Remake, Revitalize, Renovate, Redo
Most remakes get a bad reputation as being lesser than the original film adaptation, and some deserve the scorn that is directed toward them.
But I am either a wide-eyed optimist with no taste whatsoever or a critical observer with too many thoughts because I enjoy more than I loathe remakes. I see them as opportunities rather than perceive them as poorly executed reimagining storylines.
However, those opportunities must be taken and I am certain most viewers don’t see the opportunities as I do. Remakes can open the eyes of viewers to the original on-screen incarnations, especially the newer generations of horror fans who have never sat down to see the originals.
Maybe that notion is too optimistic, not everyone thinks in the same fashion. But horror movie remakes and simply different styles of horror movies have opened my senses to more opportunities to explore a film genre that I have come to know and love.
Scream was the first horror film that I consciously watched back in middle school. Other horror films and television shows had been avoided diligently those previous years, which was significantly difficult considering my father’s devotion to the genre.
But after learning to love the thrill and edge-of-your-seat excitement, I could not stop myself from searching movie store shelves for more slasher films (a tried and true subgenre of horror that I love).
Remakes should give that same eye-opening experience, bringing in late bloomers of horror enthusiasm or horror fans of coming generations to the darker side of cinema, inspiring them to look deeper into, to find better films in, and to learn more about the horror genre.
I am not saying that remakes are great – I’m not even saying that horror movie remakes are even good because I have watched some remakes that simply did not cut it for me. I am simply arguing that horror movie remakes (remakes in general even) can be used for good.
But less about philosophical ideals when concerning remakes, let’s talk about the past decades’ influx of horror movie remakes. Let’s talk about content, let’s talk about quality versus quantity.
In recent years, horror movie remakes have almost become a staple in the film industry. Many of the classic 70s and 80s slasher films have been remade, including A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
The horror films of the late 70s and 80s are the recent cache of remakes (and the recent remakes that I have in great supply), bringing revamped familiar faces from well-known slasher franchises back to the big screen.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween is the most praised of the slasher remakes, delving deeper into the psyche of Michael Myers than ever before, but with the loss of the silent mystique some fans have argued that the serial killer loses his luster.
The Friday the 13th remake compresses the events of the original film into the opening sequence, resulting in the final girl delivering the killing blow to the lovely Mrs. Voorhees before the title card flashes on the screen.
That simplified sequence of events allows the film to introduce not one but two groups of beautiful young people to be slaughtered by the hands of Jason Voorhees, forsaking one of the much loved female serial killers for her hulking, hockey mask-wearing son.
The remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street is wholly similar to its predecessor, but introducing new concepts with the dreams and further describing Freddy Krueger as a pedophile who sexually abused the teenagers he preys upon in their dreams when they were children.
Horror movie remakes will never stop happening, coming and going with copious amounts of remade titles in a decade and years without a single reimagined film. Love them or loathe them, nothing can stop remakes from occurring.
Maybe it sounds corny or juvenile, but those remakes, good or bad, can be used to further the reaches of the horror genre. More horror fans means more appreciation to the genre, and horror movie remakes can reach out to those unknowing horror fanatics if they take the opportunity to look deeper into the genre.