A remake or re-imagining of a classic old horror film hits cinemas, as well as a remake of a film not many people know about. The DVD charts in your local store are sprinkled with straight-to-DVD scary movies, featuring a cameo from Robert Englund or another, similar classic horror icon. You look around and wonder…
…what happened to horror cinema?
The biggest area of criticism is the idea of the remake, or reboot, or re-imagining. Taking a classic horror film, or maybe a lesser known flick, and updating it for a modern audience. Recent examples include The Thing, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th and Halloween. There’s many more that spring to mind, and the list could go on and on. But are these revisions worth making?
Personally, I say yes. Why? Because it keeps the legacy of the original films alive. Take Halloween for example. Some fans of the series love Rob Zombie’s two part take on the 1978 genre classic. Some absolutely hate it. Some are somewhere in the middle. But the debate caused between them keeps people talking about the original, and brings attention to it, which can only be a good thing.
Another argument in favor of the remakes is that we, as horror fans, love a good horror series. But when a series becomes too contrived to survive, like Halloween (reality TV Michael Myers?), Friday The 13th (Jason in space?) or A Nightmare… (I can’t even explain…), the remakes give horror fans the chance to look forward to a new series of films, knowing how to make these new films avoid the clichés and dated aspects of their predecessors. Friday The 13th did an amazing job in my opinion of taking elements from the first four Paramount Friday chapters and making a new and exciting start that still felt familiar to me.
Whilst the first film in a horror series is usually hailed as a classic in years to come (Halloween, Friday, Nightmare, Texas Chainsaw, Hellraiser, Psycho, Scream…), the sequels, no matter how good or bad, won’t keep coming forever, because they naturally begin to fall apart, be it from a lack of ideas, or even an overflow of ideas (*cough* Halloween 5 …), they can’t keep the stories consistent, entertaining and true to the source material forever, so the only way to keep the classic horror characters and killers alive is to bring them back with a new bag of tricks. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s good.
But that’s just my two cents. Leave a comment below and share your views!