It's the Booze Talkin', Sometimes it's okay to remake a horror movie!

One of the must despised words in horror today is “remake.” It carries so much disdain that filmmakers and studios are constantly trying to call it anything else. It’s a reboot. It’s a reimagining. It’s a continuation. Whatever you want to call it, you are taking an existing property and placing new actors and, usually, a new script and making a brand new product out of the old. Of course some of the hatred is well deserved. I can think of a number of really bad examples over the past few years. You have THE HITCHER, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and a few other choices from Platinum Dunes. Some of the worst examples, at least in my opinion, are the hellacious THE FOG and the dismal THE HAUNTING. Yet, for all the hate we give horror remakes, maybe we are a bit too hard on them.

Remakes in general are not a new concept. In fact, they have been around since near the beginning of film. In fact, many a horror fan has grown up with a couple of very notable ones that are just as beloved as the classics. John Carpenter’s THE THING from 1982 is a perfect example. While it is clearly far more graphic than the original - the 1951 classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD is one of the best examples of 50s science fiction - it's still a very effective film (and actually more faithful to the original source material than the '51 film). The same can be said about David Cronenberg’s THE FLY from 1986. Sure, the 1958 version starring Vincent Price was pretty great, but the remake once again upped the gore factor with the fantastic story intact.


There are several solid remakes that have thrilled audiences over the years. This includes Philip Kaufman’s  INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS in 1978 - even Abel Ferrera’s BODY SNATCHERS from 1993 is pretty damn creepy. And recently, a handful of really good flicks have payed loving homage to the originals and worked well enough to scare an audience. Alexandre Aja’s take on PIRANHA 3D in 2010 was a blast, and that same filmmaker’s THE HILL’S HAVE EYES (2006) is a satisfying tale of terror. And then there is the action-oriented DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004) from Zack Snyder that gave a little speed to the walking dead, but certainly had enough chills to satisfy. 

Most recently, there have been a couple of surprisingly solid remakes: Fede Alvarez’ EVIL DEAD (2013) worked on a ton of levels for this viewer and I have mad respect for Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s impressive sequel/remake THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (2014). Another one of my favorites is the impressive MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D. Patrick Lussier gave this cheesy thriller from 2009 a strong cast, and as the title suggests, a bloody good time. And I really dug Breck Eisner’s THE CRAZIES from 2010. It was scary with a couple of really great actors making it all work wonders. Of course, usually the bad tends to outweigh the good, but there are far too many good ones to completely disregard the idea of a successful remake.

Not surprisingly, there is a bit of uproar about the upcoming remake to MANIAC COP. And to be fair, we have seen a couple of super mediocre attempts like ROBOCOP come out to sour audiences on the idea of remaking an 80s cult classic. However, MANIAC COP is a satisfying b-movie, one that currently credited director John Hyams may be able to keep the blood flowing - with Nicolas Winding Refn producing, I actually have a bit of faith in this, and I kind of dig the many possibilities of what can be done with this character in a modern setting. The original MY BLOODY VALENTINE is an awesome little flick, and Lussier managed to make one hell of a great companion piece. Perhaps we will be able to say the same about MANIAC COP. Truthfully there are a few old 80s horror features that might be served well with a reinterpretation. THE BOOGENS? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME? What about the bride-to-be psycho slasher HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE? Would a remake really ruin these fine features?


Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but sometimes it’s okay to remake a horror movie. Sure I could give you a huge list of bad remakes, but I could also give you a huge list of bad original movies. The best we can hope for when it comes to remakes is a strong adaptation that pays homage to the original in an inventive way. So perhaps MANIAC COP will be utter garbage, but on the other hand, maybe it will be a worthy return to form for the franchise. Sure, we are likely to have many more craptastic updates of beloved flicks, but I guarantee there are a few surprises waiting in the hands of creative minds.

Extra Tidbit: What say you? Which is your favorite remake? Which one stinks up the joint?
Source: AITH



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