What’s up with all the remakes? That’s what horror movie audiences are asking. Over the past few years, we’ve seen remakes for “Friday the 13th,” “My Bloody Valentine,” and Rob Zombie’s “new take” on “Halloween” and “Halloween II.”
Those are only a few of the movies that have gone through the remake machine. But why? Are fans asking for them? Did John Doe write a letter to Screen Gems asking to see a “When a Stranger Calls” but this time with a Disney actress doing the answering and running? Did someone call 20th Century Fox pleading to see a reincarnation of everyone’s favorite devil child in the “The Omen?” I’m not one hundred percent sure but something sure is sparking the remake engine and it’s going fast with no end in sight. Of course, that is not to say that all remakes are necessarily atrocious.
Zombie’s “Halloween,” opened to mixed reviews, granted the phrase “not as good as the original” was a common theme in many. It also grossed over $50 million so it couldn’t have been all that bad. Of course, as with every other remake, there are fans on both sides of the picket line. Again, this poses the question, why remake it all? John Carpenter did a swell job of scaring girls into not taking babysitting jobs and checking their family tree for relatives named Michael Myers.
Studios may answer that they want to bring a fresh view to a classic or they want to mold older and newer generations together by “recreating” something old into something new. In essence, they have done just that. Many of the remakes feature popular stars of the current times. “Friday the 13th” cast Jared Padalecki from the CW hit “Supernatural” as the hero. Padalecki’s TV brother from the same show, Jensen Ackles, was cast in “My Bloody Valentine.”
Both actors have cult followings from the show and usually leave a trail of bawling females. Both movies may not have hit Titanic gold but still made money for their movie production companies. The fans of the originals saw the remakes because of their curiosity and need to compare classic and current. New fans saw it because they thought the leads were cute and the movie looked “pretty rad.” Whichever way you look at it, theater seats were not empty which made for a lot of happy CEO’s.
Money could be the main reason for remakes. Most horror movies are not that expensive to make. The profit for making a horror movie is very alluring to production companies. Going back to Zombie’s “Halloween,” the estimated budget was $20 million according to imdb.com. Dimension Films easily made back what was spent plus a little extra to encourage the sequel. Imdb.com also reported the budget for “My Bloody Valentine” was estimated at $15 million and grossed a little over $50 million. Critics and fans may not warm up to remaking horror classics but the green bills are saying otherwise. Money makes the world go round. It also makes horror movies “remakeable.”
The industry has “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the long anticipated “The Wolfman” waiting in the wings. “Nightmare” is very much a beloved classic and one can count that fans will take no prisoners when it comes to criticizing it. Robert Englund will be handing off the knife glove to Jackie Earle Haley and newcomer Rooney Mara will take over as Nancy. Benicio Del Toro will take the lead in “The Wolfman.” Both remakes have conjured up buzz in the horror movie world. Everyone wants to answer the ultimate question, “Was it better than the original?” But hey, if they bust, we can always wait for the next one.