That is the essence of the original Straw Dogs. That boiling tension of the original is mostly missing from the remake. It becomes a fruitless effort to endlessly compare the two films, which are the same at the surface but so different at their core. Taking the remake on its own, it is an entertaining thriller with a bigger reach than its grasp. It attempts some of the same character exploration, but hardly offers anything new. The 2011 Straw Dogs ends up being ordinary in the end. It is not a bad movie, but it won’t be a remembered movie.
The DVD of Straw Dogs contains an audio commentary by the film’s writer and director Rod Lurie. Also included are four informative featurettes, the best of which is “Courting Controversy: Remaking a Classic.” As the title suggests, this featurette addresses the perils of trying to update a highly respected film. The other featurettes are more technical in nature, dealing with the film’s casting, stunts, and production design.