January 6, 2012
This isn’t about the string of remakes that have come out in the last several years. Those are merely the symptom of a sick culture. And we are a sick culture. We may not know it, but we have a disease that’s festered and finally made manifest in the need to make everything in high definition and CG. We need fresh faces. We’re tired of Sissy Spacek as Carrie. Let’s remake it. Maybe we’ll cast Selena Gomez as the telekinetic powerhouse. Hell, let’s just rewrite the setting and get a Kardashian.
Why not? We’re already remaking damn near everything. It was bad enough when he just cribbed horror movies from Asia, then sanitized them for Western audiences. If you watch any of the originals (A Tale of Two Sisters, Shutter, Ringu, Ju-On) you’ll notice something. These films actually try and create suspense. They don’t use jump scares as much. It’s about atmosphere and feeling.
To top it off, it seems American Psycho is also going to get remade. And they’re updating it to the 2010’s instead of the awesome 80’s.
Let me school the younger readings on why this is bad. Why all of this is bad.
This disease stems from wanting something shiny and new. We want the latest and the best. We want it factory-wrapped and still smelling like the inside of an Apple store. I’ve got news for you. Old things are awesome. Old things lasted and fought a war against the boy bands and crap books of their time. Jimi Hendrix wasn’t anywhere near the sales powerhouse of Justin Beiber, but we still remember and listen to Hendrix. No one will listen to Beiber in ten years, much like no one listens to N*Sync or the Backstreet Boys. Oh, they have their fans, but the bands flared up and died. They had no real staying power. It’s always been a race for pop to keep catching up. Something real, though, doesn’t need to do anything but just exist.
Now we have the disease of the remake. We’re updating and repackaging. If it’s not new, it’s not good. The urge to verbally and physically assault the students who have blatantly told me this point of view went away after I reminded myself that they would lead empty lives looking for the next new thing instead of appreciating the good things, the good art. I’m not saying we don’t have good books or new movies, and every generation has its crap music, but it feels like there’s less of an incentive to actually do a good job.
In a world where Twilight can bring the masses to the bookstore and the Kardashains rake in millions just getting recorded at every hour of the day, why make something new? Why make something great? We’re going to remake everything anyway. Just be rich and famous then get more rich and famous when you get followed around. Don’t bother making anything. The studios will research the market and tell you what to write. The studios will ask for the scripts.
Hey, we don’t even need to bother with special effects. The Expendables showed you don’t even need to bu8y blood anymore. Apparently, all you need is a cartoonist with red paint.
The sad thing is that the effects in a modern war movie look WORSE than a fantasy movie that’s ten years old.
Enough with the remakes. If you want to see a ghostly girl on a tape, watch the original with subtitles. If you want to see Norman Bateman slice up hookers, see the Christian Bale version. We haven’t moved on to adapting and remaking books yet. Stephanie Meyers’ American Gods? Dan Brown’s “The Heart of Darkness?” Danielle Steele’s The Bible?
It will happen. Mark my words. One day, Shakespeare will be too old for students and the masses and we’ll get someone to rewrite it and update it.
No amount of bladed implements will suffice when that happens and I feel the urge to get stabby with a market researcher.