

Rod Lurie (Nothing But the Truth) wrote and directed the Straw Dogs remake, with James Marsden (Hop) and Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns) now playing the married couple – and a change in setting from England to the southern U.S.

The Straw Dogs trailer suggests that the remake otherwise looks to (by and large) stick to the plot of Peckinpah’s original film – namely, that the wife (who grew up in the Southern town) rekindles ties with the locals, including her ex-boyfriend Charlie (True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgård). Tensions build in the couple’s marriage as old feelings and conflicts re-emerge, eventually leading to a brutal and violent showdown.

Peckinpah’s original feature was not only one of several violent films that made a splash when they hit theaters in 1971 (along with the likes of A Clockwork Orange, Dirty Harry, and Last House on the Left), it remains a divisive title today for a brutal rape scene – and due to criticisms that the movie actually endorses, rather than condemns, vigilantism.

So, that begs the question: In the age of Saw movies and a gluttony of Hollywood productions that aim to be grisly and gritty examinations of violence, can a new version of Straw Dogs really stand out as anything but yet another (possibly exploitative) tale of revenge?

You can ponder that question while watching the Straw Dogs trailer (via Yahoo! Movies) below:

This trailer certainly makes Straw Dogs look like a grim revenge tale – and while watching Marsden transform from a mild-mannered academic into a violent warrior seeking retribution probably won’t be as startling as seeing the refined Hoffman turn into a sociopath in Peckinpah’s original film, Lurie’s decision to cast the X-Men actor seems like a wise one. Bosworth doesn’t have much to do here as the beautiful wife who is brutalized by her ex, but Skarsgård and his costars appear to be at risk of coming across less as savages who hide their true nature beneath a civilized veneer – and more like just plain hammy villains.

Lurie’s film is scheduled for theatrical release this year in mid-September, which doesn’t bode well for it being anything other than an unmemorable remake that lacks the bite of its predecessor. On the other hand, some knock-out dramatic thrillers have hit theaters during that month in the past (see last year’s The Town) – but it’s probably best for now to not expect lightning to strike again.

Straw Dogs hits theaters in the U.S. on September 16th.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

TAGS: Straw dogs
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  1. Looks cool. I love revenge movies tho

  2. The original is one if my favorite movies, and this looks to keep everything that was good about the original intact. Let’s hope the rape scene and climax have the same depth as the original. Better be rated R.

    • Agreed. I’m cool with remakes – they introduce the story to a new generation. I think this could be great cuz I read somewhere that it will be rated R so that probably means they’re not pulling any punches.

  3. The original was controversial because it glorified and romanticized rape instead of showing it for what it really was – a sick demented assault on a helpless victim.

    I wonder if this version will be changed to fit with our modern times? Some say the villain will attempt to rape the woman but will be stopped and likely murdered – most likely by her or by her husband.

    Whatever the case may be, I seriously doubt they will replicate the rape scene like it occurred in the original. It won’t be anything like that. I can’t imagine the director ever working again in Hollywood if he did.

    • Did you see the remake of Last House on the Left, it had a very visceral rape scene, worse than Susan Georges. I think they can have one like the original in this remake without much controversy.

      • The only reason the original was controversial was because of the times and Susan Georges character appeared to enjoy it somewhat, because she still had feelings for Charlie and Mr. Sumner was neglecting her, she was enjoying the attention IMO. It wasn’t until Charlie’s friend raped her that it was real to her what had been done. She had flashbacks and was traumatized later in the movie. Anyway I disagree with you that they couldn’t replicate that scene and its intentions, considering the impact the movie has as a whole on fine cinema, now will they, that is yet to be determined.

  4. I’ve seen the original. This looks like a cheap money-grabber.

  5. Director Rod Lurie isn’t a hack, but he could use a hit and perhaps that’s why he signed on for this remake.

    Will be curious to hear him describe the film and why he tackled it. The original packs a punch for all the reasons listed above. Making the new “Dogs” just another revenge tale does the original a disservice. But how can the remake poke our 2011 sensibilities? I fear even asking it to do so is unrealistic.

    • The Contender is another one of my favorites which is why I have faith in Lurie. I don’t think this remake can capture the tones if the original because times have changed, but I think they can examine what is now socially norm and push those buttons of a 21st century audience. I don’t know what that could be, but this crew has the credintials to know.

  6. to me, this looked like something from like 70s… until is saw the ipod

  7. what the f*@k!!!!!! this is blasphemus!!!! the original is a film that helped define 70’s filmmaking. as this will do for filmmaking today, unoriginal garbage. so disappointed in this.

  8. is this some alternate reality film where perry white’s nephew ACTUALLY marries lois lane??? lol

  9. Don’t care how bad people seem to think it is… if it’s trash, don’t care…Skarsgard is in it. Thought him and bosworth were/are an item?