Eli Roth is a director who’s made a career out of crafting horror films loaded with scenes of over the top blood and gore, as evidenced in such works as Hostel and Cabin Fever. Most of his films harken back to the days of the 60s, 70s and 80s when those types of films cropped up on a regular basis. Since Roth seems to have an appreciation for that sort of thing you’d think he’d be the perfect director to tackle a remake of the 1974 classic Death Wish. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prove to be the case, which is more of a surprise than anything found in the film.

Death Wish 2018 takes the same plot structure as the original film—man becomes a vigilante after his wife and daughter are brutally attacked—and reworks things in a way that surprisingly has less emotional impact than the original film did all those years ago. For instance, the scene where the main character Paul Kersey’s (Bruce Willis) wife and daughter are attacked were much more emotionally involving and disturbing the first time out, and this is a film that requires the audience to be disturbed in order for it to understand Kersey’s reasons for taking the law into his own hands.

Roth does manage to toss in some gore when Kersey becomes judge, jury and executioner in an effort to clean up the streets but the whole endeavor is just a bit too polished and by the numbers. That’s certainly a first for an Eli Roth film.

Death Wish is playing in Hickory and all over this area.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.