As I settled in with a few beers to write an opinion article for this issue of Scream Scene, I learned that the American remake of the brilliant and beautiful Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In had just gone into production. Entitled Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In moves the location from Sweden to America. According to the filmmakers, the movie will “forge a unique identity for Let Me In, placing it firmly in an American context.” In other words, they are going to dumb it down and play to the lowest common denominator as usual. Just look at what Rob Zombie did to Halloween.
I was so pissed off at the thought of what an American version of Let the Right One In might look like that I couldn’t bring myself to write anything that wasn’t a beer-fueled tirade. So, to take my mind off the infuriating number of horror remakes coming out of Hollywood, I went riffling through my DVD collection to find a good and original movie to watch. As a result, I came upon one of my favorite movies of all time: The Fly. David Cronenberg’s The Fly. The Fly remake.
Regardless, there are three things fans can do to offset the effect of terrible remakes.
1.) Don’t go see every horror remake that comes out. If you do, you help fuel the remake hype machine with your dollars. Even if you’re disappointed upon leaving the theatre, you’ve helped turn a shitty movie into “The #1 Movie in Canada” for a weekend. Wait to hear some word of mouth before you fork over your hard-earned cash.
2.) Support independent and foreign horror. At the same time as I caution you against indiscriminate consumption of horror remakes, do not be content with Hollywood’s attempt to sell you stuff you’ve seen before. If you want to take a risk, take a risk on something foreign and independent when you go to the video store. There are a host of great independent features and foreign films that deserve to be seen. Even if you don’t like the films, at least you’re rewarding originality
3.) See the originals. Whether you like or dislike a remake, take the time to seek out the original film. It may be old, it may be foreign, or it may be independent, but if a remake was intriguing enough to get your butt into the theatre or to get a DVD into your player, seek out the original film(s) .
In short, I’ve learned not to rage against specific remakes until I’ve seen them. I like too many horror remakes to say that all remakes suck.