Most of the movie-going public could give a damn about the glut of movie remakes that come out year after year, month after month. If this demographic does give the remake a passing thought, it’s usually something like, “geez, another remake”; “they’re remaking that!”; or “remakes suck.” And that’s the end of that. Whatever their opinion, they usually don’t give it more than a cursory thought.
The people who delve a little deeper are the true fans, the cinephiles, and the critics. And we fall into two basic camps that we’ll admit to: 1) They suck for x, y, and z reasons; and 2) They’re good for a, b, and c reasons. However, the deeper truth here is that we don’t mind as long as it’s good, and what’s good is subjective. Any argument made by one’s subjective opinion of a movie’s merits is immediately made moot.
Instead of picking a side, 1 or 2, or listing remakes that I think are worthy, let’s look at why the remake makes sense, which is essentially trying to answer why the studios keep doing them instead of coming up with more original ideas. (Psst, there are plenty of original films floating around out there.)
I’ve focused onhere, but pretty much all of what I say can be applied to sci-fi as well. Both of these film genres lend themselves particularly well to being remade, more so than dramas or comedies or period pieces. Basically, horror and sci-fi are ripe for the remake picking.
So, here is my subjective opinion as to why the horror movie remake, makes sense.
5 – They Make Money
That’s right, I’m going to side with the suits here. Nobody likes to lose money, let alone any business. Recognizing that remakes come with a built-in audience, studios are keen to do a movie remake. Studios also know that it doesn’t matter if early reviews are positive or negative, this built-in audience will go see the movie no matter what — whether it’s to see how good it is or how much it sucks.
That built-in audience is usually looking to fill a sense of nostalgia experienced the first time around. This audience may also bring their kids, hoping to pass on their awesome experience. A smaller segment of this built-in audience may be a new generation who’ve heard how great the original was and want to see something that was made with them in mind.
In a perfect world, I’d hope that the cash the studios rake in from high-grossing movie remakes would be invested in some independent movies, giving fresh-faced filmmakers an opportunity to make their dreams come true.
I’ve already alluded to a couple of my other points, so let’s move on.
4 – They Validate the Tastes of Old Fans
This point overlaps the nostalgia-driven built-in audience. Let’s say we have a 40-something dude who’s loved a good/bad cult classic since its release, say… Sleepaway Camp. If that movie were to be remade today, his sense of taste would be validated by the industry and by the fact that multiple people thought it was good enough for a remake. He then gets to say, “See, see, I told you Sleepaway Camp was a good movie!”
The top 3 reasons why the movie remake makes sense after the jump…