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C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Are Horror Icons dying a slow death?

07.01.2010

...are Horror Icons dying a slow death?
by J.A. Hamilton

I watched the new NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET over the weekend and decided to give it a couple days to gel in my mind. The reviews were far from stellar when it came down to the critics and the old school Elm Street fans, but remained mixed as many new generation fans dug it. For me, Freddy and Pinhead were THE Horror Icons to beat growing up because of the verbal banter we just don’t get from other fan favorites like Jason, Leatherface and Michael Myers (no I didn’t forget about Chucky, but even as a kid I couldn’t bring myself to fear a doll). With the eighties gone (along with Hollywood’s creativity) we’ve been forced to endure the age of remakes and see our favorite Icons brought back to the screen. Some were hits, some were misses, but as the negative vibe continues to build are we finding ourselves past the point of no return here? Are these Horror Icons’ days numbered?


I want to see more, but these are big shoes to fill.

I like Thomas C. Howell but admittedly never saw the original THE HITCHER. I watched the remake out of respect for Sean Bean and the same can be said of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (I think Ryan Reynolds did a great job) and THE HILLS HAVE EYES (I’m also a big Derek Mears fan) but ultimately I can’t really comment beyond that. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake was where Platinum Dunes struck their first home run, but after the mediocre follow-up I’m not so sure we’ll see more of Leatherface. I’d be up for another one if done well, but without his creepy family Leatherface would no doubt feel like another Jason or Michael which is no doubt why they made the follow-up a prequel instead of a sequel. And speaking of Michael, Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN films were interesting hybrids, but the once roaming idea of a third (3-D) film has been dropped.


The new Leatherface was extremely badass.

I personally loved the new FRIDAY THE 13th remake, some like to say it was just more of the same (Jason killing a gang of sex driven teens) but a lot of Horror films have the same M.O. so I don’t think it’s terribly fair to point fingers. Derek Mears brought a new level excitement to Jason with an aggressive, cunning and more predator-like killer, an edge the franchise truly needed. While he’s been busy with PREDATORS I’ve been anxiously awaiting news of the next FRIDAY THE 13th and was bummed to hear that it was put back on the shelf alongside Leatherface. I sincerely hope they reconsider soon and bring Jason back to the screen as I just know he has more work to do before he retires.


I hope Jason (and Mears) come back for more.

The HELLRAISER films are also among my favorites (the first one was touch and go, but HELLBOUND came back with a bang). Pinhead is a remarkable character, and Douglas Bradley brings a chilling calm to this heartless monster that would no doubt stop anyone’s heart if they ran into this guy in real life. BLOODLINE felt like a remake when it came out simply because it went back and told the true origins of the box that we didn’t see or know until then. After that Pinhead went straight to DVD, and though Bradley thankfully stayed on, his roles got slimmer and slimmer as they sequels wore on. Was I thrilled to hear of a remake? No. Was I curious? Definitely. But either way, Pinhead’s return also got shelved and who knows if and when we’ll see him again.


I like Jackie Earle, but Englund will always be the true Freddy.

The saddest part about all this is that these remakes (good or bad) are the catalysts, not so much because they’re remakes but because in some cases Hollywood is just going about the process the wrong way. Jason and Michael are a bit more forgiving because they’re masked, but not having Robert England and or Douglas Bradley reprise their iconic roles has definitely hurt the Elm Street remake and will (if it gets made) most likely hurt the HELLRAISER one. Bringing these icons back from the dead in remakes is one thing, but changing their faces (or in some cases origins) when they’re far from forgotten is risky. And because remakes are already set up to fail, it seems like we’re slowly watching our favorite Horror Icons die for real. I strongly urge the powers that be to consider this more carefully before they continue down this path and make things worse. I enjoy the SAW films and all, but I don’t think seeing it escalate to SAW 20 will be enough to keep Horror fans interested.
Extra Tidbit: It’s only a matter of time before they bring Chucky back too. I wonder if they’ll keep the “Good Guy” look and logo or change the doll storyline entirely. And though Jerry Dandrige isn’t as big an icon as the above mentioned guys, I’m one hundred percent against a FRIGHT NIGHT remake.
Source: JoBlo.com

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