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.
Remaking Japanese horror movies in America is a pretty common thing these days. After The Ring came out and was successful it opened the flood gates for other J-horror flicks to get the Hollywood treatment. From The Grudge to Pulse lots of Japanese horror has made its way overseas with mixed results in the remake department. Recently I saw a Japanese horror movie that was by no means a cinematic gem, hell, it hardly passed for a real movie, but the plot had some interesting concepts and that is all you need to green light a remake these days, and that is why Killer Car should get an American remake.
So what is Killer Car? It is a Japanese “film” from 2008 that somehow got released on DVD over here in America. I still am not sure on the details of how we came across it (apparently the video store by my friends apartment specializes in terrible movies) but it is a real movie, I assure you. The plot revolves around a group of college students going on a road trip when they get trapped in the woods and start getting killed off one by one. It is a pretty basic horror plot with a twist, it seems that a vengeful spirit (much like the ghosts in The Grudge) is the one committing the murders. Or so it seems. I’m going to spoil the plot, so if you really do not want to know what happens in this movie stop reading right now but feel free to check out the other cool articles on the site. Ok, are we all cool? Still reading this? It turns out that one of the college students is a murderer and was the person that killed the girl that became the vengeful ghost. Not exactly a Sixth Sense grade twist, but enough to be interesting.
With that plot twist we have the makings for what could be an interesting remake. The first aspect of this movie that struck me as interesting is that the setting for the movie is in such a confined and intimate setting, a van. Remember how cool Devil seemed because they were all trapped in an elevator? Kind of like that but this time its a van. The second thing that seemed interesting to me was the twist. They set up this whole ghost thing and then it turns out one of the group is a murderer too? Awesome. In the remake lets drop that the ghost kills anyone and reveal that the guy was going it the whole time. There can still be a ghost, or at least a character that thinks they see a ghost, so there can be that great red herring, but then in the end it will just be a regular murder situation.
As far as a director is concerned I am going to go with one of my favorite horror guys, Alexandre Aja. Aja is a master of tension (as seen in High Tension) and he knows how to make a seemingly plain story a lot of fun (like in P2). His use of gore will be unsettling and I really think he will be able to create the right mood of suspicion with just the right touch of supernaturalness to lead the viewer astray. Plus, he made Mirrors which is one of the most underrated horror movies of the last decade.
The actors could all be unknowns, but I would really love to see Topher Grace in this remake. His work as the secret villain in Predators was great. I think he would be the perfect guy to be secretly murdering his friends. His dark side reveal would be unsettling and surprising to most audiences due to his kind nature in most of his other movies. He still looks young enough to play a college kid, so that works out well too. As for the rest of the cast I say throw in some people no one has heard of, they are just going to get killed off anyways.
Japanese horror movies constantly get remade here in America, there really is no avoiding it. We might as well start picking some more interesting ones, even if they are not good movies to begin with. Hell, just say it is a J-horror remake and tons of people will see it based on that alone, why not make it a cool movie too? Feel free to drop some suggestions and let me know what your favorite foreign horror movies are in the comment section and maybe you will see it in an upcoming edition of Reasonable Remakes.