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Rexfellis

Let's talk about horror remakes

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22 hours ago, Rexfellis said:

We have all had our fill of bad remakes, I get that. Because for every The Hills Have Eyes (2006) we get 20 pieces of shit like The Fog (2005). Maybe we can discuss a few, both good and bad, and see where we think the future of horror films is headed. (Hint: I'm hoping for original material, but, that is unlikely.) As a preface to this, I will say that these are only my opinions. I'm sure many will disagree. Feel free to offer your own. :D  This is going to be off the top of my head, so basically, it will be another rambling post from Rex. I wont be discussing known classics like Carpenter's The Thing, The Fly, or the 80s gem The Blob. I am also going to avoid Ringu vs. The Ring, Ju-On vs. The Grudge, [Rec} vs. Quarantine and any other "Americanized" knock-offs.  However, I am going to start with a few that I personally do enjoy.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)- I remember the hype when the extended trailer was released on network TV. It was basically the first 10 minutes of the movie, and I was first in line at the theater to watch it. I am a die-hard Romero fan, and the running zombies threw me off at first. But, by the end of the movie, I was impressed. They took an idea, expanded on it, and made it their own. There were a couple of storylines that I found to be cheesy, and the stupidity of a couple of the characters made me want to take them out. At the end of the day, I give this one a solid 7/10.

Night of the Living Dead (1990)- Tom Savini directing and Tony Todd (Candyman) as Ben? Shit, count me in! It was good to see Barbara portrayed as a tougher character, she was just a lump in the original. Don't get me wrong, I love the classic, but her story arc was probably my least favorite. Unfortunately, this bogged down a bit in the middle, but it is still a good movie to pull out and watch from time to time. This is a 5.5-6 for me.

The aforementioned...The Hills Have Eyes (2006)- Holy shit was this brutal! I think it actually offended me a couple of times, and nothing offends me. The cinematography was great. Aja took the original story and put his own spin on it, and it landed. I loved Carpenter's original for the campiness, and Michael Berryman. He is a horror god, and a really nice fella. I met him at a horrorcon in Texas one time. Back to the remake...I think it was done well, the nuclear test site aspect was interesting, and Ruby did her job well. I think more interaction with "The Family" as a family, especially Father Jupiter as the patriarch would have served the film well, but that is just me nitpicking. 8/10

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)- Tobe Hooper's classic haunted me for a long time because I saw it as a young child, and I believed it was all real. (I also lived in Texas, so that didn't help.) Unfortunately, the series went downhill from there into campy territory. The sequels were fun and goofy, but not scary. This "re-imagining" went back to taking the source material seriously. The acting wasn't great, but I believe that R. Lee Ermey saved this film. Just like in Full Metal Jacket, he was spot on.  Leatherface was scary again. 6/10 from me. (P.S. All of the sequels, prequels, and fuckquels that came after this can kiss my ass.)

The Evil Dead (2013)- I am glad Mr. Alvarez did not try to re-cast Ash in this one. Bruce Campbel will always be Ash! He took the lore and kind of made it his own. It was bloody, gory, disturbing, and fun. Of course, there were a shit-ton of plotholes that you could drive "The Evil Force" and 4200 Fake Shemps through, but it was still a good time. I was happy to see that they didn't try to just rehash the original. 7/10

Below are a few remakes that I liked less...

Halloween (2007)- I like Rob Zombie's eye for cinematography, but this man can't write dialogue for shit! Yeah, the "redneck asshole neckbeards" worked for House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, but that shit don't fly in Halloween. We did not need a white-trash background with a stripper mom, a drunk invalid step-dad, and a slut sister. I don't want to feel sorry for Michael Myers, I want to be fucking scared of him because we have no idea why he flipped out. Now, the second half of the movie was a rushed re-telling of the original story (replete with asshole truckers, rapist orderlies, and one sympathetic character). But, Laurie Strode was not Laurie Strode. I honestly didn't care if she lived or died. Malcolm McDowell played a competent Loomis, but really paled in comparison to Donald Pleasance. I know the studio fucked this movie up by telling Zombie to make it more like his earlier movies, but I was sincerely disappointed with the end result. 5/10

Halloween 2 (2009)-  Fuck you Rob Zombie...next. (1/10, just in case anyone was curious. White ghost horse, impostor kid Michael, psychic link, and dead stripper my ass!) I liked the original ending, when the cops blew Laurie's foul-mouthed, bad friend-being, drunk ass away!

Friday the 13th (2009)- Well, I had to talk about it. As far as Platinum Dunes flicks go, this wasn't bad. It captured the essence of Jason, but it didn't really bring anything new to the table. I didn't really like the underground tunnel system, because I'm not sure that Jason could have done that. But, at least it was something new. Don't love it, didn't hate it. 4/10

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)-  Mr. Jackie Earle Haley. On behalf of Platinum Dunes, Michael Bay, Samuel Bayer, and all of the producers, I would like to apologize to you. You got fucked with this one. I know you auditioned for the original, and Johnny Depp's smile beat you out. :lol: My condolences, you'll always be Kelly Leak to me bro! Seriously, this movie was a trainwreck from the beginning. There is a reason they scrapped the whole pedophile thing from the first flick...nobody wants to see that shit! The story was convoluted, the homages just seemed like theft, and Freddy's makeup was fucking horrible. 

Black Christmas (2006)- I want to shit all over this movie, I really do. But, I can't. Glen Morgan may have hired almost the entire cast of the CW network at the time, but he was trying to make a creepy, scary, practical effects-laden movie. Unfortunately, Dimension Films stepped in and wanted "more gore, more eye gouging!!". Morgan tried to block this, and even tried to release a director's cut, but he was shut down by the studio. You can find out more about this here. As far as the film that was released, this is a 2/10 for me. I would love to see the director's actual vision, because it sounds like he wanted to be faithful to the 1974 classic.

The Amityville Horror (2005)- The original creeped me out as a kid. The remake was...well...boring. Ryan Reynolds needs to take his abs over to Marvel and just be Deadpool. This was underwhelming, to say the least. 2/10

Psycho (1998)- Holy shit Van Sant! Did you just have the actors watch the good one and tell them "Do that!"? Shot for shot bullshit with bad casting. 2/10

The Thing (2011)- I said I wouldn't discuss Carpenter's masterpiece, not this one. :P Ok, technically this is a prequel, not a remake. But I feel that it belongs in this list. It is another instance of studio meddling that fucked up the entire production. Mr. Heijningen and his crew had spent months making practical effects, poring over Carpenter's film, and re-creating the station. Then Universal and Morgan Creek stepped in and demanded CGI out the ass, and re-writes galore. The end-result was...well, if you saw the movie, you know. There is a video discussing all of the changes that were made right here.

The Fog (2005)- I mentioned this film in the intro to this post, and I will be honest, it is at the bottom of my list. I didn't necessarily love Carpenter's 1980 flick, but, I do enjoy it for what it is. This remake takes everything that sucks about remakes, sets it all on fire, shits on it, and then pisses the flames out. Bad acting, bad directing, bad dialogue, bad casting, and horrible effects. Hated it. -1/10

I look forward to any insights, opinions, and additions to the list. :) 

 

You forgot My Bloody Valentine, Amityville, Leprechuan,Prom Night and Last House on the Left

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Remakes are ALWAYS bad.

The only good remake i saw was Scarface.

It's the only remake that was better than the original.

But it was not horror.

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1 hour ago, JasonWhorehees said:

Remakes are ALWAYS bad.

The only good remake i saw was Scarface.

 

1

Well those two sentences contradict.

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I have seen the 2011 Thing. I think it's a great prequel. 8.5 out of 10 for me.

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6 hours ago, JasonWhorehees said:

You forgot My Bloody Valentine, Amityville, Leprechuan,Prom Night and Last House on the Left

I did say that the list was off the top of my head, and requested that people add to the list with their thoughts on the subject. But, I will take a look at the ones you mentioned. 

My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)- The 3D gimmick immediately made me not want to watch it. I didn't like 3D movies in the 80s, and they did not really get better in the 2000s. But, I did rent it on DVD once. There were no likable characters, everyone was a dick. Hence, I didn't care who died, who lived, or who the killer was. I didn't forget it so much as I was just avoiding talking about it. I did enjoy the 1981 original when I was a kid, but I haven't seen it in years.

Amityville (2017)- Didn't see it, and I never plan to. The first film profited from a creepy, supposed true, story that grabbed the public's attention much like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre did before it, and The Blair WItch Project did 20 years later. After the story was debunked, it kind of lost it's charm. I did, however, mention the 2005 remake, and I felt that was enough talk about Amityville. But, feel free to give your thoughts on the film if you saw it.

Leprechaun (2014)- It was a prequel, that was produced by the WWE, and it didn't star Warwick Davis. This is another one that I didn't see, and never plan to.

Prom Night (2008)- Yet another remake of a forgettable 80s slasher. I didn't really like the first one, and I only saw this one because it happened to be on at a friend's house one night while I was over. I honestly didn't feel like there was anything to discuss about it.

Last House On the Left (2009)- You are 100% correct, I did forget about this one. I really feel that this remake was just as disturbing as the original. I own it, but it is probably one that I will not watch often, if ever again. I'm just really not a fan of rape being portrayed in cinema. I know that slashing, gore, and murder are also disturbing subjects, but rape is just not something I consider entertainment.

6 hours ago, JasonWhorehees said:

Remakes are ALWAYS bad.

The only good remake i saw was Scarface.

It's the only remake that was better than the original.

But it was not horror.

If remakes are ALWAYS bad, how is Scarface a good one? :wacko: Sorry, I just had to bring up the fact that you contradicted yourself. Actually, I agree with you that Al Pacino's Scarface was better than the source material. However, I do not agree that it was the only remake with this distinction.

The Thing (1982)- I think Carpenter's version was exponentially better than the 1951 The Thing From Another World. It is actually one of my favorite horror movies of all time. I feel that the prequel film from 2011 would have been much better if the director would have been allowed to create the film he was trying to create. Anyone who is interested should really check out the video I linked in my mini-review for that one. 

The Blob (1988)- It may be a little bit of nostalgia due to when the remake was released, or it may be the fact that I had (and still have) a huge crush on Shawnee Smith. :) I own both movies, but I find the 88 version to be more entertaining.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)- Simple enough reason here. I found the 78 film to be terrifying when I rented the VHS as a kid. The 56 version was pretty well done, but I never actually found it to be scary. Any flick that actually scared me back in the day will always be near the top of my favorites list. The 93 version with Gabrielle Anwar was largely forgettable, and I haven't seen the other 2 (3?) remakes.

Frankenstein (1931)- I know that many feel that this is the original, but there was a short film put out by Edison Studios (Yeah, that Edison) in 1910. I had never seen it until @bewareofbears told me where I could find it. The short was very interesting, but I believe the 1931 version is a time honored classic. I recently watched the remake with Robert DeNiro (again, on bob's suggestion), and found it to be pretty good as well. I still think that the 1931 version is my favorite.

As mentioned in my OP, I feel that The Hills Have Eyes remake is superior to the original. I can't think of any more right now, but I'm sure if I went through my BluRay/DVD collection I could come up with a few more.

Of course, cinema is subjective. People are not always going to agree. Which is why I made this thread. To discuss remakes that we like, remakes that we hate, and just films in general. :D 

 

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They were always bad.... except for scarface :D

Amityville remake was 2004 or 2005, didnt see or hear about a 2017 version.

There is also a remake of Children of the Corn , but it was Direct to Video, or even a TV film, and was terrible.

Oh and we forgot April Fools Day too.

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38 minutes ago, JasonWhorehees said:

Oh and we forgot April Fools Day too.

I don't know about you, but I was consciously trying to forget that one. The first one (1986) wasn't too bad. It was just a run-of-the-mill 80s campy slasher with a twist ending. The remake was another rehashed horror flick that had no likable characters whatsoever. I would put it up there (down there?) with the When A Stranger Calls (2006) and The Hitcher (2007) entries into this category.

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Man.. was hoping to contribute original material here, yet it looks like you covered the big ones. @Rexfellis I think all of your opinions are fair and I hate to Say it, but I completely agree with them.. ughhh. Hahaha

The new Flatliners looked awful and i didnt waste my time.

There have only been a few remakes I truly enjoy. I am going to add a weird one here though:

The original The Raven was a movie featuring Bella Lugosi and Boris Karloff back in 1935. I really enjoyed this movie, especially the finale in the basement and how much it pays homage to Poe. The torture devices in the basement were fantastic, especially for the time.

The first remake was a Roger Gorman flick in 1963 with boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lodge. It was spoof flick that was very enjoyable to me

Flash forward to 2012 where it is more of a crime/mystery/thriller. I felt this was a decent movie., not great, but better than i anticipated. John Cusack was mediocre. I enjoy the fact it celebrates Poe's last few days alive, which to this day is shrouded in mystery. After all, being found on a park bench in another person's clothes is not exactly a normal death. 

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1 hour ago, TheHansonGoons said:

 I think all of your opinions are fair and I hate to Say it, but I completely agree with them.. ughhh. Hahaha

The new Flatliners looked awful and i didnt waste my time.

There have only been a few remakes I truly enjoy. I am going to add a weird one here though:

The original The Raven was a movie featuring Bella Lugosi and Boris Karloff back in 1935. I really enjoyed this movie, especially the finale in the basement and how much it pays homage to Poe. The torture devices in the basement were fantastic, especially for the time.

The first remake was a Roger Gorman flick in 1963 with boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lodge. It was spoof flick that was very enjoyable to me

Flash forward to 2012 where it is more of a crime/mystery/thriller. I felt this was a decent movie., not great, but better than i anticipated. John Cusack was mediocre. I enjoy the fact it celebrates Poe's last few days alive, which to this day is shrouded in mystery. After all, being found on a park bench in another person's clothes is not exactly a normal death. 

Hey bro, they do say that great minds think alike. ;)

I didn't bother with the new Flatliners either. I'll be honest, I really didn't love the first one.

I do like the Lugosi/Karloff Raven film, but I really think I enjoy Corman's take with Vincent Price even more. I never saw, or even heard of, the 2012 rendition. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the rec. 👍 

It is true, Poe's life sounds just as strange as some of his stories. He is one of those "If I could go back in time and sit down to talk to anyone in history." guys for me. Him and H.P. Lovecraft.

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18 minutes ago, Rexfellis said:

Hey bro, they do say that great minds think alike. ;)

I didn't bother with the new Flatliners either. I'll be honest, I really didn't love the first one.

I do like the Lugosi/Karloff Raven film, but I really think I enjoy Corman's take with Vincent Price even more. I never saw, or even heard of, the 2012 rendition. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the rec. 👍 

It is true, Poe's life sounds just as strange as some of his stories. He is one of those "If I could go back in time and sit down to talk to anyone in history." guys for me. Him and H.P. Lovecraft.

Amen to him and Lovecraft. Lovecraft is my favorite author. My girl and I have spent several hours just watching YouTube videos exploring his mythos and the timelines involved. Did he basically created Scientology(broad analogy of his mythos and timeline, not literal) before L Ron Hubbard. Only he was doing it to terrify us with stories and not brainwash idiots. 😁 

Side note, not sure I totally recommend the Cusack version. I found it entertaining as a film, but I am sure most will disagree and think it's bad. I went in with Real low expectations.

*cue Lowered expectations theme music*

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18 minutes ago, TheHansonGoons said:

 Did he basically created Scientology(broad analogy of his mythos and timeline, not literal) before L Ron Hubbard. Only he was doing it to terrify us with stories and not brainwash idiots. 😁 

Side note, not sure I totally recommend the Cusack version. I found it entertaining as a film, but I am sure most will disagree and think it's bad. I went in with Real low expectations.

*cue Lowered expectations theme music*

Well, to be fair, L. Ron Hubbard and his cronies scare the shit out of me too. :lol: But, I do agree with Lovecraft being a favorite author, as well as a very interesting person. I would have loved to have spent 5 minutes in his head, but I might be crazier than I am now if I did so.

No worries about the expectations. I go into most movies now with low expectations...hence the subject of this thread. But, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. Worst case scenario, I waste a couple hours of my life. Then, of course, I will just blame and shame you for subjecting me to it! <_<

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27 minutes ago, TheHansonGoons said:

Amen to him and Lovecraft. Lovecraft is my favorite author. My girl and I have spent several hours just watching YouTube videos exploring his mythos and the timelines involved.

Did you watch the Spanish made film, Dagon, Hanson? It's sorta an Innsmouth story. It's decent and there is a very brief sequence worth the price of admission itself. If you like Lovecraft stuff, it might be something you'd enjoy. Same with you @Rexfellis

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8 minutes ago, Risinggrave said:

Did you watch the Spanish made film, Dagon,

Yeah man, I own that one. I really like this flick, and I know exactly the scene you are talking about. It got kind of a bad rap on IMDB and RT, but I don't trust either one of those sites anyway. I immediately downloaded "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" onto my kindle after watching it.The plot of the movie strayed from the novella a bit but I think it did capture that "Lovecraftion" magic with the mythos. I may have to break that one out again soon.

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1 minute ago, Risinggrave said:

Did you watch the Spanish made film, Dagon, Hanson? It's sorta an Innsmouth story. It's decent and there is a very brief sequence worth the price of admission itself. If you like Lovecraft stuff, it might be something you'd enjoy. Same with you @Rexfellis

Absolutely have watched that. Really enjoyed it. I also dig From Beyond, kind of a trilogy of Lovecraft stories directed by Stuart Gordon, with Jeffrey combs and Ken Foree.

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9 minutes ago, Rexfellis said:

Yeah man, I own that one. I really like this flick, and I know exactly the scene you are talking about. It got kind of a bad rap on IMDB and RT, but I don't trust either one of those sites anyway. I immediately downloaded "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" onto my kindle after watching it.The plot of the movie strayed from the novella a bit but I think it did capture that "Lovecraftion" magic with the mythos. I may have to break that one out again soon.

Poor Barb.

As far as capturing the mythos, It's been the most accurate to my knowledge. Of course I say this as a guy who prefers Howard to Lovecraft and who still wants to crack open Cthulhu in Pathfinder with a bastard sword (or a +5 warhammer of shocking burst and other stuff..)

7 minutes ago, TheHansonGoons said:

Absolutely have watched that. Really enjoyed it. I also dig From Beyond, kind of a trilogy of Lovecraft stories directed by Stuart Gordon, with Jeffrey combs and Ken Foree.

Good stuff. 

I may have to give From Beyond a look one of these days. I also need to find "In the Mouth of Madness" which fell under my radar as a youth. 

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17 minutes ago, Risinggrave said:

Poor Barb.

As far as capturing the mythos, It's been the most accurate to my knowledge. Of course I say this as a guy who prefers Howard to Lovecraft and who still wants to crack open Cthulhu in Pathfinder with a bastard sword (or a +5 warhammer of shocking burst and other stuff..)

Good stuff. 

I may have to give From Beyond a look one of these days. I also need to find "In the Mouth of Madness" which fell under my radar as a youth. 

I can't remember if I recently watched that on Shudder or Netflix. Loved it back in the day and I think it still holds up really well. 

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Leprechaun: Origins was awful. I imagine the pitch went like this: "Let's take a franchise that isn't one of the big four, take away everything that people love about it and add nothing to make up for it." Not a fan of that at all.

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