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Horror Movie Remakes (or WTF Hollywood?)

Why is it that every time I hear of a new horror movie coming out it’s a remake? Has Hollywood honestly run out of ideas to scare us with? I grew up in  the 70’s and 80’s and some of the all-time best horror movies came from that time period (and hell, some of them were remakes). Films like THE EXORCIST (1973), HALLOWEEN (1978), FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980), THE EVIL DEAD (1983), DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979), HELLRAISER (1987), THE FOG (1980), JAWS (1975), PREDATOR (1987), PUMPKINHEAD (1988), and even remakes like THE THING (1982), THE FLY (1986), THE BLOB (1988), were what I was watching in the movie theaters and later on VHS videotape. Back then Hollywood was full of original ideas and even with the remakes, they would breathe new life into an existing classic. Remakes of INVADERS FROM MARS (1986) and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) were fun and at times terrifying. To this day I will not swim at the beach because of JAWS and I am always fascinated by fogbanks thanks to John Carpenter.

Nowadays Hollywood is remaking everything under the sun, putting some “big” name stars into it and loading it with CGI effects. On top of that they are even re-doing complete scenes, line by line, as the original! Perfect examples of this are the 2005 remake of THE FOG and the recent remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I certainly understand companies wanting to get the biggest bang for their buck with these franchises, but c’mon! Seriously? You are paying people to remake movies scene-by-scene with awful CGI effects? At least hire some writers to do something original with the concept!

The big Hollywood horror-movie-remake buzz is with FRIGHT NIGHT. The original, from 1985, is a classic in every sense of the word. It had everything…sex, violence, likeable characters, great special effects and really good writing (Tom Holland should be commended on this film). According to HorrorHound magazine (THE horror magazine) Colin Ferrell will be playing Jerry Dandridge, Anton Yelchin (from the amazing J.J. Abrams STAR TREK film) will play Charley and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (SUPERBAD’S McLovin) will play Evil Ed. The Peter Vincent character will be played by David Tennant (DR. WHO) and he is going to be a Criss Angel type of character instead of a horror movie host.  I am also sure that instead of hiring an awesome effects company like KNB Effects to do all of the effects in actual latex it will all be handed over to a CGI company. I already do not like the sounds of this. C’mon people…wake up! I would actually rather see them re-release the original in an all new digitally remastered print. Why remake something, that even 25 years after its release, is still just as good?

JAWS, according to HorrorHound, is another movie being remade. I saw this movie when it was originally released and I was only 7 years old. Needless to say it scared the crap out of me! Sure the shark is not accurate looking to an actual great white but guess what, it is still scary as hell! When I watch that movie today I still enjoy it just as much as when I first saw it 35 years ago. Now get this…it is going to be in 3-D! Hello??? Does anyone remember JAWS 3-D (1983). Actually you probably don’t…it was THAT bad! Who knows, maybe Tracy Morgan (from 30 ROCK) will help make this movie a smash hit! And once again, I am sure it will all be done with CGI and you will see a lot of the shark throughout, instead of building suspense like Spielberg did by not showing the shark too much.

And what is up with everything being in 3-D now? Yes, the technique has been perfected and it is an amazing effect. Movies like James Cameron’s AVATAR really benefitted from the 3-D by adding a whole new depth to the world of Pandora. I will even go as far as saying that films such as the latest TOY STORY benefit from it but now everything is being released and 3-D and guess what, too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing. People are going to get burned out on it and the fact that it costs more to see a 3-D movie means less people will pay to see them. Just recently I took my nephew to see AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. We had the choice of seeing it regularly for $6 each (it was a matinée) or $12.50 each for the 3-D version. We opted for 3-D and BOY was that a waste of money! There was absolutely nothing in this movie that was 3-D! You did not have things coming out at you and it did not add any depth to the world the characters were living in. If people get screwed out of their hard-earned money like this enough they will refuse to pay for 3-D films anymore (and talk is they want to raise 3-D film ticket prices even more!).

I wonder if Hollywood even realizes that all of these remakes are a financial disappointment at the box office…people are not going to see them! They keep remaking the classics (even the 2010 remake of THE WOLFMAN left a lot to be desired) and they get in the theaters and yet really good horror movies, like HATCHET (2007), SPLINTER (2009) and TRICK ‘R TREAT (2007), go straight to DVD. Go figure?!? Let me know what you think  of what is going on in Hollywood! Leave your comments below and thanks for reading!!!

David Albaugh~

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2 responses

  1. I’m pretty certain JAWS will never be remade – the movie’s in my DNA – and I believe Spielberg has gone on record saying he doesn’t think it’ll ever happen; no one would DARE. But I agree that most if not all the best horror flicks I’ve seen in the past four or five years have all been essentially straight-to-DVD or played only at indie festivals… like ABSENTIA!

    April 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    • According to Robert Englund at The Rock & Shock convention last October, EVERYTHING is going to be remade eventually. In the case of JAWS, I certainly hope he’s wrong!

      April 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm

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