I Smell a Rant: Guest Rant: "The original is better because, well, just 'cause!"

Guest Rant by: Josh Bravo

**The following rant does not reflect the opinions of the webmaster Heather. In fact, you can probably expect a counter-rant on remakes in the near future**

I've never heard a real good argument supporting remakes or reboots or re-imaginings. People tell me I don't get them (clearly), or that it's not the original so stop treating it like it is (which I don't). So, time and time again I find myself watching the same plot with updated visual effects, a less-than-impressive screenplay, and actors going through the motions. I feel like this is enough for most people but without being too abrasive I ask, what is the point? There isn't a strong dichotomy between the original and the 'cool' new ones. They're either telling the same story or telling a slightly different story based around the iconic imagery of the original. Using the name and the story as a crutch doesn't cut it. It all feels very insignificant. 

We're all in this creative whirlpool of cinema but we slam on the breaks creativity-wise for the same old thing. "That remake sucked but this remake is awesome!" and here lies my biggest problem. It's tough to be impressed by this statement. It's probably harder to not be outstanding. The original was too and this is the same thing, no? That's like praising Danny Elfman for composing Beethoven. Or Stephen King for rewriting the Bible. Sure, a remake of Poltergeist shot on the iPhone would be lacking visually but damn what a cool story it will have. 

Don't people know it's impossible to make a cult movie? Lightning won't strike twice and we have a dozen examples. "It's a reboot not a remake. Get it right." Oh, okay. Can I just get originality?  Oh, that's too much to ask for? Got it. But who needs creativity, right? This isn't like we're making a $350,000 movie in the woods & need to get creative to hide the low budget. I mean, we don't have to resort to using a painted Captain Kirk mask to look more spooky. We have a few million and it shows. 

Remember when original horror was all over the stratosphere? Of course we do because it's what defines our childhood. Smart, innovative, refreshing. Sure, it still exists but it feels very antiquated. It's the celluloid in the digital world. "You mean you want to make an original horror film? Why don't you want to remake An American Werewolf in London? The original is so dated." Is it? Or does it seem a bit dated next to the super cool remake. When these original flicks start getting the "Seinfeld isn't funny treatment"...that is when I begin to have the biggest problem. The new masterpiece of horror? What happened to the old masterpiece of horror?

Look, it's not the filmmakers' fault. Seriously. I get it. I'm not in the business to malign them. These directors who only have experience in doing commercials or music videos or You Tube videos get the chance to helm a multi-million dollar budget horror film. They would be idiotic to say no. The culpability lies in the studios, which in that statement alone makes all of this futile. (Hey, this is why it's called a rant, right?) These remakes make so much money that I almost can't blame them. But since ranting is free... 


It's expected at this point. You can just imagine the studios going down the list and green lighting as they're going. Churning out lackluster films that make huge profits and are defended because the original star or director gives it his or her blessing. It's like clockwork. It'll happen every year until they run out of things to do twice and then they'll try it a third time. They won't stop because they can't stop it. Because "everything has been done before". I guess that's valid until something that hasn't been done before comes around. You know, Drag Me To Hell or Cabin in the Woods or The Last Exorcism or Insidious or...

Like the post? Share with your friends!

Also find us here: