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By James Whittington, Wednesday 21st March 2018
Remakes, love them or hate them if there's money to be made they'll always be with us. Hollywood loves to look back at past glories and try and wring some more blood out of a well rung stone. Here's my list of frightful fright-flicks that failed to restart an already dead franchise.
5: Poltergeist (2015) "They're here". The original Poltergeist movie from 1982 was a tour-de-farce of effects and atmosphere. Directed by Tobe Hooper with Steven Spielberg as writer and producer, it took the paranormal into new territory. Forward to 2015 and Gil Kenan is given the task of resurrecting the story. Poor guy, the film is a mish-mash of re-visited scenes and not so special effects. The scary clown has been given an update, but the movie lacks the heart of the original and the family that you cared so much for in the original are replaced by a family that you want to see rid of.
4: Psycho (1998) "A boy's best friend is his mother". Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was a pivotal movie in his career. Effective, chilling with an incredible score and an even more incredible lead actor it was a monochrome masterpiece. The tale of a lady embezzling money but checking into a motel ran by a mother dominated loner still chills today. Then why would respected director Gus Van Sant cast rising star Vince Vaughn in a shot for shot remake? To their credit they do what's asked of them, but it feels like a tribute act rather than a fresh take on story and being in colour it loses a lot of atmosphere. There's only one mommy's boy in cinema history.
3: The Omen (2006) "His day will come". The 6th of June 2006 was too go an opportunity to miss for studio execs and it was the perfect excuse to remake Richard Donner's demonic classic, The Omen. Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles replace Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as an American Ambassador and wife who suspect their child could be a little devil, literally. Remakes can be great if they bring something new to the story, but this fails to, even the effects, which are not so special, fail to ignite any sort of enthusiasm for it.
2: Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) "Welcome to your new nightmare". For some, there is a definitive actor for a specific part such as Christopher Lee as Dracula or Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera. Let's be honest, there's only one Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund so it would be a brave person to step into his shoes. Step forward Jackie Earle Haley. This entry into the Elm Street universe gave Freddy a truly nasty side, something missed in the original run and he also lost his use of one-liners. Haley is a superb actor, but here he is cursed with a script that is just too far removed from what we expected or wanted from the character.
1: Halloween (2007) "Evil has a destiny". John Carpenter's masterpiece from 1978 is a benchmark in the slasher genre. He gave the world an un-killable killer who would hack n' slash his way through 6 more movies. Rob Zombie, famous for his raw shockers House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, took Michael Myers in a new and more violent direction losing the tension and mystery of the original. The cast, especially Malcolm McDowell, chew the scenery as much as possible whilst Zombie seems to think that ultra-violence is what was needed to update the story. On the plus side it has a great version of the Halloween theme!
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