It seems that over the last decade or so, we have been flooded by endless remakes, prequels, sequels and the dreaded "reimagining". Of course, remakes are nothing new, and have been a film staple for quite a while. It just seems that in the horror genre in particular, almost every month there's some remake of some horror film.
In recent years, we've been treated to remakes of some venerable horror classics such as "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Friday the 13th", "Last House on the Left", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and. the one that shattered my soul the most, Rob Zombie's remake of "Halloween".
All of this got me thinking, "What's really going on here? Why so many remakes? Are they good for the genre or bad for the genre?" So many questions......
I know that many horror fans are rabidly anti-remake, and I can completely understand that, especially when it comes to the classics, like the ones I mentioned above. While I am not nearly as militant as some fans, I still can't help but wonder why Hollywood bothers to remake some of these horror classics. The originals have stood the test of time, and still hold up today. I still maintain that the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" is a very creepy, scary film. The original "Halloween" is one of my favorite horror films of all time, as is "Last House on the Left".
So, why bother? The answer is simple. MONEY. We fans tend to forget that Hollywood studios are corporations and corporations exist to turn a profit. That's it. If I told you that you could invest $5 million in a project, and that it would pay back $50 million in the end, you would ask me where the dotted line was so you could sign up, and please don't tell me that you wouldn't. The studios know that the current, young generation of filmgoers will make these films the number one film the weekend that they are released.
I think the problem comes in when we fans perceive that what we feel is "a classic" is being tampered with. Don't get me wrong. If they ever remake "The Exorcist" or "Jaws" my head will probably explode. I feel there was NO need to remake films like "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday the 13th" because the originals still hold up after all these years. The best remakes are ones of films that were not that great to begin with, or have become old and tired. Tell me that a film like "Soylent Green" is not ripe for a remake.
I'm going to make a statement that I am sure many fans will not find popular, but it's the truth. We horror fans tend to feel that we "own" these films somehow. Yes, in a way we do. It is we who have cherished and supported them over all these years and have kept them popular. But, when you get right down to it, these films are not owned by us, they are owned by the fimmakers, who ultimately can do with them as they see fit.
Let me ask you this, fellow freaks. Why should Rob Zombie's shitty remake of "Halloween", or the awful American remakes of classic Asian horror films diminish your love of the originals in any way? So they're remaking a film. So f**king what? Don't go see it. Instead, get a bunch of friends together, some of whom have not seen the originals, and WATCH THEM. Go and buy them when they come out on blu-ray. When a local theater puts them on the big screen, GO AND SEE THEM! It's that simple.
When all is said and done, it's up to us, the fan base, to decide where to spend our hard-earned dollars. Don't like remakes? Don't go see them. We can lament these things until the end of time, but they won't change. You want to make a difference? Attend a screening of a new independent horror film. Go to a film festival and support the filmmakers. Go to a convention and purchase a bunch of indie horror film and, if your theater has the balls to show an unrated horror film, GO AND SEE IT!
THE HORROR NERD COMMANDS YOU!