Friday, November 14, 2008

Roundtable Discussion - Horror Remakes

A blogger friend of mine and myself came up with the idea the other night of getting a little horror blog roundtable going where we'd get a couple bloggers in a group (virtually...don't worry, we'd never have to actually leave our houses and meet in person) and every so often ask a general question about the genre and each blogger would give their thoughts on that subject on his or her own blog. That's something i'd like to get going in the future, but in the meantime there's a topic i've got a lot to say about that i've only really touched on briefly in the past and I just can't wait to get my voice out there so i'm gonna do it right now. This may be a one man roundtable for now, but if any fellow horror bloggers out there are reading this, share your thoughts on the subject at hand in your own blog and leave me a comment with a link to it! I'm talking to you, New Dawn For The Dead! How about you Final Girl! Come on Zombos' Closet Of Horror! Let's not forget Horror Movie A Day! Alright, so maybe that was just a cheap way to give some plugs to other blogs I like. Sue me.

The topic I wanted to discuss was one we've all discussed before and, like I said, one I have briefly shared my thoughts on in the past, but I really want to get deep into it now. Last night a couple friends and I gathered for our almost every Thursday night ritual of watching a movie and drinking a few beers and this weeks movie, hand picked by yours truly, was Oldboy (second time this week!). After the movie, we had a lengthy discussion about remakes, given that Spielberg and Will Smith want to remake Oldboy, and that's why i'm here right now. To get my views out there on horror movie remakes and really, remakes in general. So lets get into it. This roundtable is really lonely by the way. I didn't think it would feel this way. I feel so...empty inside. But I must press forth!

Ok..so...remakes. Am I against remakes? No i'm not. Do most remakes suck? Yes they do. Why do I keep asking myself questions? I'm not sure. I am not totally 100% against remakes. Remakes can be good. Remakes can be great. Remakes can be better than the original films. It's true! The Scarface with Al Pacino that we all knew and loved before it became ever so popular to know and love was a remake! John Carpenter's The Thing? Remake! Contrary to popular belief, remakes are not a new fad, they've been around ever since movies have been around. How many incarnations of Dracula have we seen? Or Frankenstein? They're all remakes of the same general ideas aka attempts to cash in on the original ideas. But lately, they've became sort of a pandemic. Rarely a week goes by where a movie is released in theatres that isn't a remake in some form or another or at the very least rarely a week goes by where we don't hear about a classic movie being remade on our favorite news sites. If there's a good horror movie out there from the past, chances are it's either already been redone or a redux is in the works. It's kinda sad but, like I said before, it's not always a bad thing. Filmmakers just need to know when to remake and when not to remake and if they do decide to remake, they need to know how to pull it off properly. So lets take a look at some of the best horror remakes and why they worked and some of the worst horror remakes and why they didn't work, shall we? Well, you really have no choice in the matter, so i'll go ahead anyway.

REMAKES THAT WORKED

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, House of Wax, The Hills Have Eyes

These remakes all have one critical quality to them that made them work. The filmmakers took the general idea of the original film and ran with it. A dude wearing other peoples skin killing with a chainsaw. A group of people hiding out in a mall from zombies. People made of wax. A family stuck in the hills surrounded by mutants. They kept these general plots and ideas and made totally different movies out of them. New characters were introduced, existing characters names were changed, new plot ideas were thrown into the mix. While they are remakes, they're more like re-imaginings of the original films, told through someone elses eyes. And that's what makes a remake work. That's what makes a remake good. If you're just gonna take the same movie and basically film a shot for shot remake with different actors, what the fucks the point of that?! We saw how that worked for Van Sant's Psycho. You can even take the general idea of a movie and completely make it your own, like Zombie did with House of 1000 Corpses. He took the blueprint from Texas Chainsaw and drew a whole new image over it, and it was fuckin awesome. Be a little creative!

Another quality these films all have is they are projects made out of passion by filmmakers who loved the original works, as opposed to mere attempts to make a quick buck off someone elses brilliant idea. Take for example Alexandre Aja, who wrote and directed The Hills Have Eyes. One need only look at his many interviews on the matter to realize he truly loved that original film and in fact it was one of the movies he saw in his childhood that got him into horror in the first place. He loved the work, he respected Wes Craven, and he wanted to give the material a fresh new face lift. And what happened? He made a film that was even better than Craven's original. In fact, i'd go as far as to say that all four of these remakes are more entertaining movies than their originals. Am I saying they're better movies or am I trashing the original films? Absolutely not. I really have to stop asking myself questions. Give me the choice between the original Dawn and the remake Dawn on any given day and i'll probably choose the remake. That's all im gonna say.

REMAKES THAT DID NOT WORK

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Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night, Black Christmas, I could go on and on....

Those four prior movies are really the exceptions to the rule as most remakes just plain suck. They suck because, for the most part, they were purely made to cash in and line the wallets of greedy studio heads who really couldn't give two flying fucks about the source material. They need a new wing on their house and they'll rape any classic in the ass to get it. Now I should mention that Halloween was actually a passion piece as Rob Zombie truly does love the original. There were a lot of things that went wrong there, which i'll get into in a second, but the best way I can sum up the failure of Halloween is to say that while Rob did perhaps the best he could, he just plain never should have tackled the material at all. Here's an actual quote from Zombie before he sold out : "I feel it's the worst thing any filmmaker can do (remake a movie). I actually got a call from my agent and they asked me if I wanted to be involved with the remake of Chain Saw. I said no fucking way! Those movies are perfect - you're only going to make yourself look like an asshole by remaking them. You can sound like The Beatles, but you can't be The Beatles." Who looks like the asshole now? Halloween is not really a flawed movie and it really doesn't need to be remade. If Rob had made a badass sequel, that'd be no problem and i'd fully support it and it probably would've rocked. But there was just no reason to remake Halloween. Hills Have Eyes, House of Wax...those movies truthfully benefitted from a remake as they are kinda dated. But that's not to say that a Halloween remake done right wouldn't work, cause I know for sure it could have in the right hands. Then again, if Zombie's hands aren't the right ones, whose are? Ok, enough contradicting myself.

Both Halloween and Black Christmas took a similar path that's becoming a problem with horror remakes. That path being establishing backstory on otherwise mysterious villains. Both the characters of Michael Myers and the Black Christmas killer were so scary and effective because we didn't know shit about 'em! When ya start delving into their pasts and humanzing them, the whole idea of them is flushed right down the toilet! Myers was scary because he was a seemingly inhuman incarnation of evil. In the remake, he's just a lonely sad kid who figures he's got nothing better to do then start killing, presumably because his parents are dirtbags and ya know, all the typical serial killer type shit. That's probably the biggest flaw of Zombie's take on the material because it sucked the life (or death) completely out of the material.

So why do these bad remakes not work? It can all be summed up by the simple fact that they're made out of greed for money rather than passion for the material. Also, because they don't bring anything new to the table, which is a result of the lack of passion. It's the same movie remade for a modern audience, with nothing new and creative to speak of. That's all the makings for a serious remake flop.

So i think the general idea here is, if you have something new to offer and want to expand the material while loving and paying the utmost respect to that material, by all means go for it. If that's not the case, don't ever fuckin touch the movie and either let someone else take care of it or just leave it alone. I do wanna mention that while all i've seen is a trailer, I am in support of the My Bloody Valentine remake because the 3D aspect is definetly a new take on the story, which is exactly what a redux needs.

Now what I do have a real problem with is the awful trend that's been going on lately of remaking foreign films that just came out a year or two ago. It's as if the movies to be remade well is even now running dry and now we're just reaching for anything we can grab our hands onto. Foreign filmmakers, especially with horror, are still churning out new and totally original material, so we're just stealing their shit and Americanizing it. This is a truly disturbing trend. Can American audiences really not bear to read subtitles? I like what Tarantino did with that Jet Li movie Hero. He didn't remake it, he just brought it to the states and slapped his name on it so that people would go out and see a foreign movie that he loved. Why can't everyone else follow his lead and give that same treatment to these brilliant foreign films instead of passing them off as their own? What's really disturbing is that a good 80% of the movie going audience doesn't even know these movies are remakes. They just think Americans are all creative and shit. Although I will say that sometimes, a remake increases the exposure of the original film, which is a good thing.

Movies like Oldboy, Let The Right One In, and REC have ALREADY either been remade or are on their way to being remade. Oldboy came out in '03. Let The Right One In came out this year. REC came out this year. REC is not even out on dvd in America yet. What the fuck is this all about!? Going back to the reason bad remakes flop from before, there's really nothing new you can provide with these movies, so they're destined to suck. And even if they do make a lot of money, where's the pride in stealing a foreign dudes ideas? But I guess this isn't about pride, is it? Oldboy is an absolute masterpiece of modern filmmaking and dare I say it's, at least in my opinion, the best movie ever made. You can't make it better! There's nothing new to add! Maybe in 30 years when there are new technologies out there it can be done. But right now? Leave it the fuck alone! For god's sake Hollywood, come up with your own fucking ideas for once.

To sum up, don't hate on a remake before you even see it because they don't all suck. I support remakes if they're done for the right reasons and some of them have even become my favorite horror movies in the past several years, so how can I hate? Let's just stick to remaking movies that could benefit from it and let's not touch foreign movies that came out less than 15 years ago. I realize that movies have been around for so long that coming up with new and original ideas is a bit of a pain in the ass, but to say that everythings already been done and there's no hope for coming up with new shit is such a cop out. Use your fuckin brain. There's ideas all around us. The foreigners are doing it, why can't we? Unless by giving up and stealing their shit you're actively admitting that Americans are just not as smart as they. Which may sadly be the case...

Thanks to these dudes for participating in this discussion! Check out their thoughts on the matter...
New Dawn For The Dead
Nefarious Films

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I very much agree whole-heartedly with your rant here. I agree that a remake can be better than it's original and that bashing a remake for the sake of it being a remake is just wrong (I personally think that the Assault on Precinct 13 remake was better than Carpenter's original, but I seem to be alone in this opinion).

I couldn't help but smile when you mentioned people's aversion to subtitles. I went with a couple of friends to see Mongol earlier this year (amazing movie), but I was surprised at the reaction of one of my friends when he saw it was in a foreign language and had to be subtitled. He can't stand reading when he watches movies and can only watch foreign language movies when they're dubbed. He ended up seeing Wanted instead. I personally prefer subtitles because I can't stand when the audio is not in sync with the visual and there's bound to be problems with even the best of dubbing.

I gotta say one thing, though. Michal Haneke did a shot-for-shot remake of his own movie Funny Games, and it was brilliant. He summed it up perfectly when he said that it was an anti-Tarantino movie; a movie that tortures its audiences instead of entertaining them. Certainly a must-watch.

Anonymous said...

One problem.


All of your examples of remakes that "worked" are complete steaming piles.

John said...

To each his own, my friend

Anonymous said...

Good article. I like the little nod to Carpenter's "The Thing." I had the fortune of watching Hawk's version first and then JC's. Both are completely different films about different eras. I must say JC's version is more fitting for me because I didn't grow up in the cold war era.
With that in mind...The Sad part about most of the revamps is the fact that most people don't know they are remakes: Much like a Tarantino film, people don't know the film or films being copied. In the end the newer film gets all the praise while the old one is forgotten.
I still like Hawk's version of "The Thing," however I cannot put it above JC's. Much like most people I know LOVE Zombie's "Halloween" over JC's version. That is a hard topic because Zombie's film is a cookie cutter with a dash of back story. Whereas JC's "The Thing" is more of a homage to Hawks.

Elan said...

I very much agree with you about foreign remakes and am just as horrified of the Spielberg Oldboy. I just actually posted about that! Good article.

Anonymous said...

that's really funny you think house of wax was a good remake. obviously you need to sit down and rewatch that piece of crap of a movie. halloween remake is much better than the house of wax remake.

you know nothing of horror. remakes are pointless and an insult to the originals. vincent price probably is rolling over in his grace right now.

tigerjo said...

I REALLY LIKE THIS IDEA.MAYBE WE COULD GET A BIT OF POWER TO OUR COLLECTIVE ELBOWS WE COULD FORCE(ALBEIT WITH CHAINSAWS)THE QUALITY OF THE HORROR MOVIE.LETS FACE IT GUYS THEY AINT WHAT THEY USED TO BE.YEH! LETS FORM A ROUND TABLE,OR EVEN A JAGGED ONE

FFR said...

Nice work here, John. Your are spot-on with your Halloween comments. We did a similiar examination of horror remakes here: http://featurefilmreview.com/New%20Commentary/Horror_Remakes.html

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you could say Rob Zombie was a fan of the original Halloween, considering how off the mark his film and his interpretation of Michael Myers was. Rob turned Michael into Leatherface, which is ironic given the quote you posted.

I do, however, agree that all horror remakes are not bad. I wasn't crazy about the Chainsaw Massacre remake because I thought R. Lee Emery was too recognizable and that detracted from his role.

Dawn of the Dead and Hills Have Eyes worked. House of Wax I thought was okay too. I do miss when horror films had no-names in them, I think the star power at times can detract from the story.

Let us hope they don't remake Henry: Portait of a Serial Killer with Jamie Kennedy.

Hornacek said...

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, House of Wax, The Hills Have Eyes remakes WORKED?!?

I guess if by "worked" you mean "they sucked ass and were not worth paying money to see in the theatre, let alone renting".

Real zombies don't run. And any film starring Paris Hilton is a failure by definition.

Nik Holmes said...

Excellent post as usual, and have to agree that all your examples of remakes that work are all personal faves of mine and all the four that didn't were, for me, a real chore to sit through. Halloween really bummed me out as it was just a real brutal, nasty experience that didn't sit well with me next to the fat free ride that is the original Halloween. Had Zombie channeled this work into his own slasher flick he may have even had something great on his hands, but shoehorning all his ideas into the lean slice of pure cinema that is Halloween was a real shame for all involved.

For me, personally, Texas and Dawn are on a par with the originals, and stripped of all historical context I believe anyone unfamiliar would agree that the remakes deliver on the promises these films make. House of Wax I just loved as I had no real expectations and the minute he glued the heroines lips together and then snipped off her finger my interest was piqued considerably.

Of course not everyone will ever agree, but then again there will always be those people who thought Jason X was a better idea than the F13 reboot.

As for Black Christmas, adding the back story to the killer is to me the ultimate example of people completely missing the point of what made the movie great in the first place.

Jack said...

I also feel that trashing a remake before you see it is pointless. There have been some that definitely outshone the originals (though yes, it's rare). I personally like Ring a lot more than Ringu, and I am looking forward to what they do with Let The Right One In. I think Van Sant's remake of Psycho was weak, and shot for shot isn't that appealing to me... but I have no problem with reusing the same script (as they say, this is done on stage all the time). If there's a great script, let's see a different director's take on it with a new cast.

Bellzy said...

I agree with everything you are saying. I was so outraged when I heard they are remaking Oldboy. I do however disagree with House of Wax being a successful remake. Yes the original is a bit out of date but the new one is terrible. Good idea to remake the film, but poor execution.

Bellzy said...

I would love to be part of a roundtable. I do not primarily write about horror but I definitely have a strong interest for it.

http://bellbowski.blogspot.com/2008/10/all-work-and-no-play-makes-chris-dull.html
http://bellbowski.blogspot.com/2008/11/serenity-now.html

Anonymous said...

Dude, all of your 'remakes that worked' sucked and the new Rob Zombie Halloween wasn't that bad.

Remakes don't work because they take the exact copy of a classic, add in as many diva stars as possible, tear apart the plot, and make it generally suck. Like House of Wax for instance!

Why not put a good horror remake to prove your point like Cape Fear?

Demerson said...

Yeahhh, I'm gonna have to agree, the remakes you picked that you claim to have worked I thought were pretty terrible.

The only way I could justify a remake was if the original was horrible and didn't live up to the potential of the characters and story.

Tango Kash said...

A very good rant. I agree with your picks for good remakes, but I think (especially since you didn't talk about them) I'd replace The Fog or Prom Night with The Omen. It's a horror movie, that's not a slasher, that was a horrible remake. It was one of those "shot for shot" remakes that you were talking about. How is it so much worse from the original you ask (now you've got me asking questions to myself)? The actors. You blamed the directors for making these horrible remakes, but I think one important part you left out were the actors. Most of these remakes have young actors who couldn't act their way out of a paper bag. The actors who were in the originals were young, but have passion for what they were doing. I think that's something that most actors are missing now in horror movies.

By the way, this is my first time to your blog, and I'll defiantly be back.

Jess Duran said...

First off, Carpenter's "The Thing" is NOT a remake. It's a second adaptation of "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell. It's based on the book, not on the 1951 movie.

Personally, I found nothing compelling about the remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "House of Wax." Both had the same problem as most other horror films: they featured a bunch of characters that audiences didn't care about. This is a HUGE problem with modern horror. We generally WANT to see the characters killed. Which is why I share your positive evaluaion of "The Hills Have Eyes" a film in which we wanted to see the main characters survive. Same goes for "Dawn of the Dead", though to a lesser extent.

As for the horror remakes you mentioned as having not worked, I agree with all of your picks save "Halloween" which I LOVED every moment of, write down to the brilliantly acted scream at the end, which recalled the ending of the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Then again, I was never much of a fan of the original "Halloween" to begin with. Zombie's throughly human, unsymbolic version of Myers was far more compelling to me than anything in the original film.

Jason Takes Portland said...

I agree with most of what you said (I hated the Texas Chainsaw remake). I think Hollywood should come up with a rule that a movie can not be remade or "rebooted" unless the source material is 30 years old.

I am scared to death about the Friday the 13th remake and the rumored Nightmare on Elm Street remake (both with ties to Michael Bay). Is nothing sacred?

Scott Emerson said...

The most troubling aspect for me about the recent glut of remakes isn't their quantity, but their approach. Whereas the 1980's remake boom took hokey B pictures and gave them either an element of depth and emotion (Cronenberg's THE FLY) or improved FX and increased intensity (Carpenter's THE THING) to make a good movie. Today, filmmakers are taking quality pictures and reducing them to generic, formulaic quickies.

It also leads to films like MIRRORS, a remake of a Korean film which ripped off several J-Horror tropes, creating a movie that was creatively void and interminable from the first reel.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ninety percent of your article. The one thing that I disagree with is House of Wax. I did not think that was a good movie at all. The only part that was entertaining for myself and the rest of the audience was the death of Paris Hilton. It was only fitting that when the pole went thru her head and out the other side, there was NO brain matter on it whatsoever. She's a vapid whore and even the director acknowledged it with that scene.
That also leads me to my other point I feel was missed. The successful movie remakes had actors in it. Actors, not teens that are here one week and forgotten the next, but people that have been around for a while and proven their talent. Ted Levine from Silence of the Lambs was in HHE, Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames were in DOTD, and even though TCM used teens, most of them are still working today and considered to be decent young actors.
While having lesser known teens isn't always a death sentence for movies, all the bad remakes are perfect examples of these casting choices. Also the teens that are used that do have actual talent are almost never the leads and get killed off too soon.
Anyways, kudos to your article, it's about time someone address the lack of creative balls in Hollywood nowadays, and here's to hoping they don't bastardize the brilliant Oldboy!!!

The Doug said...

You had me until you listed the Paris Hilton House of Wax in your "good" remake category. Gus van Sant's "Psycho" was a better remake.

John said...

A lot of House of Wax hate here. Figured that'd be the case but I thought that movie was awesome and I don't care what anyone says!

And to anyone who wanted to be a part of future roundtables...next time I post one, just write up your thoughts on your own blog and link to mine and i'll link to yours! Easy as that

Anonymous said...

You contradict yourself when criticize the Halloween and Black Christmas remakes for adding back stories about their killers and then saying the remakes that didn't work don't bring anything new to the table.

John said...

Well, there's a difference between bringing something new to the table and bringing something new to the table that takes everything away from what made the original so good. Ya gotta keep the good, trim out the bad, and add some of your own good.

Taking Leatherface's chainsaw away from him would be bringing something new to the table, right? Does that make it a good idea?

Cindy said...

Ah the interwebs.:)
I find that the remake debate is quite a hot topic on the internet and have gotten into a few debates on if remakes suck or not.
Anyways, I think you're pretty spot on for remakes. I think you need the following for a good remake a)A fresh angle on an old story b)the creator having a love of the original material or of its genre and/or C)Flawed material to begin with.
If a remake takes two out of those three things I listed, chances are I'd find the remake watchable. Frankly, I loved the Dawn of the Dead remake. I thought it was scary, sharp, and fun. And I get annoyed with people who scream how horrible it was and they haven't even seen it. But I digress.
As for foreign remakes, I tend to sit on the fence with them. I really think that if the remake obeys the A,B and/or C listed above that you can really have a great US remake of a film. Unfortunately most US remakes are of films that really do NOT need a remake. Not to mention that sometimes producers feel the need to tack on a happy ending...I'm looking at YOU The Vanishing...for no good reason. A happy ending in a horror film should only come when it is justified in the storyline...same in tune with a sad ending...but yet again...I digress and that is another arguement for another time;).
I truly do think that if a foreign film is marketed correctly in the US that people will see it reguardless of subtitles. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and Kung Fu Hustle were decent moneymakers here in the US and I don't believe they were dubbed in the theater.
I better stop now before I continue babbling.
on a completely random note, a co-worker just gave me a copy of the movie Poultry-geist. If you're interrested, I'll let you know if its worth the view/laugh.:)

John said...

Just got Poultrygeist in the mail the other day from Netflix! Haven't watched it yet though

Anonymous said...

Great article, however, I disagree with including "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as one of the successes, because just as with "Halloween" the original was perfect and doesn't feel dated when you watch it. The remake (while certainly a better film than the Halloween remake) offers nothing new other than increased gore and torture, which is in my opinion the worst trend of horror movies. Same plot, same setting, almos exact same characters but now with torture porn = pointless remake.

scpllck said...

The contradiction that I find peculiar in your argument is the rant against "backstory" for killers. I'm in total agreement that Michael's nature is terrifying because we don't know enough about him in the original "Halloween". The same thing is true about Leatherface in the TCM original. The remake of TCM was dreadful for the main reason that it tried to explain Leatherface. "Did you ever think about MY BOY?" WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT? Tobe Hooper was a brilliant artist. He knew how to create terror in our heads. He didn't have to spill buckets of blood. We felt them. That remake did nothing but make me laugh.

John said...

I didn't mind the little bits of backstory in the TCM remake. It wasn't until TCM: The Beginning that they really delved far into Leatherface past and that I will say I did not like.

Anonymous said...

Your basis of comparison is absolutely horrible. You were on a decent track when you mentioned the "The Thing" but do you honestly believe House of Wax, Hills, Dawn, and TCM were actually good? C'mon now...Hills Have Eyes and Texas were just window dressing...updated effects and no horror what-so-ever. House of Wax was just awful in all respects, but what astounded me the most was your comment of taking the Dawn remake over the original? That was another example of window dressing. The original Dawn was a great perspective look on human consumption and obsessions with material goods. That's why they didn't want to leave the mall, that's why the zombies "mindlessly" went to the mall. The story was also fantastic with lots of interesting time in between to get to know the characters and understand them. It was more than just an indie horror film and that's what made it so special. Technically; in the remake, they spent 40 minutes at most in the mall, introduced so many characters that you don't care about, and completely got lost in why the original film was such a pillar in american horror. Zach Snyder is a talented director and he proved that with 300 and in the upcoming Watchmen. However, saying that the remake was better than the original basically made your stock plummet. The remake was honestly mediocre at best. The Thing WAS a great remake and so was say...The Fly? There are a myriad of examples you could've used man.

John said...

Did I say the Dawn remake was better than the original? I'm as big a fan of the original as anyone else. I said the Dawn remake is more entertaining and therefore i'd rather watch it on any given day. If we're talking better more fleshed out important meaningful film, the original wins hands down. But i'm talking entertainment value here.

Can we just discuss our opinions on remakes instead of bashing one another for said opinions? One man's shit movie is anothers favorite. Nobodys opinion is the wrong one.

Anonymous said...

Good article, but I'm surprised you didn't bring up the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake in 78 with Donald Sutherland. It was a big improvement from the original.

Anonymous said...

House of Wax - Really????!!!! Should I put that down to sarcasm on your behalf!

I'll back the other Anonymous poster on this point, but say Vincent Price didnt roll over in his grave, he got out of his grave and set fire to the set.

Anonymous said...

I think u are mainly right about a few things like john carpenters the thing but I really disagree with your opinion of house of wax and hills have eyes remakes.The ideas were ok but you really need good acting aswell as directing.The house of wax remake in particular was poor on the acting front especially paris hilton she was awful.The directing wasnt to bad but in general it was a bad movie. The hills have eyes remake sure had different ideas but it wasnt brilliant and again the acting wasnt too brill.Now as for Halloween remake it was far better than the original it had a totally different take and zombie did fantastically well with what he could with the movie and yes he definately loved the original and you could tell his passion.The acting was great too especially the young michael meyers and his mom.In general movie remakes can be good and have potential to be better but I agree in the most part that they are poor and hollywood need to come up with new ideas.Im from england and alot of recent british horror films are original ideas or if not different takes on other ideas.Take creep for example very low budget and most of the money was spent on the actors which was a benefit because the acting was great but generally it was a new idea too.Also dog soldiers was a good new take on the werewolf genre also with good acting and a low budget if you aint seen them I advise it and you could post it and let me know what you think.

John said...

Loved Dog Soldiers and I haven't yet seen Creep but i've been meaning to. It was actually just on Monsters HD the other night

QUINN said...

yes i liked this a lot. i thoroughly agree with your statement that remakers should stick with a one sentence plot synopsis and not much or nothing else.

another thing i'd like to hear you go off on is stuff like lost boys 2, hack remake attitude, but a sequel instead.

John said...

I reviewed Lost Boys 2 a while back, check it out to the right!

Anonymous said...

I do agree that remakes can be good, although like a lot of people on this board i don't think the TCM and House of Wax remakes are the greatest examples, but they werent completely bad either. They are definitely more watchable than the latest J-horror remakes. And the Halloween remake I'm not sure about, it had it's merits and I appreciate what Zombie was trying to do, i thought it was better than the typical remake but definitely not better than the original. I think the success of the remake has a lot to do with how popular the original is. Among the mainstream public, Halloween and Psycho are the most recognizable and most iconic which is why the remakes didnt strike a chord with audiences. Ask the typical movie-goer about The Hills Have Eyes(mind you I'm not talking about a horror fan here) and they will only remember the remake. This is why Zack Snyder took a big risk with Dawn of the Dead because to horror fans it is an iconic movie, but there are a lot of people in the mainstream public who have either never heard of it or seen it. It worked for horror fans because it didn't do the same things as the original and as George Romero said "It's a good action movie."

Anonymous said...

I'll make this brief. I actually agree about Hills Have Eyes, Dawn of the Dead, and House of Wax. Having seen the originals (two of which I own), I can say that I like the remakes as much as the originals. Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though? Terrible, terrible. Both were simply too bleak and completely uninteresting. I just wanted everyone to die. Ugh. Now, I wholeheartedly support the belief that foreign horror films are superior to American horror these days. God bless (bloody) subtitles! I also agree that remaking a foreign film before it's even out of theaters in its home country is stupid sh*t. However, that being said, I believe that Quarantine (remade from [REC]) is an intense and thrilling experience. I thought it was great. If the original is in fact better, then I hope that whenever the DVD is released in the U.S., I will literally crap myself watching it. Thank ya.

Matt Nefarious said...

Good points well made sir! Except for that stuff about the Texas Chainsaw remake being anything other than a big ol' pile of festering cat sick.

Read my contribution to your round table discussion topic over at Nefarious Films here:

http://www.nefariousfilmreviews.webeden.co.uk/#/featurebeyondreimaginator/4531950725

keep me informed of future discussions dude and I'll chip in!

Nice site by the way!
Matt Nefarious