Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content with REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd Justin Proper, this column aims to highlight Hollywood’s forgotten gems and spark debate.
You see, we’ve grown tired of Hollywood rehashing ideas we’re old enough to remember. Why remake something the majority of the planet still remembers and loves deeply when there are tons of films that deserve a chance to be as great as modern technology and skill can make them? If you agree, this column is for you.
It’s October and that means it’s horror month. Halloween is coming, and everyone is getting in to that creepy mood. Regular readers (apparently some of you keep coming back) may have noticed that I haven’t covered any horror movies in the article yet. That was on purpose, I’ve been saving them all up for this month. So sit back, turn the lights down low, and get ready to get scared. This week we’ve got 5 Horror Remakes Worth seeing, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
5. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
I’ll be the first to admit that I love Alexandre Aja. In fact, I have yet to see a film of his that I didn’t consider a triumph (yes, even P2 and Mirrors). So when I heard that he was directing a remake of a Wes Craven movie I was excited. When the movie came out I was a senior in high school and my friends always went to check out the latest horror movies in theaters. I distinctly recall one of our female companions getting physically ill over this movie (and keep in mind, this girl loved the Saw movies and Hostels, so it wasn’t a matter of weak stomach) and that’s when I knew this film was something amazing. From the grotesque mutants to the brutal gore to the violent rape scene The Hills Have Eyes grabs hold and doesn’t let up until the end.
4. Halloween (2007)
Rob Zombie makes some really weird films. Weird, but awesome. House of 1000 Corpses was really hard for most people to watch, but I freakin’ loved it. I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but he got his hands on the Halloween remake. This had to be a make or break situation. Halloween is one of the most beloved slasher flicks in cinematic history, and ruining it would be a black mark on Zombie’s film career. Luckily, he not only pulled it off, but he gave us a whole new perspective on the Michael Myers character. Zombie put his own twist on the classic and it paid off ten-fold. Not only was his remake great, but the sequel to his remake is still one of my favorite modern horror flicks around (plus it’s got Foghat, the greatest rock band in history).
3. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
I’m really sick of 3D movies. If there’s an option to see a 3D movie in 2D, I’ll take it every time. This is due to the terrible post production 3D effect Hollywood is tacking on to every major release lately. In 2009 MBV3D came out and I was genuinely excited to go to the theater. This was the first horror movie to be shot and released in 3D in many years, and the first rated R movie to get the 3D treatment in Real D. All of that aside, this movie was made to be in 3D. A lot of care was taken in making sure they utilized the 3D for the best things possible (pickaxe flying at screen, empty chest cavity depth, etc). The movie may not have exactly been Oscar material, but it was downright fun and exciting, and really, that’s all it aimed to be.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
I’ll be the first to tell you that Michael Bay sucks. When I saw his name attached to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake I was concerned. Thankfully, he only was a producer and probably didn’t have much to do with the actual movie (this is evident due to a semi-coherent plot and lack of explosions). The movie itself turned out great. Enough time passed since the original that most of my generation were aware of it, but hadn’t actually seen it, so a remake was ripe for the picking. The modern update brought great film techniques and awesome pop-out scares. The build up and tension of the film had most of my friends on the edge of their seats for an hour and a half and the creepy family was extremely on key and memorable. Plus, it had everyone at the lunch table the next monday debating whether or not the film was based on real events due to the “found footage” at the end of the movie (this was before everyone in my town had easy access to the internet, hell, most of us still used Yahoo to search things).
1. The Ring (2002)
If someone asked me right now if there was any movie I refused to watch I would only have one answer: The Ring. This is the only movie to ever really frighten me so much I haven’t watched it again since seeing it in theaters. Sure, I was only 14 when I saw it, and yeah, this was before I was a horror aficionado, but I still think it’s scary dammit. The Ring had the perfect atmosphere and mood. It didn’t rely on gore or surprises to scare you, it just built up and built up slowly, leading you to fill in the gaps in your head. We never saw what Samara did to her victims, we just saw the approach and the aftermath. Not only was it a great horror film, but it’s a great mystery film as well. The plot is revealed at the perfect pace to keep you guessing and wondering until the end. Speaking of the end, I love how just when you think everything is perfectly fine that creepy little girl strikes again, finally leading to the answers we’d looked for all along. The Ring sits at 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, and if that isn’t a good enough reason to watch it, I don’t know what is. Damn you The Ring for making me afraid of the thing I loved most (television), Damn you to hell.
That’s all we have this week. Hit up the comment section with some other horror remakes you enjoyed and don’t forget to call me a pussy for being scared of The Ring. Next week I’ll hit your brain with a great horror movie you probably haven’t heard of that I think should be remade, because I’m a hipster like that. Until then, go get scared everybody, it’s October.
Written by: Justin Proper