In class we started to get on the subject of how remakes are just a cheap way to gain profit and are rarely well made films. Well I found someone’s blog post where Vic Holtreman claims to have boiled down how to successfully remake a movie in just five steps. I’m going to take his five points and write my own opinion about them. I’ll paste the link below so everyone can read his reasons behind the five steps.
1. Stories in the public domain that have already had multiple movie remakes done.
I agree with Vic’s first step because in a way I feel remakes of classics don’t really count as remakes. Vic uses movies such as Dracula as an example of a classic and I feel stories like this are so well known and established, that it is very hard to mess up a remake. What I mean is that, for example, the story of Dracula is known by many people, so in a way people know what to expect in a remake. Kind of like how people feel when they go to Mc Donalds, they go there for food because they know what they are going to get, no matter where it is or when it is. People going to see Dracula usually have a base knowledge of what to expect, leading to less let downs. There is the argument that people would like to see classics reinvented, but do you think that really counts as a remake?
They both suck blood... right?
2. The original is terribly dated in either setting or pacing and style.
Where many people who love older movies will totally disagree with me, I feel this is very true because when I watch some movies from the 40s and 50s I find myself a bit bored, which I feel has to do with pacing. Maybe this is because newer generations of audiences have a different respect for movies, but then wouldn’t a remake serve good here, to retell a story for newer generations?
Too much masculinity...
3. The original is not terribly well known or beloved.
I feel this is very true and I will use the example of John Carpenter’s The Thing as an example because many people probably do not even know this is a remake of The Thing From Another World. This proves the point that it helps to remake films that are not well known and it creates a successful remake because hell, half the public don’t even think of it as a remake.
Ain't nothing but a thang!
4. The remake does in fact bring something new while respecting the original.
I think this is interesting because here someone can use the original film to tell the story in their own way. A good example of this is Halloween and Rob Zombie’s remake, where it essentially tells the same story without changing main plot elements, just from a different characters perspective. One film I’m interested in seeing how this is done is the soon to be American remake of the Swedish Let The Right One In, titled Let Me In. I feel this is going to be interesting because the Swedish movie is based off a novel that is quite lengthy and has many different elements and the American film plans to focus the movie on elements from the book that weren’t expressed in the Swedish film.
All I'm going to say is I hate Rob Zombie...
5. The original was basically pretty cheesy or tongue-in-check in tone and most folks wouldn’t care if it was remade.
I think this is very true and the perfect example that comes to mind is the remake of Wes Craven’s The Last House On The Left. I must say I actually enjoyed the remake better than the original because it stays very true to the original story, it just takes out some of the slapstick elements of Wes Craven’s original. Personally I felt this element did not mesh well with the rest of the original exploitation film and actually takes away from some of the shock and horror.
I liked the last house on the... right more
I feel these are actually five pretty accurate steps to create a successful remake. Let me know if you guys agree or disagree.