This new form of “Straw Dogs” is a sensibly close adjustment of the 1971 film by Sam Peckinpah. Change the area from England to Mississippi, change a mathematician into a screenwriter, keep the bear trap and the feline discovered choked, and it recounts a similar story. It is just as vicious. I thought that it was instinctive, irritating and well-made.
James Marsden and Kate Bosworth star in the parts initially played by Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, as a scholarly and his better half who move to a country territory where he can work undisturbed. There is something about this man and his hot spouse that irritates local people down at the bar, and what starts as an unobtrusive rivalry over regional rights (in the Darwinian sense) raises unyieldingly into an out and out deadly battle.