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Friday, January 9, 2009

Another Ill-Advised Remake Bites the Dust!

Following the recent news of the Rosemary's Baby and The Birds remakes getting flushed down the developmental toilet, I can't say I'm not pleased to report that Sony's planned remake of Tom Holland's '80s vampire sleeper Fright Night has also been deep-sixed.

According to Ryan Rotten over at Shock Till You Drop, the inability to cobble together a script that pleased the execs is the reason being cited for shelving the project. It had been in development for nearly two years.

Seems to be a growing trend. And for all those who tend to be more "open-minded" about these remakes, I'll say this: No, they're not all bad. Dawn of the Dead was very good, for example. But for every one that's decent, we get five others that tarnish the name of the originals on which they're based, obscure those originals in the minds of new potential fans, and represent cowardly, unimaginative bottom-line thinking at its worst.

Here's to original ideas!

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I'm proud as a peacock to announce that The Vault of Horror has been nominated for best horror blog of 2008 by TotalFilm.com, the website for the UK's Total Film magazine. It's part of their overall 2008 Movie Blog Awards, which should be up on the site sometime next week. Keep an eye out!


Bo said...

Good luck with the award! Meanwhile, I'm happy to hear another remake go down. Getting a bit tired of Platinum Dunces and their ilk gleefully urinating on childhood memories.

Alana Noel Voth said...

Hey B-Sol,

Congratulations on the nomination. Good luck. :-)

Christopher Zenga said...

Hey B,

Congrats on the nomination.

I seem to be on the pro remake train a lot and I know we have been over my feelings about them a million times before, I will not drone on further. However, here's one that may surprise you. I love The Birds, It is on of the creepiest films I have ever seen. and you know what, I think it's off limits, YEA! it should not be touched, by ANYONE, EVER! look how the psycho remake turned out. Here is the thing, I have no logical reason for this comment, I love the Texas chainsaw massacre, and the remake was stellar, no harm no foul. Sara Polly (go Canada) in the Dawn remake was great, yet the Original Dawn is in a three way tie as my favorite film of all time ( tied with, the original Night of the living dead, and the original Shutter) Dark water, the ring, Halloween, all great re-makes, they add depth to the originals. But with the Birds I think would feel dirty watching a remake. Hitchcock is an institution, I know I'm going to get reamed for this, and I know Hitchcock is no more a legend than Romero or Barker but there is something......pure about the original Birds Film. Sorry, this comment is more heart than thought, but I am truly happy not to have a Birds remake to watch.

Later days,

Christopher Zenga

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Hopefully the day's of remakes have gone - give us original stuff dudes

Pax Romano said...

Great news on all fronts! Glad to hear about your nomination - what will you be wearing on the red carpet?

B-Sol said...

I think I'll go with the infamous Bjork Academy Awards "swan dress".

gord said...

Hurray dying remakes!

Let's also not forget that Cronenberg's The Fly was amazing. If not weirdly different.

B-Sol said...

Yes, but that harkens back to an earlier era of remakes. There are actually a few very good ones from back then, like The Thing, The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Today, not so much.

gord said...

Very true Bryan, very true.

I guess the idea back then was to try and add something new to the original, to give it a twist, while still giving a nod of the head to the source material and as I see it trying to outdo it, but in an original way, or carrying on to the extreme, themes from the originals.

I mean, all those remakes you mentioned were for the most part 80% similar to the originals. The Fly was just more gruesome, The Thing more horror tinged, Invasion had a new shock ending, etc.

gord said...

Which makes me wonder, what is it that remakes these days are doing wrong.

Are they too different, too similar, I'm just not sure.

B-Sol said...

I think you're on to something there, gord. Those old-school remakes are more homages, while today remakes are designed to literally "overwrite" the originals.

gord said...

Well, I'm sure it's far from an original thought, but the same can be said for Dawn of the Dead. It was 80% the same movie, just with more of an action leaning.

I started thinking about it when thinking of Psycho, one of the first remakes I can remember going wrong. It tried to stick too close to the original, while adding un-needed elements.

I felt the same way about the Night of the Living Dead remake. It was nice for Savini to be given the chance to make it, but it was too close to the original, but it lacked the atmosphere, and shock and created a needless Linda Hamilton like character out of Barbara.

Anyways, it'd be nice to hear from someone with more of a background, or even a passing interest, in comparing originals and remakes.

Also, I think a golden and time tested (to a degree perhaps) rule for 'remakes' is to return to the source material, and revamp that don't just remake the film, ie. the majority of Hammers stellar re-imaginings. Sure they get a little stale (6 Frankenstein movies?) but you can't say they made bad remakes...

Then again I love almost everything they've put out.

B-Sol said...

That might be worthy of a post down the road, on the whole topic of comparing remakes to originals. As for Hammer, I don't really consider those to be remakes of the Universal films, since they went back to the source material and re-adapted it, for the most part. The Mummy may be the main exception to that, since it's basically a remake of Universal's The Mummy's Hand.

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