If the past decade or so has taught us anything, it’s that those bland Hollywood executives and producers don’t have an original bone in their bodies. Even if a truly unique, original concept is dropped in their laps, they’ll often reject it in favor of a script that follows a basic, predictable formula.
They’ll pass up bright young writers and director with fresh, new ideas in favor of producing sequels that are destined to fail from the start. And if the sequels don’t rake in enough bucks at the box office, there are always the remakes to fall back on.
When it comes to remakes, Hollywood leans on the horror genre more than any other film category. I can name at least ten right off the top of my head…A Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday The 13th, Dawn of the Dead, Prom Night, My Bloody Valentine, Piranha, The Fog, The Thing, Halloween, Black Christmas, Last House on the Left, and the list goes on and on.
But there are some lines that should not be crossed, and some films that should never be touched. Below, I’ve chosen four horror films that Hollywood should never attempt to reinvent.
1. The Exorcist
Why shouldn’t this film be remade? Well, for starters, it’s the freaking Exorcist. One of the most memorable, controversial horror films in decades. Made in 1973, the film is still being watched, discussed, and debated forty-two years later. Have you watched William Friedkin’s masterpiece lately? It still holds up. And in the minds of critics and fans alike, the film will forever be a classic. And classics are not to be tampered with. It’d be like someone having the balls to try and remake The Godfather or Citizen Kane. Well, The Exorcist is sort of like the Citizen Kane of horror movies. Just leave it be.
2. Rosemary’s Baby
Personal feelings about him aside, Roman Polanski has quite an impressive film résumé. But none of those films come close to the anxiety, paranoia, confusion, and terror that Rosemary’s Baby invokes. Made in 1968, and based off the Ira Levin novel of the same name, the film still has the ability to shock and terrify its audience. And if Hollywood decides to ruin this classic, you’ll know they’ve officially run out of ideas.
Released in 1982, Tobe Hooper’s (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eaten Alive) seminal ghost tale was nominated for three Academy Awards. Co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg, the film gained much attention upon its release and did remarkably well at the box office, making it Tobe Hooper’s most successful venture. Though it’s been debated over the years whether or not Hooper’s work on-set was influenced by Steven Spielberg. It’s certainly not Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But it’s more than a worthy addition to the horror genre. It’s a classic and always will be in my opinion. And if the rumors that the film was cursed doesn’t scare Hollywood away from remaking this movie, I don’t know what will.
4. Silence of the Lambs
Commonly classified as a thriller, Anthony Hopkins’ chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter is one that’s never to be forgotten. It’s no surprise Hopkins won an Academy Award for this film. Hell, it’s not a shock this film won all five major awards, including Best Picture. Sure others have tried to play the role of Lecter before (like Brian Cox in Manhunter or Gaspard Ulliel in Hannibal Rising) but no one embodies the character more than Anthony Hopkins. Anyone who tries to touch this film deserves to have their fingers broken. Don’t attempt to reinvent this classic, and don’t even think about trying to have someone else fill Anthony Hopkins shoes. Stick to pumping out zombie flicks and Asian horror remakes.