Let’s talk reboot! Specifically the recent plans to remake the meh flick THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (Which The Arrow actually loved - to each his own). To be fair, the film starring Ashton Kutcher was able to earn an impressive chunk of change with its small budget. Hell, it even inspired two super mediocre straight to DVD sequels: THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT 2 in 2006 and THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT 3: REVELATIONS in 2009 – neither of which featured Kutcher or Amy Smart. According to the original’s IMDB page the film has a decent rating of 7.7 in spite of a lackluster performance from its leading man. Of course, critically it didn’t fare all that well but this genre seems to inspire critical venom quite often.
The question is, why even bother remaking a film that is barely a decade old? Other than the fact that it featured the up and coming Kutcher in his first major dramatic role, I can barely remember this so-so attempt at time travel. So other than the attention Kutcher got, there was very little worth remembering. The reboot is reportedly going to be penned by the original film’s co-writer and co-director Eric Bress – who worked alongside J. Mackye Gruber. The original film’s producers A.J. Dix, Anthony Rhulen, Chris Bender and J.C. Spink are all set to hop on-board.
For fans of this film, this may be just thrilling news, yet it is very hard to get excited about another flick that hardly managed to thrill me the first time around. While clearly I was not a fan of Kutcher’s performance, I find it difficult to believe that bringing in a new actor would really make that much of a difference. Again, this will be the fourth film in the franchise and while it is a pretty good premise, I just don’t see this as something to get remotely excited about.
As far as remakes go, like most horror fans it seems as if Hollywood and even many independent filmmakers continually go overboard with the remake/reboot/re-imagining craze. Yet I’m not one to crap on every single one that comes my way. So far this year, two of my favorite genre releases are remakes and they work. The idea of an EVIL DEAD remake was far more disturbing than actually being possessed by a demon, but it was an intense gore-soaked surprise.
And who would have ever guessed that Elijah Wood would be able to come along and do justice to MANIAC? The mere mention of Wood playing the same role that Joe Spinell did was beyond ludicrous and yet it was brutally awesome. While it is rare that a reboot and/or remake work as well as these two films did for me personally, it can be done.
The difference however between MANIAC and EVIL DEAD and THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT is that both original films left a major impression. THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT was a mid-2000’s movie that seemed to be destined to disappear from my already messed up memory. And no, the sequels did absolutely nothing but leave me scratching my head as to why they even bothered. Perhaps the filmmakers have a really inspired idea behind this re-do and will blow us all away with an incredible new vision. Is there a fresh and exciting way to tell this story over again? Maybe… but I seriously doubt it.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but why the f*ck do we need another BUTTERFLY EFFECT? The film was neither so terrible that it needed a reboot, nor was it interesting enough to warrant a return to it. Looking back, the only thing that really stood out was that it had that Ashton guy trying to be a serious actor. Again, maybe I’ll be as surprised as I was with EVIL DEAD, or it will just be another installment in this give or take franchise. We'll see! What do you think?