Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
April 10, 2013
Kim Hollis: At this point, we've pretty much remade every horror film. Do you believe studios are well within their rights to do this? Are there any of these titles that you consider sacrilege?
If you do think it's okay, what do you think the rules and guidelines are that make it okay?
Brett Ballard-Beach: The simple (cynical) answer is that the people who hold the rights to the product are always free to do whatever they want with it; audiences are a necessary evil. (Sonic Youth once borrowed the quote "Once it leaves your head, it's already compromised.") If the creator - writer and or director, for sake of argument - of a movie holds the rights, that may be preferable, but he or she has the potential to muck it up just as much as if a studio or executive producer hold the rights and decides to re/make/boot/imagine/vision. I don't understand kowtowing to the fans, getting their permission, approval, etc. It seems to me it could mess with the artistic process, such as it may be
I may have once thought there were some movies (horror or otherwise) too esteemed to be redone (more on that in a second) but I have long since resigned myself or gained clarity on the subject, depending on your point of view - it doesn't offend me and I don't see why it should offend a fan, whatever the film or series may be. It would be preferable not to have a piece of crap that is in any way tangentially related to something that you hold in high esteem, but it doesn't and shouldn't lessen what you love about the films you love. But, you know, I still have the (small but real) fears that Before Midnight might not prove to my liking so I empathize with those who have a strong feeling of emotional investment that ends up, in their view, being betrayed.
Gus Van Sant's Psycho project is the case subject I would use as the nadir of "why the hell does this sacrilegious film exist?", but prior to that there were three sequels and a TV series, some of which I really like, so I ain't climbing the high horse (And the answer is that Gus Van Sant was the hottest name in town post Good Will Hunting, and this is what he chose to cash his commercial chips on.)
And, although it doesn't entirely redeem the project a) It provides an interesting view of Vince Vaughn's career in the late ‘90s and an entirely different direction he was exploring at the time, with a slew of small weird indie films mixed in with blockbusters. Looking back, he was a great choice; and b) for me the last four minutes (by which I mean the closing credit sequence) is the key to understanding the film. Every time I watch it, it never fails to freak me the fuck out. As crazy as it sounds, I always think something is going to happen.
Matthew Huntley: All I ask is they don't touch The Exorcist. They can keep imitating it all they want, but please don't attempt to remake the original. Like so many, it's fine as is!
Edwin Davies: Yeah, I think The Exorcist is the only one that would really, really piss me off, but then again that film has already endured two sequels (one pretty good, the other mindbogglingly awful) and two poor prequels without being diminished, so I'm sure it could withstand a bad remake or two. Apart from that, most of the horror films that I really love already have been remade, so I don't feel as if there is anything else that is truly beyond being remade, with the possible exception of stuff too weird and out there like Brian Yuzna's Society or most of David Cronenberg's stuff.
I think the only rule that people should follow if trying to remake a film is to try to make a new film, rather than just copy the earlier one shot for shot. Obviously it won't be original, but if it feels like a new take then it at least justifies its own existence somewhat. There's nothing worse than a horror remake that's little more than an update with no individual personality.