Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reboots VS Remakes

Much has been made of Scream 4's opening weekend. The results were weak and opinions were decidedly split on the movie's merits leading some film writers to decree that horror is dead. The two people I saw Scream 4 with decidedly did not enjoy it, while I thought it was fun. It actually made me curious to see where the franchise could go. But with it's inaugural box office returns it appears Scream 4 will remain an anomaly.

E! Online recently responded to Scream 4 box office take saying that reboots were obviously not as bankable as remakes. Now, the argument can be made for both forms of film. Aliens vs The Fly. Dawn of the Dead vs Evil Dead 2. Halloween (2007) vs Halloween 2 (2009). Which would you rather?

There is of course room for both but Hollywood loves broad sweeping statements that help finance movies. Proclaim the sequel dead, long live the remake. Personally I'd rather have my fingernails removed with rusty tweezers than to have ever seen last year's Nightmare on Elm Street remake or the paint-by-numbers Friday the 13th or Rob Zombie's circle-jerk of the Halloween series.

Platinum Dunes has made some people very rich by re-branding the already successful iconic horror films and marketing them to fans old and new. While I've hated many recent remakes I'm still inclined to see them. They are interesting if you looks at them as a sign of the times. As the filmmakers are given less control and producers are seeing an increased profit margin from their beloved remakes we will be watching this gravy train unfold for like a perverse, boring, almost unwatchable Möbius strip.


  1. First of all, I misread this title as ROBOTS vs. Remakes, and thought to myself, now this is a post that I absolutely MUST read.

    Second of all, I would much rather see a sequel to a film I love rather than a remake. But Hollywood has established that remakes are more successful than sequels--at least when there has been too large a gap of time between entries. For instance, Paranormal Activity 2 did good box office only a few years after the original entry. If a part 3 were released next year, it would probably also do well. But, if part 3 were not released for, say, ten years, it would probably rake in much less money than a movie marketed as a remake of the original.

    In my opinion, the best way for a filmmaker to go about a reboot/remake would be to craft the film as a "numberless sequel". The remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre handled this pretty successfully, whether they intended to or not. Leatherface was there, and his backstory was pretty much the same, but there was no Sally Hardesty or wheel-chair bound Franklin. So new viewers could feel like they were getting in on the ground floor, while fans of the original series could, if they so desired, view this not as a remake of a beloved classic, but rather as a heretofore unrevealed adventure of Leatherface.

    Or something like that...


  2. Agreed. I actually enjoyed the TCM remake/reboot more than I thought I would. And you're right, it makes for an interesting case study as the hard and fast rules are blurred.

    Also, Robots would kick remakes' ass.