Recent high-profile remakes have come in an array of intriguing guises, be they sci-fis updated for modern audiences – The Thing (2011 & 1982), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 & 1951) – , linguistic crossovers – Silent House (2011 & 2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 & 2009) – , 80s revival – Footloose (2011 & 1984), The Karate Kid (2010 & 1984) – , or, highest-profile of all, superhero reboots – Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Hulk, almost any superhero you choose to mention. While perhaps not strictly remakes, the superhero films which are everywhere right now pay direct homage to their predecessors just as straight remakes do. They will inevitably be set up to tell the whole story, but these 2nd generation (or in some cases 3rd or 4th) movies must inevitably tell a new story, from a new angle, for a new audience. So with the huge choice of remakes, reboots and expansions on offer these days, the ever more prescient question is: is it worth seeing the original first?
There are so many more remakes that I could name, but I won’t, and I think that hints to my own conclusion: No. As I write in this column about FIRST IMPRESSIONS, I am always circling around, trying to define the slightly ephemeral subject of the film as an abstract IMPRESSION in relation to our expectations. In other words, what we should or shouldn’t see makes little difference to the way we really feel about a film – we form our opinions based on superficial factors whether we like it or not.
For those interested, here are a couple of good links:
1 – Wikipedia’s ever-growing and ever-changing list of film remakes (nor exhaustive, I’d imagine)
2 – ‘The Top 5 Rules for Movie Remakes’ at Screenrant.com, intended as a guide to deciding whether to remake a film or not.
I will also be posting this guide into the ‘Guide’ section of this site, under Movie Remakes, because I like it.