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Editorial – In Defense of the Remake

in defense of the remake - dawn of the dead

Remakes get a bad rap from horror fans and that’s not entirely without due cause. With Cabin Fever poised to be remade from the exact same script as the 2002 original, a lot of genre film fans are up in arms and left scratching their heads as to why a movie that’s barely 12 years old needs to be re-imagined. So, with that in mind, I wanted to take a moment to provide some food for thought and a bit of commentary on the state of the remake.

Sometimes, remakes fall flat on their face but other times, a redux can bring a fresh perspective to an old idea and deliver an entertaining and enjoyable audience experience. I think horror fans can be shortsighted when it comes to reboots. People often make blanket statements like, ‘Remakes suck’ without considering all of the information.

I am not always pro remake. I think that there are some great reboots and others that represent a lazy, pointless exercise in mediocrity. But I’ve often wondered why we get so upset about films being remade before we even give them a chance? I am genuinely curious as to why before we even see a trailer – let alone the completed film – we make up our minds that the film is going to be worthless and a waste of our time? Some remakes are a worthless waste of our time but that’s not alway the case. There are some outstanding re-imaginings that have graced the silver screen over the past 40 years. The reboots of films like Dawn of the Dead, The Thing from Another World, Let the Right One in, The Hills Have Eyes, The Fly, The Evil Dead, Ringu, The Toolbox Murders, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were all quite good. And that’s just to name a few.

The other thing that perplexes me is the way that fans behave as if a remake tarnishes the source material if it’s bad. I didn’t care for the remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween at all. But I don’t like the original Halloween or the original Nightmare film any less now that they have both been remade. The original films are still just as good as they were before the ill-fated remakes hit the scene.

Also, if we are so fundamentally opposed to remakes, then why for the love of God do we keep suggesting to studio executives that we want to see more reboots by buying tickets to see them in theaters and then avoiding quality original horror until it sees release on home video? Excellent films like You’re Next fail to even clear $20 million in the US while remakes consistently top the weekend box office numbers. Ticket sales are the single biggest reasons why classic horror and contemporary horror films alike continue to be rebooted time and time again. So if you want to see more original horror and fewer re-imaginings, tell the studio conglomerate what you want by buying tickets to quality, R-rated, original horror films when they are released theatrically rather than investing in tickets for the latest reboot. Money talks and big studios are listening.

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dogs, and cat hat(s).
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