I understand that we think some movies are sacred. Guess what, they're not. I will admit that some movies handle the passing of time better than others. I like to think Caddyshack is a classic! I like to think that The Godfather is a classic. Some movies I think could never be remade as well as they were originally. Could anyone really capture the calm power of Marlon Brando or the comedic timing of everyone in Caddyshack? Seriously, I am 44 years old, and I honestly haven't seen Caddyshack in at least a decade and I will quote a line from that movie at least once a week. From Bill Murray to Rodney Dangerfield, nothing but perfection. I admit I would cringe at the thought of that being remade. Just as I did when I heard they had made a sequel to it.
Do you remember the sequel? Most people don't. It was that bad. It had great writers, it had great actors but I think only one returning cast member, Chevy Chase but he was only in it for a minute as a I recall. The movie just couldn't come close to capturing the magic of the first one. But, what it did do, is make a whole lot of people who never saw the first film go and rent it. In the long run it made people appreciate the original even more.
Of course that was a sequel and not a remake but it all goes to the same thing, why ruin the original? Well, that's just it, you can't ruin the original.
Here's a better example, I loved the original The Thing from the 1951. I love so many of those black and white classics. But, as much as I love that movie, what John Carpenter did with the remake was incredible. To this day, it's hard to find a better monster movie. The special effects are just as good today as they were then, in fact, I think that they are better because there's no CGI. Don't get me wrong, CGI can be great but when it comes to gore, it almost always makes it worse.
Case in point, the latest rendition of the The Thing in 2011. What a great idea that was. To go back to the first camp that discovered the monster in the snow. In Carpenter's The Thing we only got to see a bit of it and looked pretty terrifying.
So, the make a prequel and promise real gore and then at the last minute deliver a pathetic CGI fest. It kinda bombed.
But I digress. My point here is that I can list remakes of films all day long that are just as good even better than the originals. If you're honest with yourself, you can too. Sure we can name films that have horrible remakes but we can really say the remake was so bad it made the original suck? I don't think so.
I just read the other day that they are going to "Reboot" the Terminator. I like how we say reboot, instead of remake, remake sounds so bad, but "reboot"? Well, that sounds interesting? I wonder whatever they will do with it? People are so shallow sometimes. However, the point remains that I don't care how bad the remake might be, it isn't going to ruin the first two Terminators. Those are classics and that will never change.
But, what if the new movie is a success? Well, how can that be a bad thing? Now we have another movie to love. For years, people will debate which is better. It will be talked about and watched for decades. How is that a bad thing?
The only complaint to a remake or reboot that holds water is, "Doesn't Hollywood have any new ideas any more?" Well, to be honest, no. There's only really two or three stories out there, and every single movie is remake of one of those stories. Change the time period, change the names and location, BAM! New movie!
What remakes do is allow us a chance to maybe bring something new to the table. Maybe make something even more interesting. Let me offer a few remakes, some will be horror because, that's what I love but all of them brought something new to the table while still paying respect to the original.
The Grudge, The Fly, Dawn of the Dead, Hills Have Eyes, Father of the Bride, Heaven Can Wait, Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978, Scarface, Cape Fear, The Magnificent Seven and let's not forget The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, come on folks, Jessica Biel's pokies!
Sometimes I'd love a remake to be made just because I want people to see the original. For example, I love The Changeling with George C. Scott from 1980. Not a lot of people have seen it and it's one of the best ghost stories ever told. If the remake was good, there's still going to be those that love the original, and those that loved the new version are going to want to see the original. You just can't lose with a remake.