The unfortunate truth is that most remakes are pre-destined to be awful. I’m not saying they’re all bad, there are some I rather like, but most of the recent ones never really had a chance to be good. Even if a passionate writer, director and cast are brought onboard they’re still essentially fighting an uphill battle against the reason they were hired in the first place. Money. If a studio owns a certain piece of recognizable property, when they opt to remake it they do so because they feel like it’s a secure financial decision (even if many recent ones have tanked). This means it’s already a film by committee even before the creative team is added. That’s an unhealthy, and usually unfixable, power dynamic for any production.
But what if that wasn’t the case? I mean, we can dream right? I know John Carpenter’s The Thing is always cited as one of the times they “got it right” – but the climate has changed a lot since 1982. I need only to point you in the general direction the 2011 version The Thing to illustrate how much. I suppose one of the recent ones that almost got it right was Dennis Iliadis’ 2009 remake of The Last House On The Left. It had the right idea in that most successful remakes update films that had interesting ideas, but weren’t necessarily great to begin with. Wes Craven’s 1972 TLHOTL is one of those films. It’s a totally incompetent mess (Craven got better later). But while Iliadis’ film is far superior in many ways, it bungles the themes and crosses the line. It allows the daughter to survive, which turns it from a revenge film into a survival film. And it also lingers on the rape scene for far too long. It’s a scene that’s even less necessary than it was before because the audience no longer needs to be sold on the revenge motif.
But at least it got close! It took an unwatchable film and made it watchable (again – except for the inexcusable context for that 5 minute assault)! What if we lived in a world where remakes were even better than this and actually hit their marks creatively? What are some of the famous properties that could use a good dusting off? Let’s indulge in the fantasy of a universe where remakes actually happen for semi-decent reasons!
If you can get onboard with that, head inside to check out which remakes we’d like to see! Then let us know yours in the comments! READ MORE