The past decade has seen Hollywood remakes running rampant. They’re like a virus, spreading every day & squeezing the life out of audiences. Don’t get me wrong because I am not opposed to the concept of a remake… I just reckon that certain consideration ought to be given. They've existed for eons... Hell, even Hitchcock was remaking his own movies.
My biggest problem with the recent spate of remakes is that they’re systematically erasing history. Some very important films have been remade and for each one there's a new audience of kids who will probably never know of the originals. A good example of this was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). When this was released in my video store most of the kids renting it had NO IDEA that Tobe Hooper’s original even existed. This was cause for concern. The original TCM is a monumental film and possibly one of the most influential of the past 50 years. It reinvented an entire genre, it changed the way people looked at cinema and forged a path for filmmakers to come…. It stands alone and I don't see any valid reason (other than money) to remake it.
And so I want to impose 3 of my own unwritten rules when it comes to remaking movies. Studios take note:
1) If the original film holds a legacy or a big significance in our culture, then it should not be touched.
Some culprits of this are: Psycho, Rear Window, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Planet of the Apes, City of Angels, Get Carter, The Wicker Man, Nightmare On Elm St… and so on. You get the point.
2) If the film in question has poorly dated, is widely unknown or was received poorly then it CAN be remade.
Some examples of this rule are: The Thing, True Grit, Scarface, Cape Fear, The Fly, 3:10 To Yuma, Red Dragon, The Departed… and so on.
3) Reboot instead of remake and work it so that the film acts as a continuation at the same time.
A good example of this was the Friday The 13th reboot and Piranha 3D. Both films established a story which acts as a spring board for newcomers to the series and all the while maintaining a credible continuation of the original series.
So as you can see there IS room for Hollywood to remake old films. The problem is that they’re not remaking the right ones. Instead they are pumping out carbon copied movies that insult (rather than honour) their original counterparts. As each generation comes along those old films are forgotten and legacies are lost.
Perhaps you think I am being a drama queen, or maybe you agree with me? Whatever the case I would love to know what you think and perhaps hear what kind of rules you think need to be set!