Hollywood releases hundreds of films each year and some of those movies, unbeknown to the average filmgoer, are regurgitated copies of original ideas in older movies.
Remakes have been a hot topic of discussion among movie fans for quite some time, but I never could fully wrap my head around why film companies would spend their time recreating beloved films at the risk of receiving harsh criticism. Regardless, I have spent money on tickets to watch remakes, some of which I hated and few of which I surprisingly enjoyed.
Obviously, I am not the only one who finds movie remakes a divisive source of conversation. Various film directors and actors have shared their thoughts on why the remakes of their movies were not as good as the originals. One of those actors is none other than the man who portrayed Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, who spoke to Shock Till You Drop about his thoughts on the 2010 remake of the horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street.
"I thought the movie was a little cold. We weren't really given time to see the kids when they were normal, before they were frantic and haunted by Freddy," Englund said. "That made it harder to connect with them, harder to care what happened to them."
More recently, Kathryn Bigelow's explosive Point Break was remade and released into theaters, but the reboot scored awful reviews from critics, earning a horrific 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. A perfect example of an unnecessary remake, Point Break was plagued with predictable CGI and more action than story progression. In addition, Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze offered more entertaining performances, which 2015's lead actors could not.
There are also some films where its hard to see the point of remaking them. I cannot help but cringe at rumors of cult classics and personal favorites of mine, such as Scarface and Rambo: First Blood, being remade with new casts and directors. It is hard for me to imagine seeing anyone else don the role of Tony Montana like Al Pacino can, or even utter the legendary line "Say hello to my little friend!" Nevertheless, time will tell.
In spite of me dreading the rumors for possible remakes, I'm not cynical enough to believe all movie remakes deserve to burn in hell. There have been times when I watched remakes of my favorite films and had my expectations broken while experiencing genuine moments of appreciation for what the filmmakers added to the original. In the 2013 remake of the lunatic Evil Dead, director Fede Alvarez (who also directed Don't Breathe) flipped the tone of the original horror movie on its head, turning the film into a much darker horror film with ferocious demons and brutal sequences of violence.
Some directors have even received Oscar recognition for their efforts in reimagining other films, such as in Martin Scorsese's The Departed. Scorsese won the Academy Award for Best Director at the 2007 Oscars for his star-studded remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs. The film did not do much to alter the premise of the source material, but the change in setting and use of big names — Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Alec Baldwin — allowed it to showcase stunning performances while building a darker world than the original.
With new remakes of The Crow and Suspiria recently announced, reworking original films continues to trend regardless of complaints. But, the true worth of a film's retelling comes from the newer work's ability to tell that story in a refreshing way. The best remakes not only grab hold of the essential aspects of the original film, but build upon them. They are innovative. This is what separates the insightful remakes from the uninspired copycats.