What's the problem with remakes, you ask? Well, I'm here tell you what the problem is with MOST remakes. Do you remember that old adage about reinventing the wheel? That's it exactly. If a movie was good enough to be remade, it probably doesn't need one. What is Hollywood's incessant need to keep cashing in on all the poor fools that are willing to keep throwing money their way? I can very easily answer that question too. We as the paying public never learn our lesson. We let "the most terrifying movie ever" convince us that it's gotta be good. But, it almost never is. When will we learn? When will we tell them enough is enough?
Has there ever been a good remake? Admittedly, there's been a few. Aja's The Hills Have Eyes, Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the updated Manchurian Candidate starring resident drunken pilot, Denzel Washington. In the case of all three of those films, the directors and production staff went to exceedingly harsh lengths to deliver something that would reinvigorate a dead franchise or classic film with a modern twist while paying absolute respect to the original, never destroying the vision of the first but instead building something entirely new and diverse. In the case of this "new" "terrifying" Evil Dead, I can honestly say I wasn't scared for a second. It comes nowhere near the tension loaded territory that either the Hills or Texas Chainsaw remakes achieved. Both of those horror remakes are far beyond anything Fede Alvarez could possibly dream of making. In all honesty, I was bored and frustrated that Sam Raimi let this happen and sat idly by.
So, why do we keep letting them take our money? I feel like it's an expensive lottery ticket every time I see a remake. We keep paying them for a chance to win some good entertainment. In my opinion, it's just not right. Look at this Carrie remake that's coming out. Why do we need this? Do we really need an updated Carrie that features smart phones, flat panel televisions, and tablets? Absolutely not. Even though it may look outdated, the film holds true as a horror classic that needs no updating. That's part of its charm. It looks dated and maintains the era in which is was produced. Awesome. Must Hollywood be so quick to forget about the films that made them money? That's right. I forgot. We're the public and we have no logical reason to not see Carrie other than the fact that we like giving them our money and we all know it's going to suck. Huh?
As you can probably tell, I'm not a supporter of remakes in any sense of the word. As J.G. Barnes pointed out in our last article about remakes, I would much rather spend some time watching something original that truly took some effort.
I just read an online article last week that someone is taking the original Star Wars story that George Lucas wrote and remaking it as a new comic series . In the original draft, Han Solo was an alien and Luke Skywalker was much older. That's what I'm asking for. This is thinking in the terms of progressive creativity. People are going to love seeing a twist on the classic that doesn't disrespect the story we all already know.
I strongly support creativity and independent films that I know someone intensively labored over to get made and released to cinemas. I like movies that push the envelope and ask audiences to think a little. I love great horror films, domestic and foreign. I absolutely adore sci-fi movies with big budgets and mind numbing effects. In fact, I love stupid comedies and romance films. I can't get enough of the modern crime drama. But, the one thing I can't stand are mindless remakes that either belittle the source material or don't take it to new heights.
All I ask of Hollywood is please show a little respect when preparing to stomp upon the sacred ground of films like Evil Dead. There are people out there (like myself) that love the horror classics. I grew up on the original Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and numerous others. But, the Evil Dead franchise is one that I absolutely adore. The pairing of Raimi and Campbell was a match made in heaven. The amount of character that made those films so special is ignored in the terrible remake. All it needed was a little bit of love and stronger script and it could have been awesome. It's too bad that this was an introduction to the Evil Dead for the younger crowd. After this, they'll never take the time to see the originals.
The wheel will never be reinvented. And the same goes for classic horror (except for a few). Get your lottery ticket at Fandango or your local box office. I can guarantee your chances of winning are in the negative.