Saturday, May 1, 2010

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER (or at least watch the remake of a horror movie).

As mentioned in the review of a certain remake recently posted on my "fan page" on facebook (not going to mention any names, but he's coming for you, lock your door, grab your crucifix, stay up late, never sleep again...) I've noticed a vile trend with folks criticizing, endlessly and, in the worst possible way,bashing horror remakes.

Submitted for your perusal... my take on HOW TO WATCH A REMAKE!

It's important to remember that a remake is not the original movie nor will it have the original actors, score, script, special effects, gimmicks, flower pots sitting on the stoop, street names (only in extenuating circumstances that is) and it most certainly is... NOT THE ORIGINAL MOVIE! Wait, did I repeat myself or was that longest stutter in the grand history of journalism? Not the original movie... so don't watch it like it's the original movie. You have to try to scrape the memory of the original off your mind's black board. Scrape it with a shovel, scrape it with ammonia, scrape it with disinfectant. Scrape scrape scrape. You'll never scrape the original completely away, unless of course you've scooped your brain out, but if you at least attempt a viewing of a remake with a fresh clean mind, you'll have a better shot at not hating it because it's... what? what isn't it? NOT THE ORIGINAL MOVIE? You are correct!

The art of mind scraping (or self hynosis... do not try this at home boils and ghouls)

Lest we forget, what is a remake?

Scraping Tools for fun and for profit

Next step... watch the movie. Watch it with friends who actually enjoy horror movies. Watch it with friends who have equally open minds (preferably freshly scraped minds). Here's where we have a bit of a problem. Do you rent, buy, watch the movie in the theatre at a midnight showing, wait for cable, wait for premium cable, read the blog about the remake that includes spoilers? My experience... get it early. Get it at the midnight showing after lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of coffee or... get it the opening weekend at the very least. That's if it's playing in a theatre and you really want to see it. If it's on video, don't wait to watch it on cable and only catch half of it. Don't wait for non-premium cable because you probably won't see the updated blood/gore factor that Hollywood is drowning us in these days (and what's wrong with a little blood? nothing of course). The only down sides to any theatre venture is a. the crowd can be a bunch of haters or b. you've just paid money and expect more for your buck which is the problem for any theatre visit. Choice is up to you, but so far my favorite time to watch the remake of a horror film is at the matinee the weekend it comes out. No one's there who doesn't work the night shift. Your less likely to a get cell phone ridden army of teens and you can make friends with the few people who got up that early to see the movie.


Now you're watching the movie... clean mind... watching it at the appropriate place/time... no haters... PRETEND YOU DON'T KNOW THE PLOT. There's actually a great chance that you may not actually know the plot. A good remake will rewrite you into a new story. Suspension of disbelief builds and you've found a NEW movie. This movie has different actors and you can form different opinions of them.

The Art of Pretending

Example: Dr. Samuel Loomis. Samuel Loomis (Doctor Samuel Loomis) has been played by two different actors: Donald Pleasance and Malcolm McDowell. Both of these men are excellent actors, bring something totally different to the plot and develop the character in different ways. Malcom McDowell portrays Loomis as a mad man, driven and consumed with Michael Myers. Donald Pleasance portrays Loomis as a mad man, who feels absolutely responsible for the very existence of Michael Myers. Pleasance is the man-who-created-a-monster while McDowell is the Nancy Drew, detective/new sheriff in town. Similar, yes, but watch them both and you have a very different animal. Roles can be well acted from many different vantage points (how many times did they remake Frankenstein again... wasn't there a link for that in another one of Dr. Terror's rants?)

Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis

Malcolm McDowell talking about playing Dr. Loomis

After you've seen the remake and formed an opinion I always encourage people to find something they like and dislike about it. Don't just say, he's no... such and such actor/director... find something you like about it. There's gotta be something. We have way more boobs in movies today... at least I think we do... few more tests. Don't be a negative frickin' Nancy (no reference to any remake intended). When you post your review in a blog... no spoilers, be honest but don't bash remakes for the sake of bashing remakes. How many good remakes have their been? Think about it... THE THING, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS? ... FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA? ... still not convinced? Then you aren't paying attention.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE? List of Horror remakes for review

So originals good... remakes... ??? Don't judge a book by it's cover and don't judge a remake by it's original.

-Terror Rant #134 - Dr. Terror presiding

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