Today it was announced that Johnny Depp will be playing the role of the Invisible Man in the upcoming remake of The Invisible Man. As always, the Internet is in an uproar; and while I don't personally agree with the casting, I am here to defend why remakes of the monster classics aren't as bad as everyone thinks they are.
Firstly, who are the Universal Monsters? They are the characters featured in Universal Studios horror, suspense, and science fiction films from the early '20s to late '50s. The most popular ones being Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy (not the Brendan Fraser cheese fest one ), The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon. These films are regarded as both horror and film classics, featuring some of the most iconic characters in film. So why remake them?
1. Acting styles are strikingly different
While I do personally enjoy the majority of these films, not every aspect holds up. Firstly, the acting is strikingly different, due to the different teaching of acting back in the day. Here is a clip from a late The Wolf Man sequel, the same type of acting is applied throughout the majority of the films.
Back then the acting seemed pretty great, and while today it can still be regarded as pretty great, it sometimes comes off as laughable — now picture the same scenes with the world class actors we have today.
2. Makeup and special effects don't always hold up
While groundbreaking at the time and deserves modern audiences' respect in all aspects, the makeup and visual effects nowadays are not only more advanced, they are more experimental in trying live action effects. Gil-Man's stiff, solid plastic face in Creature from Black Lagoon is slowly but surly becoming more and more laughable. This being said, the effects in The Invisible Man are exceptional and hold up almost 75 years later. I have no clue how they managed this, just take a look:
3. They need to be adjusted for the "Modern Audience"
These are brilliant stories that demand to be told over almost all forms of media because they are imaginative, creative, and overall just great stories. Great stories that some people will never get to see because they don't want to see a "black and white movie." Their oblivion prevents them from ever viewing these classics of cinema. Not only would a remake draw their attention to the character, it would also spark interest in the original film.
4. The originals have lost their horror 'touch'
We always seem to forget that these films are horror films. In a sea of jump scares and cheap thrills that floods horror films nowadays, any teenager trying to get a thrill out of Dracula is going to be disappointed. The horror of a character is gone, the days where the camera would focus on a frightening face are gone, it is all about quick, fast, and loud scares. Now you can only imagine if the films were remade with real scares? Not only could it revive the true horror genre, it would become refreshing with iconic characters, something the horror genre has been lacking for years.
5. It would reinvent the horror genre
With almost every single horror film being released nowadays being either found footage or littered with jump scares, not only would this new wave of horror reinvent the genre, it would introduce many audiences to what is generally described as true horror.
6. It would fill all of us with nostalgia
These coming years are going to be filled to the brim with nostalgia call backs, with Jurassic Parks and Mutant Turtles running around, Hollywood has clearly taken note of our love for callbacks to classic films. These characters bring a wide array of ages to the seats, both older people who saw the films as children and the next generation of young adults. If the balance between new content and nostalgia is perfected, the films would be an enjoyable time for everyone.
Attempts in the past have tried and failed at remaking these classics such as Dracula Untold (2014) and The Wolfman (2010). Both of these attempts tried something extremely different from the original characters, and while I do always applaud originality, remaking these characters should be taken with care.
I understand my opinion is an odd one, and there is a high chance that almost everyone is going to disagree with me, but if the films are done with excellent directors, high class actors, and only the best special effects, I truly believe that they could become something really great. As for who should play these roles? Well, that's an article for another day.