This seriously needs to be stopped. There is no point in remaking a ton of films that are being remade. At least not from a genre standpoint. I’m not blind to why they do it. Obviously, it’s to make money and if this is the case they don’t care how good the remake is they just care about getting asses in the seats. It’s a pointless thing to do instead of exploring new authors and writers. I’m not even saying this just as a horror writer myself. I am saying this as a fan of horror and someone who has always been a fan.
Let’s take the movie remake, Carrie, for instance. I have already shit on this one a lot. I even wrote about it in a list I just made about the worst horror movie remakes ever and why they shouldn’t have been remade. It’s just that great of an example for the point I’m trying to make. The original Carrie was very well done. You had Sissy Spacek as the lead and Piper Laurie as the crazy religious mother. It was based on a Stephen King book in the 60’s. His first big hit of a book.
Though the movie has some problems and cheese it was also a movie made in the 60s so that’s to be expected. However, it’s still one of the best classic horror movies of all time. Then they take it and pretty much ruin it to make money. Which is was ruined, in several different ways. The lead actress is in no way believable as Carrie White, she’s far too pretty and popular as a young starlet to believe she’s also homely and awkward. Julianne Moore isn’t bad but she can’t top Piper Laurie. Not to mention the fact that when I saw this remake I was saying lines along with the characters because they barely changed dialogue and it was nearly a shot for shot remake. The only thing that changed is the ending.
What’s worse is that people, young people, actually liked this and thought it was good when not only was it exactly like the original until the end, it made far less sense (casting wise) and was far more unbelievable. There was nothing to be gained by remaking this one just to add smartphones and computers, especially if there was no intent to change the dialogue or even attempts to change or add something to the story.
Remakes aren’t always bad, I’ll say that right now. The remake of IT currently looks like it may actually do the book some justice. Though I love the made for TV movie with Tim Curry, there was a lot it was forced to leave out of the book considering what the content was, that it was a for TV movie, and the year was 1990. Even if I can admit that Tim Curry was iconic in the role of Pennywise, the movie as a whole wasn’t up to par with the horror level of the book. Not to mention they are going with no name actors (or barely famous ones) which means they are focusing more on doing the source material justice than pulling people into the theater with A-list celebrities.
If a remake is justified for a reason like that, or it intends to add something more to the story that wasn’t there before, yeah, by all means, do it. But only if it’s not going to be slapped together in 5 minutes to make a few million because you know people will see it due to the history of the franchise name.
The argument has been made to me that “Well, teens and other people wouldn’t have ever seen the original X HORROR movie had they not remade it”. Maybe, but I think it’s still telling that people definitely knew Carrie was a remake and went to see it. This means they also knew that there was another Carrie out there and neglected to see it. They didn’t question that maybe it was being remade because there was nothing wrong with the original or it was still a good movie. No. They are too young and stupid to be able to pay attention to a movie that doesn’t have pop-culture references and a pretty face so they jumped right to seeing the flavor of the minute HD remake and some even prefer it despite it being far worse.
I can’t really blame studios for trying to make money that’s their business and that’s what they do. Obviously, it’s really easy money to do this. I do blame people who go and see the remakes. I blame the people who ask for things to be remade because they, for some reason, can’t appreciate the value of the originals. I blame people who can’t support good and original horror with their dollar because they want the same shit spoon fed back to them.
Fry: “Married?! Jenny can’t get married.”
Leela: “Why not? It’s clever, it’s unexpected…”
Fry: “But that’s not why people watch TV. Clever things make people feel stupid and unexpected things make them feel scared.”
This quote pertains to what I’m talking about in so many ways. It’s the truth. People like horror movies, allegedly, and want to be scared. However, they are actually scared of new content because they assume for whatever reason it is going to be bad. Hence, they stick with the brand names and franchises they’ve known and loved for many years, deciding to give their money to that (even if it’s bad) rather than venture out and see something that might be good or even is good because they don’t recognize it by title, actor, or something else.
The thing is that people like Wes Craven and Clive Barker and even Stephen King had to start somewhere. They were once new people. They once had new ideas. They weren’t born famous horror gurus they had to rise to the top. If we keep recycling their ideas or the ideas of other famous horror writers and movie makers when will the next new one come along? There hasn’t been much new for a while and when there have been new things they’ve all been pretty bad. Horror is going to get very stale and boring if we continue down this path of recycling old ideas. Even if some remakes have their merit and are good, they are ultimately remakes in a world where we really need to be giving new writers a chance. The biggest killer of exciting new horror is going to be stupid people who don’t appreciate taking a chance and remaking the same shit over and over again just to squeeze every dime out of it that can possibly be squeezed.