State of Remakes (Jan.05) by MikeC.
I really wanted to write this article and truly stand up and defend the
slew of recent horror remakes and those that are about to be made. I really
did. I was going to start by writing, "Sometimes a horror remake
can work really well, for example, David Cronenbergs 'The Fly'.
Yes, it was a remake, but it took the basic idea of the original and expanded
on it in ways for the modern 80's audience. It played on the fear of the
AIDS crisis, fear of science. It manages to be a work of art, not just
a horror film". I was going to write that, but, er, see, as it turns
out "The Fly" is the one of the only horror remakes I
can remember being any good.
there is a lot of controversy among horror fans brewing about the
upcoming remakes of "The Fog" and "The
Evil Dead". Now, lets be fair to the "The
Fog" remake: John Carpenter and Debra Hill
have both just given their approval of "Stigmata"
director Rupert Wainwright to helm the project. And lets
face it... that John Carpenter does know a thing or
two about making a decent remake (wink, wink). And Sam Raimi
is also producing the "Evil Dead" remake and is
rumored to be searching out a Japanese horror director to give his
own spin on the story. Both of these projects certainly sound like
theyre off to a proper start.
middle and end well, I found the mall citizens a little cartoonish
to really grab onto. Yet, both remakes delivered some good scares, but
you know, I really dont feel like I need to ever see either of those
movies again. Theyre nice but, there really isnt much
to either of them except the "boo" factor.
I know that Rob G., and myself have honestly enjoyed a couple of
recent "big" remakes. Rob is fan of the "Texas
Chainsaw" remake.* I didnt
care for it, but I didnt think it was all that awful. Its
not like they had a CGI Leatherface running around in bullet-time
(Im giving out bad ideas, arent I?). When we
saw the "Dawn of the Dead" remake I thought the
first 20 minutes of it were as intense as anything I could remember
seeing in recent years. The movie opens under a thick, intense feeling
of dread and then bursts into such kinetic violence that my doubts
about the scare-worthiness of fast zombies was immediately put to
* (editor's note: Robg thought the new Texas was ok. But no where near
as classic as the original.)
what is the point of all this remaking? Is horror dead again and
flat out of ideas? Of course not. Its less about "running
out of ideas" than it is about "afraid to take some risks".
Why would a studio or distributor want risk their millions and millions
of dollars on an unproven idea when they could just remake "Friday
the 13th", tack a new Nickleback song onto the end credits,
and call it day?
I mean, where have the
mavericks and risk takers gone in HollywWait a second, what the
hell am I talking about? Ok, so Sam Raimi and John Carpenter
are remaking "Evil Dead" and "The Fog"
probably with big studio money, fancy CGI effects and a soundtrack featuring
whatever big-pants wearing metal band has the fanciest facial hair that
month, so what? Will the movies be any good? We know that they will probably
look very goodwell produced, sufficiently budgeted, the cast will
be attractive young actors (probably from some WB drama).
what will these movies mean to anyone? "Evil Dead"
and its sequel was a unique and revolutionary blend of great
comedy and ferocious, energetic horror. Will the remake be that?
"The Fog" is one of the most beautifully shot mood
pieces in modern horror will the remake be just as creepy
to look at? What, exactly, is the impact of these films going to
be, other than, in most cases, to make the original films look even
richer? Look at the remakes of "Texas Chainsaw"
and "Dawn" again: Tobe Hoopers "Texas
Chainsaw" was a reaction to the violent, restless times
of the late 60's and early 70's. Romeros "Dawn"
was a cleverly disguised commentary on the consumer mentality. We
are living in violent, restless, uncertain times again.
remakes of these films take the opportunity to comment on that, really?
Hardly. Instead, we look back to the originals and think to ourselves,
"Man, these guys were really ahead of their time".