The Remake Question

I hear a lot of bitching about the number of remakes in Hollywood these days, and as an aspiring professional writer I understand the concern over the perceived lack of creative and original projects getting made. It’s true, many things seem a little like an inexplicable waste of resources. When a Stranger Calls, The Pink Panther, The Hills Have Eyes, The Shaggy Dog…that’s just the first three months of 2006, people. Believe me, I get it. But I’m not against the concept of a remake in and of itself, if the project is interesting. I’m all for the revisiting of ideas in general, be it song covers, Broadway revivals, or high school-set versions of Shakespearean plays, as long as the new project is entertaining, respects the original, and just generally has a reason for existing past being a chance at a payday for a producer without any vision. With all that said, I’d like to begin a series of posts that will be dedicated to high profile remakes coming out in the near future. I’ve seen the originals, but I’ve only read about the remakes. So…is the original worth your time? Does the remake seem like it will be worth your money? And if the answer is yes to both of those questions, which should you see first? First up: Halloween.

The original: released October 25, 1978, written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, directed by John Carpenter.

images2.jpegI fucking love Halloween. I believe it is one of the best horror movies ever made. Many great reviews of this movie have been written–Roger Ebert’s spot on and much better than I can provide review is here–but I feel that a lot of people don’t realize how fantastic it is, since they’ve only ever seen it edited for TV with commercials while doing tequila shots and putting their plastic fangs in before heading out on the town. Rent it, turn the lights off, grab a beer, and just focus on how awesomely shot that opening sequence is, how crazy scary Michael Meyers is, and how every slasher movie made since 1978 owes a monstrous debt to this one.

The remake: will be released on August 31, re-written and directed by Rob Zombie.

10m1.jpgRob Zombie has a vision. Whether or not you enjoy his all-out-there style, his movies are entertaining, and it’s obvious that he not just respects but reveres the horror classics that have come before him. And his casting choices are no short of awesome…Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis? Brad Dourif as the sheriff? Have I already used the word ‘awesome’ too much in this post, because that is awesome. And yet, the trailer hasn’t quite done it for me. It just provides a rehash of common slasher movie scenes. I know trailers can be deceiving, though, so I’m willing to give this movie a chance. I want it to be good. And I will probably pay to see it. Though matching or surpassing the original is unlikely, I know Rob will give it his best, because I know he loves the original as much as I do. Which means yet again, if you’re going to see the remake, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to see the original first.

How do others feel?

Next time: 3:10 to Yuma.


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Other projects:

Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

Grand Dames: collecting sundry achievements of admirable women

The MacGuffin: archive of my days as a film critic

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