As an Asian and French Decent, I take personal offense when Hollywood pillages and destroys perfectly awesome movies from around the world but the US. As I watch Hollywood simultaneously butcher not just the movies' cultural essence and sub-genre, but its plot as well. I feel compelled to share my thoughts and ideas regarding these matter because as I anxiously await the prequel to "The Ring", the final chapter of "Jeepers Creepers," and of course the upcoming remake of "Martyrs," I can't help but feel bittersweet. Who doesn't want to know the original reason of that haunted VHS from "The Ring," or if Hollywood will put up a good fight with the French's fantastic "Martyrs" or will we ever truly see the final chapter of "The Grudge?"
My first disappointment of Hollywood remake was Korea's immortal psychological thriller "The Tale of Two Sisters," in the original Asian version of this movie, we follow an obviously disturbed young girl, whose only refuge is the company of her own sister. We watch as the two create their own world as they confide in each other about their distaste for their stepmother. As the movie progresses, we cannot help but wonder what truly happened with their biological mother and how did the stepmother came into the picture. At first, the movie eludes us into thinking that the mother is angry with her husband remarrying; therefore, she haunts the family. Until towards the end when we realized that the movie's true essence is captured in a series of sinister images due to guilt, revenge and a psychotic breakdown. In Hollywood version of this movie "The Uninvited," it was nothing but a pathetic attempt at teen scream and not very good at that either! the acting was bland, the plot even worse and the movie itself lacked the ability to truly grasp the moment of self destruction.
My second disappointing rendezvous with Hollywood remake is "The Eye." Although producers spent a lot more money in its production and actors, by acquiring the teen sensation at that time, Jessica Alba, still it did not compare to the Pang brothers' originality. Even though the creepy little boy that lives in her building asking for his report card, technically stole the scene from Alba, my interest in the Remake version had gone out the window along with the little boy's ghost.
Since Hollywood does not only limit themselves in their destruction with just the horror genre, I shall now talk about the remake of the movie "Crime D'Amour," or "Passion." Kristin Scott Thomas' role as a manipulative, narcissistic female executive of a multimillion dollar company, left me gasping in disbelief and admiration. This movie is a classic case of Frankenstein not being able to control his monster. The phrase "Created a monster," was born for. How many of us have daydream and fantasize about killing our own boss? many of us I am sure, but only the mousy quiet protege' had the courage to do so and she did so in a very tasteful manner. Sex, blackmail and murder? what's not to like? Enter American version, "Passion." Although we loved Rachel McAdams' heartbreaking star-crossed lovers, happy ending movie in "the Notebook" and we adored her very carefree, rich girl, who couldn't decide on true love in "the Wedding Crashers," there is absolutely no way she should have ever tried to play a ball busting, greedy CEO like Kristin Scott Thomas. Hollywood had not only annihilated McAdams' chances at any other role than romantic comedy in her career, at the same time, we have been devastated by the disastrous outcome of this remake, even with Noomi Rapace playing the ugly duckling who suddenly turned into a revenge-hungry swan. All I gathered from this remake was goodbye McAdams and Hello Rapace!
Finally, I saved the best for last, "Martyrs." I have read numerous posts on the internet regarding this French sensation. I have watched it several times since it came out years ago, I have seen the trailer of the upcoming remake. I have scour every internet site for its release date, yet I can't help but feel skeptical. There are certain movies that should remain in their originality, no matter how low budget it is. There are movies that creates an empire and of course there are some that the content is so appalling in so many ways that it should just be left alone. My list above and many more to come will open a Pandora's box hardly touched by those who dare. Stay tuned and share your disappointing list of Hollywood remake below.