Remaking and rebooting movies is a problematic issue that has always been around to some extent. But as with many problematic cinematic issues there is no right or wrong. A similar problem exists for sequels, prequels and spin-offs. The difference is that sequels, prequels and spin-offs are more welcome than remakes and reboots. There is no coincidence that the most recent profitable movies are either sequels or part of a franchise (a spin-off or a prequel). Remakes and reboots occupy a more difficult position because the general audience interprets the idea of a remake as “taking a classic movie and remaking it” and a reboot is then just another word for a remake. The most interesting element about remaking and rebooting movies is the fact that we are now getting into the “second wave” of these movies, mostly horrors.
What is the “second wave”?
The “second wave” of remakes and reboots is a term that I created when I read about one movie called Grudge and the fact that now the second American adaptation is being produced and filmed. That made me think: When does we get the second remake of Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elmstreet, Ring or Texas Chainsaw Massacre? This “second wave” is maybe just my own feeling, that these remakes and reboots are not that old and seeing them being remade for a second time feels a bit strange. I remember when these horror remakes were big, there were everywhere at least in my area, so what exactly happened?
Series run the ground
One common thing all of these horror movies share is that they are now run the ground, got one or two sequels, maybe a prequel and some of them got just that one remake and then they ended. After that lot of the next installment return to the first original movie to whatever success (movies like Leatherface, Texas Chainsaw 3D). The best example I can recently think of is Halloween (2018), softly rebooting the franchise and planned place for more sequels. While I didn’t like this movie, the way it returned to the original and returned Halloween back on track after two previous movies is genius. Now back to my original point about “running a franchise to ground” after the remakes and their sequels run out of things to say and scare the audience, the series got to the to point where only logical conclusion is another remake.
The future of the “second wave”
The fact that some horror movies are getting their second remake might not actually be a negative thing. There are a lot of enthusiastic people in Hollywood who want to take these iconic series in a new direction. One common element I learned from watching these remakes from early and late 2000s is how grisly, gory, serious and gruesome they tried to be. I am not saying that there is no place for gory violence in the cinematic industry because there always is some. An example of this could be A Nightmare on Elmstreet (2010). Its second potential remake could probably drawn some inspiration from It Chapter I and It Chapter II – gory but also fun and a bit goofy. So my original fear might actually be unfounded because anything can work in the right hands. Many would agree that horror movies are going through a renaissance period right now and maybe there is a series of great horror remakes just waiting to be made, so I think it’s going to be alright…
Continued in Part II where I describe what movie I would love to see being remade.