This just in: America cannot and will not read subtitles. Ignorance is spreading from coast to coast, is there anything that can stop this epidemic?
Have you ever heard of a remake of a film that was a made just a year after the original was released? Sounds pretty farfetched, but when it comes to Americans and their unwillingness to read, we get light-speed drive-thru service. Quick and speedy films completely re-done just to add American actors in order to market the film better in the good old U.S.A.
In 2007, an absolute horror gem was released in Spain. This film was called [REC], and followed the story of a news reporter who was doing a story on the lives of firefighters. The reporter goes on a call to an apartment building, things go awry when a viral outbreak leaves them trapped in a dark place full of very dark secrets.
This film is absolutely breath-taking, it has stunning, non-stop action, and truly terrifying moments. The entire film is shot in first-person perspective, giving it a very real-life feel. This Spanish horror flick went on to receive many awards, and was given very positive reviews by critics.
In 2008, a film you are all probably are much more familiar with was released called “Quarantine”. It is the American remake of “[REC]” made only a year later. Sitting down to watch the film, you will realize something that is very disturbing. This is a frame for frame remake of a film made only a year prior.
The locations, the dialogue, literally everything has been kept the same. The actors and the fact that they spoke English was one of the very few changes they felt they needed to make. There are a few bits of dialogue they actually added or wrote, this was a complete waste of time of creative efforts. If you want to watch the same film, only with spot-on acting and scarier moments, please check out the source. “[REC]” deserves to be known.
“Let the Right one in“, a brilliant Swedish horror-fairytale about vampires was released in 2008. This film is hailed as “the best modern vampire movie”. There’s no frolicking through daisies and glistening skin like in other films that claim to harbor vampires. This is a story of dark deeds done by a pair of children, one of which who is being bullied, the other who happens to be a blood-thirsty vampire. They develop a close-bond together.
In 2010, again, an American remake of the above Swedish film named “Let me in”, is being adapted, directed by Matt Reeves. The director of the Swedish version has expressed discontent, stating: “Remakes should be made of movies that aren’t very good, that gives you the chance to fix whatever has gone wrong”.
This brings me to the final foreign film that does not need to be remade. One of my favorite ghost tales of all time, a Spanish film called “The Orphanage”. Produced by Guillermo Del Toro. This is a beautiful and haunting movie about a woman and her husband who move back to the Orphanage where she was raised. Laura, the woman, wants to revamp and reopen the place to once again be a refuge for orphans. Soon, her adopted son goes missing and she comes to find out many dark secrets from her past.
The films director, Bayona stated upon hearing of the remake: “The Americans have all the money in the world but can’t do anything, while we can do whatever we want but don’t have the money” and “The American industry doesn’t take chances, that’s why they make remakes of movies that were already big hits”
There is still no tentative release date on the American remake of “The Orphanage”.
All three of these films were praised by both English-speaking and foreign critics alike. These are flawless movies that are hastily and carelessly remade (or planned on it) for the simple sake of money in the bank. There are many other examples of this happening, especially with Korean and Japanese horror. The Korean monster movie The Host is set to be remade, Kairo (Pulse) was remade, Ringu, Ju-On, I could write a ten page article on this. Please pay homage by picking up a copy of the originals, they are the creative heart and soul of these films.