Sunday, 31 March 2013

5 Iconic Horror Films Remade!

Remakes are not a new thing for the film industry but lately they seem to be just churning them out.  Although most times I prefer to see the original, there are some remakes that are excellent like John Carpenter's "The Thing" which was taken from "The Thing From Another World" or David Cronenberg's the "The Fly" which was a Vincent Price film with the same title.  Both took elements from the original, updated them and put an incredible twist on them.  I wish they were all that lucky.
  The studios over the years have tried to do the same with some of our favourite and surprisingly most disturbing horror films. (Who thought "I Spit on Your Grave" needed to be remade?) They have taken some of the most iconic maniacs in the gorosphere and updated them, gave them back stories and unleashed them on a younger generation.  

Here are 5 Iconic Horror Film Remade!

5. Friday the 13th (2009) - During a strange credits/clips montage, we find out Jason's Voorhees's mother killed a number of counselors to get revenge on them because she blames them for her son's death.  Unfortunately, she is decapitated by the last remaining counselor and then the "movie" begins years later.  A gang of college kids come out to go camping and enjoy the outdoors in the crystal lake region. Best friends Wade and Richie, also have other plans than camping as well.  They heard that there was acres of marijuana growing up in that area and they want to find some free bud to smoke and make some money.   Anyways, they all eventually get to a clearing and set up camp for the night.  That night during the campfire, Richie tells them the story about a mother whose son died and she blamed the camp counselor for his death.  So she killed them all except for one, who cut off her head.  (Didn't we just see this at the beginning?) Except Jason Voorhees, her son, saw his mother killed and he now roams around the forest now killing other people who come into these woods.  Whatever, Whitney and Mike want to go explore the forest and each other, so they take off into the woods.  Amanda easily convinces Richie to join her in her tent for some sexy sex,  soooo that leaves Wade all by himself.  Wade decides to search for the weed but winds up finding Jason, who kills him.  Meanwhile, Mike and Whitney on their romp through the woods, discover a run down summer camp and in one of the cabins, Whitney finds a locket with a picture that resembles her, so she keeps it.  Back at camp, Jason finishes off Richie and Amanda, then almost instantly pops out to find Mike and Whitney at the camp.  They try to escape but Jason finally catches up with them and kills Mike and we assume/hope Whitney dies as well.
  Six months later, Whitney's brother Clay comes searching for Whitney because the police aren't doing enough to find her.  At the gas station, he runs into a group of generic college kids, led by a serious douchebag named Trent and gets the gears from him about putting up a "Have You Seen Me" poster for his sister Whitney.  Luckily, Trent's girlfriend, Jenna takes a liking to Clay and calms everyone down.  Clay gets back on the road and goes door to door looking for his sister and the college kids go to party at Trent's dad's summer home.  When the college kids get there, it's time to party but Trent is being a douche and a real downer because he doesn't want them breaking shit.  Nolan and his girlfriend, Chelsea go wake boarding down by the lake and are quickly knocked off by Jason.  Two douchebags down.  Clay's door to door campaign eventually leads him to Trent's door and Jenna invites him in for a cold drink.  Trent sees Clay and loses his shit and tries to kick Clay out.  Jenna has had enough of Trent's shitty attitude and leaves with Clay, the stranger she just met. They go riding on his motorcycle for what would be hours, because the sun has now set and they come across a deserted Summer Camp.  They hear someone coming from the forest and naturally hide, like we all do when we hear people walking towards us.  They see Jason returning from a kill with a decapitated body.  This freaks Clay and Jenna out and they rush back to Trent's house!  Can they get back there in time and call the police before Jason kills them all or will this madman kill everyone for no reason except that's what's in the script.
  This film kind of drove me nuts and after reading who wrote the screenplay and who produced this, it made sense why.  It was produced by Michael Bay (destroyer of all things good in the 80's, Ninja Turtles) and was written by the same team who wrote Freddy vs Jason, who apparently still don't understand what made Friday the 13th enjoyable.  They try to jam four films of Crystal Lake mythos into one film, instead of just creating a believable horror about a masked killer, who is trying to get revenge for his mother.  So many things didn't make sense in this movie, *SPOILER ALERT* like why didn't Jason kill Whitney? why would anyone hang out with that Trent guy? And at the end, *BIG SPOILER* why would they throw the body of the man who killed everybody into the lake, so the police couldn't find him?  "A man in a hockey masked killed the guy I was arguing with at the store and all of his friends, officer"  I don't think the police would go for that.  Duh!  The gore scenes aren't even that imaginative and exciting, where is the next generation of Tom Savini's? And most of these characters are so generic and poorly written, you want to see die anyway.  I won't even say anything about the acting because the story is so terrible and it's not the actors fault.  The only reason to watch this film is if you love the franchise, but otherwise this was a waste of everybody's time including Jason's.

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) - Dean is sitting in a diner waiting for his friend Kris to arrive.  Another friend from high school, Nancy is a waitress there and asks him if he's alright.  He says he's fine but he just hasn't had enough sleep.  Nancy heads over to serve another table filled with friends. Jessse, Quentin, and some other kid from school are there to order some coffee and harasses quentin about liking Nancy.  When Kris arrives she heads over to see Dean but Jesse, who was Kris's ex-boyfriend, gets angry and sticks Quentin with the bill.  Quentin apologizes to Nancy, pays the bill and leaves with his friends.  At the other table, Dean tries to explain his nightmare situation to Kris and it sounds like she has been having similar dreams.  She wants to help but has to excuse herself to go to the bathroom.  While she's gone, Dean falls asleep and dreams that he is being attack by a little burned man with finger knives.  Unfortunately, from everyone at the diner's point of view, it looks like Dean is trying to commit suicide! Only Nancy can hear him telling someone to let him go.  Kris comes back to find everyone in shock and Dean dead.
  At the funeral, Kris notices a picture of Dean and her when they were little that she had never seen before.  She asks her mom about it but her mom isn't sure where it came from and tries to drop the subject.  After the funeral, Kris starts having the dreams about the little burnt man with finger knives and tries to talk to Nancy about it.  This jogs Nancy memory of a rhyme that Kris repeats at some point.  That night, Jesse sneaks into Kris's house and they talk about these bad dreams their having.  They end up falling asleep and Kris is murdered and Jesse is thrown in the slammer for killing Kris.  Nancy and Quentin can't believe that Jesse would murder Kris and talk to each other about their sleepless nights.  Jesse is brutally murdered in jail by the little burned man in his dreams and this prompts Nancy and Quentin to start investigating.  After a while, they force Nancy's mother to tell them about Freddy Krueger, who molested them all in pre-school and eventually disappeared. ;)  Eventually, they find out that all the parents chased down Krueger and burned him alive for molesting their children.  So now, Nancy and Quentin think he's attacking them in their dreams to exact his revenge!  With this logic, Nancy and Quentin must stay awake and stop this maniac from killing them and any other kids that were in their class at pre-school, but how?!?!
  Michael Bay teams up with the writer of Doom and a director of music videos to update Wes Craven's classic A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Surprisingly, nothing actually happens on Elm street in this remake but at least they kept the nightmare aspect of the title.  The film spends a lot of time without the heroine of the film, Nancy at the beginning, so it's a little jarring when she shifts into the lead role about half an hour in.  Like in most of these Michael Bay remakes, the characters aren't even that likeable and seem like fodder for Krueger instead of people we should be rooting for.  For someone who attacks people in their dreams, this Freddy Krueger has no subtly.  Killing people in restaurants and exploding chests in jail, Freddy doesn't seem to understand the art of stealth.  The film is darker and it focuses more on the fact that Freddy was a pedophile, which people seem to forget.  However I don't know how all the parents got their kids to forget about such a traumatic incident in their lives.  It's really unbelievable.  There are a couple bloody scenes that have been rehashed from the original movie but not done as well, like the bed scene with Kris.  That scene scared the shit out of me when I was a kid but not this time, it just seemed kind of lame.  The film was sloppy and lacked any on the charm of the original.  How this won the People's Choice Award for Best Horror is beyond me but I would hate to see what lost to this.

3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - It's 1973 and a group of friends are driving back from Mexico and heading out to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.  On the way they're somehow rockin out to Sweet Home Alabama, which doesn't get released til 1974, smokin dope and a pair of them are makin out in the back.  Kemper is driving, getting bitched out by his girlfriend, Erin about the dope they picked up, and almost hits a girl walking in the middle of the road.  They stop the van and invite the girl to get a ride with them to the next town.  Still heading in the same direction that she was going, she starts to freak out about not wanting to go back to the bad man, then she pulls a handgun from her vagina and shoots herself in the face!!!!  They all freak out, stop the car and try and figure out what to do.  They decide to drive to the next town and call the police, then cram back into the gross van and head out.  They find a store, stop in and tell the lady what happened.  The old bitty behind the counter calls the sheriff and tells the gang that the sheriff will meet them at some mill up the road.  They thank the creepy lady and hit the road.  At the mill they don't find the sheriff but a eerie little boy, who tells them that the sheriff is at home drinking then takes off.  Kemper and his girlfriend Erin decide to go and look around for the sheriff's house.  After walking through the woods, they discover an rundown plantation house with a old amputee named Monty there.  They ask to use the phone and lets Kemper inside to use it, but just Kemper.  Monty asks Erin to help him use the bathroom. Eww.  While Erin is helping Monty, Leatherface kills Kemper and when Monty finishes his business, Erin thinks that Kemper ditched her, so she walks back to the van.
  When Erin returns to the van, Kemper is still missing but the sheriff has arrived.  He looks over the body, takes the vagina pistol and returns it to his ankle holster.  Dun Dun Dun Duuuun!  The sheriff dumps the body in his trunk and tells the gang to get out.  He leaves and Erin takes another victim friend, Andy to the house to help her find Kemper.  While Erin distracts Monty, Andy sneaks into the house to find a chilling display of home decorations made of human flesh and bone.  You can't get that shit at Ikea!  Then Leatherface bursts out after them and Erin escapes back to the van, leaving another friend behind to be slaughtered.  When she gets back to the van, she piles everyone in, so they can escape but their van breaks down and a man with a chainsaw is coming fast!  Can Erin and her friends escape these creepy backwood killers and still make it to the Skynyrd concert in time or are they destined to become another lampshade for the nightlight of evil?
 This is another film by Michael Bay (killer of childhood memories, Transformers) and director Marcus Nispel (Friday the 13th (2009)) and it has the similar problems as the other ones! Surprise! The story telling sucks!  Characters going back and forth, here and there for no reason at all.  They have created more family members for Leatherface that don't really do anything and given him a reason to cut people skin off.  He had a skin condition when he was younger!  What?!  All this could have been avoided with Accutane or with a visit to a dermatologist? That's just silly.  The ending, like Friday the 13,  is terrible and doesn't make sense at all.  *SPOILER* At the end, she takes the baby that lives with the crazy family?  Why!?!  No one was hurting the baby and it would just slow her down.  If she survived she could have the police take the baby.  Also, she puts the baby in real harm, when she is driving like a maniac and has it right beside her in the front seat! Maddening!  I feel bad for the cast because there were some good people in this like, Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour and R. Lee Ermey, who would have made the film enjoyable if it wasn't all over the place.  It's very disappointing coming from someone who did the screenplay for "The Machinist".  There are some interesting gory scenes but I've seen better, in early versions of this film.  Better than the Next Generation but still not as good as the original. 

2. Halloween (2007) - Ten year old, Michael Myers has a had a tough life.  His father passed away, his mom's a stripper and the asshole she's shacked up with keeps calling him a fag.  However, it's his favourite day, Halloween and after celebrating by killing his one of his pets, he heads off to school for another shitty day.  Of course, nobody likes him at school and he gets into another fight in bathroom with a couple bullies.  He's had so many altercations, the school bring in Dr. Loomis, a child psychologist who wants to help Michael, but the mom doesn't think there's any real issue. I mean boys will be boys.  On his way home from school, Michael kills the boy he got in a fight with in the bathroom and then skips home for some trick or treating that evening.  Unfortunately, his mom is working that night and his slutty sister, Judith doesn't want to take him because her boyfriend is coming over, so Michael is forced to stay home and miss his favourite holiday. :(  Later that night, Michael gets even with them all, starting with his mother's boyfriend, who he ties up and slits his throat, then his sister Judith and her boyfriend, who he butchers like pigs, like pigs I tell you.  Then collects his baby sister and waits for the cops outside in his Halloween costume.  Everyone loves a clown.  When his mom arrive, she flips out and the police come.  Michael is put under the care of Dr. Loomis at the local mental hospital, where he stays for the next 15 years.
  While he's there, he kills a nurse and starts creating a wonderful collection of masks that he enjoys wearing from time to time.  He also has stopped communicating verbally with Dr. Loomis but he's made a new friend with one of the old prison guards.  Then one evening, a new prison guard and his buddy decide to rape a new inmate and for some reason, they bring her to Michael's room and while they rape the girl, they start fucking around with his masks.  So... Michael kills them all and waits to say goodbye to his friend the prison guard.  The morning comes and his prison guard friend shows up and can't believe the carnage that gone on that night. (which nobody reported?)  He asks Michael to get back into his cell but no dice, Michael kills him and then hits the road to Haddonfield!
  In Haddonfield, Laurie Strode kisses her family goodbye and heads to school but she has to drop something off at the creepy old Myer's place.  Luckily, Tommy, the boy she babysits is there to protect her.  She drops off the paperwork and it's off to school for both of them.  Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis is losing his shit because Michael Myers has escaped!  It's Halloween and he's got to get to Haddonfield before Michael kills again!  Back in Haddonfield, Laurie has noticed a strange masked man staring at her throughout the day and she tells her girlfriends, Annie and Lynda but they think she's just imagining it and that she needs to get laid.  Annie confirms that she can drop the girl she's babysitting off with Laurie, so her and her boyfriend can have the sex and then the girls disperse for the evening.  During this time, Dr. Loomis has made it to Haddonfield and discovered that someone has crucified an animal on the grave of Michael Myers mother.
  That night, Michael Myers steam rolls through Haddonfield, searching for his little sister and murdering anyone who gets in the way.  And surprise surprise, his sister is Laurie Strode!  Who was given up for adoption after Laurie's real mother killed herself because of the heinous crimes of Michael.  Can Dr. Loomis stop this deadly family reunion and get Michael back on his meds at the sanitarium or is Haddonfield about to lose another Myers family member?
  I don't know about this film because I can appreciate where director Rob Zombie is going with this but I don't really know if I liked it that much.  What I think he's trying to do is give a back story to Michael that will give us an understanding of why, he's the way he is. The broken home and other text book linking to serial killers are interesting but I've always enjoyed about the Myers character is that he is suppose to be pure evil.  I never needed to know about his home life or anything else, all I cared about is that the killed people.  Also, all the people that he kills in the first part of the film are jerks, so it seemed that Michael was actually the hero in most of the time, instead of the villain.  There are a ton of great people in this, Malcolm McDowell, William Forsythe, Danny Trejo, Bill Mosley and even Sybil Danning and Dee Wallace show up to get killed.  There lots of blood and some good gruesome deaths.  Overall, Zombie does an interesting take on the franchise and it's worth watching but keep an open mind.

1. Night of the Living Dead (1990)  - Johnnie and Barbara are visiting their mother's grave and Johnnie is giving Barbara a hard time about being alone and single.  Johnnie sees a man stumbling in the cemetery and tells Barbara that the man is coming to get her.  As he gets closer, Johnnie is getting louder and Barbara is embarassed and wants Johnnie to stop.  The man walks by looking dazed and confused, and then Barbara is attacked by a ghoulish man from behind!  Johnnie tries to save her but is mauled by the man.  Barbara terrified runs to the car but more of these ghoulish men are surrounding her car.  She realizes that she doesn't have the keys, so she puts the car into reverse and rolls down a hill until it crashes into a tree.  Barbara runs down the hill to a farm house looking for help but it too is filled with zombies.  Luckily, a truck pulls up in front and a black man named Ben, rushes out to save her.  They get back into the house and disperse of the zombies.  Ben asks Barbara a lot of questions but she is too traumatized to answer.  They hear the basement door open and discover other people hiding from this zombie attack.  They don't know what's happening either but Tom explains that this was his uncle's house. Him and his girlfriend came to pay respects because his uncle had just passed away but while they were here today, he rose from the dead and attack his cousins.  Tom goes on to explain that, Mr.  Cooper, His wife and daughter arrived shortly after and needed a place to hide.  Unfortunately, the Cooper's daughter was bitten by a zombie and they need to get her to a doctor immediately.  Double unfortunately, Mr. Cooper is a douchebag know it all and thinks they should barricade themselves in the basement until this situation is over.  Ben thinks that's a bad idea because there are no other exits and thinks they showed board up the windows and fortify the house.  Tom and Barbara agree but the zombies are coming and there isn't much time left, so they have to hurry.  Will they ever find out what has brought the dead back to life and why the want to feed on the flesh of the living or is this motley crue going to become another buffet for this legion of the undead.
  In his first full length movie, Tom Savini does a good job recreating George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead.  Tony Todd (Candyman, Sushi Girl) is excellent as the Ben character and Patricia Tallman does a wonderful job playing Barbara.  I was really surprised at how Savini kept the gore to a minimum.  After years of creating some of the most influential special effects, it was a little disappointing that there wasn't anything ground breaking in the gore with his turn in the director's chair.  Still, Savini gives us an excellent remake and it's almost as fun as the original.

I hadn't seen most of these remakes before this because I've always enjoyed the original and I was worried that the remake would tarnish my memories of these films but actually it's done the opposite.  After watching these films, I have a better appreciation for the love and attention to detail, that  directors like Wes Craven, John Carpenter or Tobe Hooper have given into creating these characters and stories that have carved bloody notches into our hearts.

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