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A Rant on Remaking Horror Films

In Blogs, On Film on February 16, 2009 at 12:33 pm


As I’m sure most of you know from this very site, a new/remade Friday the 13th graced our screens this past weekend. While some praised the movie, hailing it as the definite return of Jason, others dennounced it as blasphemy. Thanks to a sold out theater, I didn’t get a chance to see the movie this weekend. Therefore, I will avoid making any comment about the ’09 Friday the 13th besides noting that I think it should have never been made. If they would have simply made this Friday the 13th: Part 11, I would have had no problem with it. But alas, they did not.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is the coining of a couple new “politically correct/cute” terms to replace the stigma that surrounds the “remake” moniker. Those two terms, of course, are “reboot” or “reimagining”. By the mere fact that these terms had to be coined to replace “remake” is enough to tell you that filmmakers realize that remakes are disgusting. Most true horror fans, as I mentioned before, find the very act of remaking a classic horror film nothing short of blasphemy. What’s sad is the fact that almost every one of our beloved evil treasures have fallen victim to this curse. Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, My Bloody Valentine, The Fog, House of Wax, House on Haunted Hill, etc. have all been raped by various filmmakers. The trend shows no sign of slowing down, Hellraiser, Last House on the Left, and Nightmare on Elm Street are all lined up to be painfully executed.

And you know, if the remakes were actually good, I don’t think I would have a huge problem with them. In my opinion, no remake has been worth watching. I’ve saw every remake listed above, minus Friday the 13th, and I wish I could go back and un-watch them. But as a wise prophet once said, that which is seen cannot be unseen. Why oh why, I ask, do filmmakers want to change everything that made the original great? Example? Well Dawn of the Dead. I catch a lot of heat for complaining about this, but the running zombies did not make me happy at all. Neither did the image of Jason running after a victim in the trailer for the Friday remake. If you’re gonna destroy a movie’s legacy by remaking it, at least have the decency not to change the things that made the original special in the first place.

Do I think original thought has died in the horror genre? No. I just think, at this particular time, it’s being choked to death and overshadowed by the massive trend (the remake). Even if you don’t like a film like Hostel, you have to admire the fact that the director (Eli Roth) decided to make something original and not bow down to the altar of the remake. Hopefully in the very near future, great/original horror movies will come back from the dead, granting us new scares and kills to talk about for years to come….or at least until the remake hits theaters.


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