Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 31

Halloween (1978) vs. Halloween (2007)
In this 1978 classic we are taken into the world of Michael Myers and introduced to one of the best independent movies ever made – John Carpenter’s Halloween.
As a young boy, Michael Myers stabbed his seventeen year old sister to death. After this event, he is locked away for years in the Smith’s Grove: Warren County Sanitarium. He is put under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis, who had worked with Michael for years, before deciding that Myers needs to be tried as an adult and locked up forever.
The night they planned to escort Myers, he manages to escape, steal a car and return home to Haddonfield, Ill., just in time for Halloween.
We are then introduced to Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role) who has plans to stay in on Halloween night and watch one of the neighbors kid. Little does she know that Michael is coming home and is planning a killing spree.
The movie becomes a cat and mouse game between Strode and Myers, which would become the staple formula for slasher movies to come.
With out giving too much away, I want to say my favorite scene in this movie involves Strode, Myers, a closet and a wire hanger. If you seen the movie you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat.
This movie is the standard in which all modern horror films are measured. Halloween deserves all the praise it can get, it’s because of this movie we have films such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Without this important film, I doubt slasher movies would have ever been proven to be a successful market.
In this film Rob Zombie brings us back to the way beginning and tells us the reasons Michael kills. This is the first misstep, because what made Michael scary in the original movie was the idea that this killer had no motive.
Now, Zombie gives him a motive and the reason he is driven to kill is because he comes from a broken home and he’s being picked on by bullies at school. Come on Mr. Zombie, I appreciate you trying to do something different with Michael, but bullies? Michael Myers became a killer because of bullies? What kind of crap is that?
SO, these bullies push and push Michael until he goes and kills the main bully. After this he brings his murderous rage home and when his mother is at work (oh, yeah his mother is a stripper) he kills his sister, his sister’s boyfriend and his mother’s boyfriend. He spares his baby sister, Laurie, and sits with her on the sidewalk and waits for his mother to get home.
Michael is then sent to Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium and is put under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis, a child-psychiatrist. This is the films only good thing, the performance Malcolm McDowell gives is great and it’s a shame he didn’t have a better script to work with.
Eventually Michael escapes the Sanitarium and finds his way back to Haddonfield, Illinois, to find his sister, Laurie, who was adopted by another family, after Michael’s mother killed herself. This is where the movie becomes a remake of the original, but never reaches the heights the original did.
The biggest thing that brings this movie down is the characters and dialogue. The movie does show signs of trying to be a character driven film, but that becomes a problem if you don’t know how to write characters.
It seems that Zombie has a problem writing dialogue, because everything that comes out of characters mouths is about sex. Now, since the dialogue is bad these characters never were able to take off and evolve as the movie went on. They are stuck being two dimensional and when the movie begins to pour on one horror cliché after another, the characters become boring and dull.
This includes Michael. Michael does what Michael does best and kills everyone who gets in his way, but it’s not scary, it’s tiresome. Since all the characters are boring and never feel like real people, we never really care when they are killed off. Also, Michael does do a lot of pointless kills, which just make you say “Why?”
What I will say about the remake is that I appreciate how Zombie tried something different and new with the franchise, but seeing Myers’ childhood and back-story made the character less scary for me. The less I know about a psychotic killer the better.
So, which is better?
Is there even a question? The original Halloween is a classic and the remake is just not. This is really an unfair contest because the original Halloween succeeds on dialogue, atmosphere, performances, and story.
Original Wins

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 30

Black Christmas (1974) vs. Black Christmas (2006)
One of the original slasher movies, predating Halloween by four years
The film tells the story of a psychopath hiding out in the attic of a sorority house who targets a group of sisters who are staying behind over Christmas break.
Here we have a fantastic slasher movie. It has suspense and scares with no real graphic gore, which leaves a lot of things to the imagination, the way it should be done!
The only problem I do have with Black Christmas is that some characters lack any sort of life. Yet, that isn't enough for the movie to be ignored by anyone.
Well ... this one does deliver gore and that's about it.
The story is about the same, but doesn't have the atmosphere, humor or visuals of the original. I don't think it's fair to call this a movie, it's like a work in progress.
So, which is better?
The original.
Original Wins.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 29

Manhunter (1986) vs. Red Dragon (2002)
Based off the Thomas Harris novel, Red Dragon, Manhunter introduced the world to the serial killer Hannibal Lecter.
Michael Mann took the director’s seat for this one and he turned out a very solid film.
This film is grim, creepy, stylish and gripping. It takes the source material and does justice with it.
Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as Hannibal Lecter and he turns in another solid performance, but this movie isn’t as good as the original.
The movie plays it too safe in some areas and doesn't allow itself to ever really escape the shadow of the far superior original.
It does have strong performances and some creepy scenes. Yet, when I watch it, I get the feeling that it just wasn't needed.
So, which is better?
I like Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal better but the original is better.

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 28

The Blob (1958) Vs. The Blob (1988)
Steve McQueen in his first starring role in the 1958 B-movie horror film.
In the movie a huge meteor crashes to earth and unleashes a pink substance that will become known as the "blob". It starts to suck the life out humans and is grows to an enormous size.
I can't hate this movie. The script is above average and it's perfect 1950s camp.
The biggest problem the movie has is that it's not scary. The scares are replaced with camp, but if you have never seen it you should pick it up.
Due to the success of "The Fly", "The Blob" was remade into a enjoyable film.
This one is cheesy and scary, hitting a lot of marks and getting the tone just right.
So, which is better?
I would say that this would be my first tie, but I don't want to do that. I'm going to have to give this one to the original for the fact that it started it all. Both films are worth seeing.
Original Wins.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 27

April Fool’s Day (1986) vs. April Fool’s Day (2008)
College student Buffy (Deborah Foreman) has her birthday land of April Fools Day. For her birthday she invites a group of friends from over to her family's island getaway to spend the weekend partying.
They’re soon met with some practical-joke and bloodshed. As the movie continues, the guests begin to go missing, but what’s going on and who is to blame?
I actually like April Fool’s Day, I know there is a lot of people that don’t, but it has a certain amount of charm to it. Yes, it is cheesy and there is a lot better horror movies out there. Yet, I found the script to have a lot of interesting twists and turns.
They actually did remake this but I don’t think it got a theatrical release.
The story is slightly different and not very good. It’s boring, and sad attempt on a slasher film.
All the fun that was in the original is gone and we’re left with a movie that shouldn’t even be called a movie. It’s so bad that it is actually a chore to get through.
So, which is better?
The original is so much better. Original Wins.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 26

13 Ghosts (1960) vs. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Gimmicky and not very good, t he original 13 Ghosts will leave you feeling underwhelmed. The story tells of a deceased occult scientist, Dr. Zorba, who leaves his mansion to his nephew and family. Yet, they aren’t the only ones in the house. Zorba has also been keeping ghosts in the mansion and they can only be detected a special pair of ghost-viewing goggles.
Is it good? Well … not really. They spend a lot of their time perfecting effects, which are cheesy, and then forget to develop the characters.
Where are the scares? Yes, I understand the movie has gore, but gore isn’t scary, it’s gory.
The other big problem this film has is the feeling of emptiness. There isn’t anything in the movie that is kept me interested or connected to the world. The story is similar to the original, but the execution once again fails and we end up with an over the top remake.
So, which is better?
They are both pretty bad. Yet, I have to pick one and I would go with the original. Original Wins.

Friday, October 25, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 25

When a Stranger Calls (1979) vs. When a Stranger Calls (2006)
In this film we have a babysitter being terrorized by an anonymous telephone caller who turns out to be a serial killer. When a stranger calls to ask, "Have you checked the children lately?" teenaged sitter Jill Johnson (Carol Kane) becomes in danger.
This is a great movie that came out of the 1970s.
Is it a masterpiece, no, but it’s a classic in its own right.
The biggest problem I have with the film is that it never seems to top its first act. After the first act the movie seems to move along at a slow pace and it starts to lose interested half way through the movie.
Not even worth a watch even if it comes on cable.
The 2006 remake fails to scare or entertain. It’s a tedious film that you just want to be over and it just seems to keep going.
The film is relatively short, clocking in at 1 hr and 27 minutes but I still feel like I’m watching that 1 hr and 27 minutes.
So, which is better?
The original, it might be slow and the rest of the film never lives up to the first act but it’s still watchable.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 24

The Stepfather (1987) vs. The Stepfather (2009)
Terry O'Quinn (John Locke from Lost) plays a The Stepfather who goes by many different names.
O’Quinn has been a stepfather many times, marrying widowed women and when they fail to meet his standard of perfection, he kills them.
Shelley Hack and Jill Schoelen co-star as O'Quinn's latest wife and stepdaughter, who don’t meet his standard.
This is an engrossing thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Yes, there are some moments in the film where the characters act like complete idiots but I can look past that.
Well … my head already hurts. The tension from the first film is lost and we’re given a lazy movie that doesn’t do anything as well as the original.
The Stepfather this time around is Dylan Walsh, who you might know from Nip/Tuck or the movie Congo. He does a fine job, but there isn’t enough for him to work with and the script is somewhat the same but still weak and overall it just felt silly to me.
So, which is better?
The one with John Locke of course! Original Wins.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 23

The House on Sorority Row (1983) vs. Sorority Row (2009)
Not the best movie by any means but has that '80's horror B-movie charm.
Housemother (Lois Kelso Hunt) has a falling out with seven sorority sisters who then plot revenge. This plot leads to an accidental death. The girls cover up the crime and then are targeted by someone who knows what they did.
This film falls in the same category as Troll 2. These films are so bad that you just need to experience them once. Some parts of the movie are interesting and it does try to add something new to the slasher films but it's not Halloween or Friday the 13th.
I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone but for those of you who love really low-budget '80's slasher movies, this is definitely for you.
This is actually going to be really quick. The remake has style over substance but everything else is just awful.
There are no scares, no thrills, no humor, no character and no interesting plot. It is the definition of a wasted attempt if there was ever one.
So, which is better?
They’re both so awful it’s hard to pick one. Yet, I’ll have to go with the original, only because it falls under the category of so bad it’s good. The remake is just bad.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 22

The Thing From Another World (1951) vs. The Thing (1982)
In an Arctic research station, scientists come across a crashed UFO in the ice. They soon attempt to recover the ship, but while doing so, Captain Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) accidentally destroys the craft. The only thing that is left is the UFO’s pilot, which they take back to their base.
The alien is eventually thawed out and he comes back to life.
This is a very well made flying saucier movie, not because of its effects but for its characters and plot. Yet, my biggest problem with this movie is that it always seems like they’re walking through doors. There are a lot of doors in this movie.
Given its age it might not pack the original punch that it once had, but with that said it’s an outstanding film.
The Thing is one of John Carpenter’s stunning masterpieces. This is a remake done right.
The movie focuses on a group of scientists who are braving the winter in an isolated camp deep in Antarctica.
They soon come upon an alien spacecraft buried in the ice. Near the alien craft they find a body of an alien being, which has been frozen solid by the harsh environment. This becomes a find of a life time for the group and they bring back the alien body to camp and they let it thaw out.
Soon the alien awakens and turns out its not friendly and proceeds to take over the identities of the scientists.
It’s now up to Helicopter pilot MacCready (Kurt Russell) to lead the surviving men in discovering who among them is human and who is “the thing” that they must destroy in order to all survive. Their ultimate goal is to stop the alien from spreading to the mainland and infecting massive amounts of populations.
This is truly a horror classic. The special effects might seem dated, but over all, the movie really boils down to a very impressive who can I trust and who can't I trust kind of film.
I strongly recommend this movie for anyone, who’s looking for a good scare and something that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Many of you might wonder why I didn’t include The Thing (2011), well isn’t that considered more of a prequel than a remake? Yet, if you would like my quick opinion on it, here it goes.
The Thing (2011) is not a great film. It offers a lot of cheap scares and ends up trying to do what Carpenter’s film did so well and it falls on its face. Yet, there is some things in the film that make you believe that they were actually trying but in the end it’s mostly forgettable.
So, which is better?
Between the 1951 and 1982 films, I have to go with The Thing (1982).
This film takes the ideas from the original, makes them better and gives us effects that, for the most part, still work today.
Remake Wins

Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 21

The Evil Dead (1981) vs. Evil Dead (2013)
The film is about five young friends who take a trip to a cabin in a very rural part of Tennessee. While staying in the cabin they stumble across the Book of the Dead, an ancient tome that is bound in human flesh and inked in blood.
The group of friends soon decides to read the book and they unknowingly awake the horrific terror told of in the book.
Soon one by one the friends are transformed into the evil dead, except for Ash (Bruce Campbell) who becomes the hero of this movie and one of horror’s most famous faces.
Ash is the only one left with no real options to survive, the woods are against them and his car won’t start (of course). He then realizes that the only way to defeat the evil dead is to dismember the living corpses in which they possess.
This means he had to kill his sister, girlfriend and two of his friends in order to defeat the evil dead.
The movie was shot with basically no budget, it has very impressive camera work and the gore effects are extremely over-the-top. It also sports a slight sense of humor, but nothing like the humor in the two sequels that followed.
This movie is everything a horror movie should be and I recommend this to everyone. The way I describe this movie is its sort of like “The Blair Witch Project” but with better camera work, story and if you gave the witch the camera rather than the students.
I have to say that I really did enjoy the remake. Is it as good as the original? No. But it is by far one of the better remakes that I have seen in awhile.
The story is similar, but this time is focuses on a brother and sister, whose group of friends is trying to get the sister off of drugs. That part of the story seems a little forced and cheesy at parts but it sets up the encounters with the dead perfectly.
The gore is over the top but the use of practical effects is always welcome.
The movie does leave out one important character and that is Ash. Ash was the main character for the original three Evil Dead movies and he's not part of the story in the remake. It's for the best, I can't see anyone else playing that role and if they did recast it the movie would have went down hill quickly.
The remake does lack humor and is very unforgiving in some parts, but it's not a bad film by any means.
So, which is better?
The original does win. Even though the remake is a decent film, I rather watch an \ Evil Dead movie with the character Ash in it. Yet, both of these films should be checked out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 20

Let the Right One In (2008) vs. Let Me In (2010)
In the past few years, the vampire genre has become tired. We’ve been stuck with movies like Twilight and TV shows like True Blood. Everywhere you look there seems to be vampires in some shape or form.
With that said, “Let the Right One In” is a different case. It sees that vampires are being overplayed and decides to go back to the roots of the monsters. No more of Vampires walking in sunlight , the movie goes back to the basics and the original rules that made vampires monsters to be feared.
The movie is about a 12 year-old boy who befriends a young girl who turns out to be a vampire. A true vampire. She must feed on blood and follow the rules to survive. She can’t go out in sunlight, she ha to drink blood and she can’t come into your home with out you inviting her in.
The great thing about this film is the storytelling. With a solid script, the scares are much more effective. This film felt refreshing and stands as one of the best vampire movies that I’ve ever seen.
In this American remake, we see everything about the original stay. Yet, what works against this film is that it had already been done.
This is not a bad film and for people who don’t like foreign films I highly recommend checking out this remake.
SO, which is better?
The original, for doing it first. The remake is fine though, no real complaints about it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 19

The Omen (1976) vs. The Omen (2006)
Robert, a U.S. Ambassador to Italy (Gregory Peck) and Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick) are a happy married couple that has everything they both ever desired. They want nothing more in their life except for one thing – a child.
Yet, tragedy strikes the couple when the baby Katherine gives birth to is a stillborn; a priest at the hospital who suggests that he should take a healthy newborn, whose mother had died in childbirth, approaches Robert.
Robert agrees and without telling his wife and the couple relocate from Italy to London, when they arrive, eerie events occur and a warning from a priest leads Robert to believe that the child he took from the hospital in Italy is evil incarnate.
This movie introduced Damian to the world and till this day he continues to scare us and his story continues to fascinate us.
Director, Richard Donner is able to capture mood and hits the audience with some shocking scenes.
Only one word comes to mind when I think of the remake and that’s empty. There’s nothing in the movie that brings it to life, it’s a complete waste of a film.
With the original we had the performances of Peck and Remick and the solid direction of Donner, but here we have nothing.
I could poke jabs into the remake all day and complain about how clunky it all is, but who has the time.
So, which is better?
The Original.

Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 18

Prom Night (1980) vs. Prom Night (2008)
Here is the 1980s classic with the Scream Queen herself – Jamie Lee Curtis.
The movie is about Kim Hammond (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her group of friends, who have been keeping a very dark secret. Six years before their prom, the kids antagonized another child, which resulted into her untimely death.
Now with their prom approaching Kim and her friends have been getting threatening phone calls from someone who witnessed the incident years ago. The killer then strikes on Prom Night and no one is safe.
Now Prom Night is not a great movie, but it’s still a classic in my eyes. Yes, it’s not as exciting or fun as other Slasher films and some might even find it boring, but the movie should still be viewed. If you just want to watch a horror movie that is light on the scares, has some gory scenes but all and all you can have fun with and laugh at, than look no further.
The original wasn’t very exciting to begin with. So, if you were going to do a remake of Prom Night, I would have strongly suggested that you focus on the script and also learn from the originals mistakes.
The remake doesn’t learn from the originals mistakes, it makes them all over again and this time makes them even worse.
It replays all the clichés that horror movie’s are known for, which makes it predictable and utterly boring.
So, which is better?
The original is. The remake is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
Original Wins

Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 17

Psycho (1960) vs. Psycho (1998)
The movie focuses on Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who is on the run with stolen money. Due to a storm she pulls over for the night at the Bates motel.
In this motel we meet the nice, clean cut, lonely Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Bates presides over the motel and under his overbearing mother. When he meets Crane he seems to light up and be glad that someone has come to stay.
Yet … once mother finds out about the women, she makes it clear that she doesn’t like loose women. This sets up one of the most famous horror stories ever told and of course the infamous shower scene, which I consider to be one of the best scenes in not only in horror but in film history.
This film is credited in inventing the modern horror film genre and I will not argue with that. The sequels and imitators that came after this film are movies that should be missed, because none will ever achieve the standard that this 1960 original achieved in terms of terror and pace.
If you do go out and buy or rent this movie please do not confuse it with the shot-by-shot remake directed by Gus Van Zant and released in 1998. This remake was terrible, even though it was shot-by-shot, the actors couldn’t pull of what the originals did and it really came off as more of a spoof rather than a serious remake. I mean Vince Vaughn played Norman Bates.
So, which is better?
Not even a contest, the original. The remake shouldn’t have even been made, and if they had to do a remake, come up with something more original than a shot-by-shot remake.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 16

The Hitcher (1986) vs. The Hitcher (2007)
The movie is about a Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) who is transporting a car to another state is stalked along the road by a cunning and relentless serial killer, John Ryder (Rutger Hauer), who frames the driver for a string of murders. He is soon being Chased by the police and shadowed by the killer, the driver's only help comes from a truck stop waitress.
The movie plays out more like a thriller rather than a horror, but still offers horror elements to keep the fans interested.
The film is good, if you know what you are getting into before you watch it. If you think this is going to be the greatest movie of all time then you're going to be disappointed, but if you go into knowing its an '80s thriller/horror you'll love it.
I thought the story was very interesting and it kept my attention all the way through. John Ryder, in my opinion, is up there with the '80's classic slashers, he's scary and his presence on screen makes him very intimidating.
The movie isn’t great. It lacks imagination, which is something ‘80s slasher films seemed to have even if they didn’t have a story.
It’s really Hauer that keeps this movie together and without him it would of fell apart.
So, how do you remake a movie with a lot of flaws? Well, my first thought is to fix all the flaws, but for some reason the remake didn’t fix them and added more.
I’m not really sure what’s so hard about getting a movie with a rather simple premise to work. Yet, they still couldn’t pull it off.
The Hitcher this time around is played by Sean Bean, who actually does a great job. He is able to pull of a believable performance in otherwise mess of a film.
First, there is a lot of gore and it’s also terribly boring. It doesn’t do anything to keep your interest and you will find yourself looking at your phone more than the screen.
Second, it has a lot of cheap scares/shocks. I don’t know about everyone, but those type of scares just don’t do it for me.
So, which is better?
The original is better. Even though the original is flawed, it does have the performance from Hauer.
Original Wins

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 15

House of Wax (1953) vs. House of Wax (2005)
This is one the best films when it comes to classic horror.
André de Toth's remake of “Mystery of the Wax Museum”, is one of the first and best 3-D (stereoscopic) feature films, an alternative technology (like Cinemascope, Cinerama) used by 1950s directors attempting to compete with the new threat of television. Professor Jarrod (Vincent Price) is a devoted wax figure sculptor for his museum in 1910s New York City. When his financial partner, Sidney Wallace (Paul Cavanagh), demands more sensational exhibits to increase profits, Jarrod refuses. The vengeful Wallace torches the museum, leaving Jarrod for dead. Miraculously, Jarrod survives (though his hands and legs are rendered useless) and builds a new House of Wax with help from threatening deaf-mute sculptor, Igor (Charles Bronson). The museum's popular "Chamber of Horrors" showcases recent crimes like the murder of Wallace, a victim of a cloaked, disfigured killer along with his fiancée, Cathy (Carolyn Jones). When Cathy's friend, Sue (Phyllis Kirk), visits the museum she makes a discovery that leads to the horrifying truth behind the House of Wax.
This is another film that shows us what Vincent Price can do and he did great with this role.
I first saw this movie as a kid and after I watched it I was creeped out for a week. It was so effective in its scares that I always remember sitting down for the first time and watching it. The effect of the film has changed over the years, but it still holds that creep factor that will make anyone feel uneasy after they watched it.
So, how do you remake such a great film? Well, you cast Paris Hilton and have no respect of the original.
It makes me mad that the remake was terrible. It didn’t have the sophistication of the original and failed with its scares.
I honestly believe they only casted Paris Hilton so they could market that, knowing that the film lacked any kind of decent script and clear direction. Some will say that it had a sense of humor, but I don’t think it did. What people mistake for a sense of humor is actually the filmmakers not knowing what they were doing.
It was stupid, overly formulaic and the performances were just bad.
So, which is better?
Don’t even waste your time with the remake; the original is the way to go.

Monday, October 14, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 14

House on Haunted Hill (1959) vs. House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Vincent Price has one of his best roles as millionaire Frederick Loren, who invites five guests out to a genuine haunted house, offering them each $10,000 if they spend the night. Mr. Loren's wife (Carol Ohmart) comes along and wants to kill Frederick during the course of the evening. Severed heads, a skeleton, an acid vat, ghostly screams and a noose that creeps around on its own and strangles unsuspecting victims are just some of the treats in a film that has been spooking delighted audiences on late-night TV for decades.
By far one of the best haunted house movies ever made. Yeah, it might be a little corny and silly, but it's still great.
The 1999 film doesn’t even seem to try to be as entertaining as the original.
Where do I even begin with the problems here? There is no story to get invested in, there are no characters and no scares.
Once again, we have a remake that thinks that using extensive amounts of gore is the way to scare its audience.
The other disappointment here is that the cast was decent. You had Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen and Peter Gallagher. I like all those actors and they just didn’t have the script to really turn out anything decent.
So, which is better?
Not even a contest, the original wins.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 13

My Bloody Valentine (1981) vs. My Bloody Valentine (2009)
You want a graphic horror movie? Look no further because the original My Bloody Valentine had something the remake didn’t a sick and twisted tone that truly made it different from previous slashers.
Twenty years ago in the sleepy mining town of Valentine Bluffs, a fatal mining disaster occurred on Valentine's Day while key members of the crew were decorating for a party. The sole survivor of the accident killed the absentee crew members and warned the town never to have another Valentine's Day celebration. When a group of teenagers decides that the town has gone without a party long enough and begins planning one, a murderous maniac in mining gear begins dispatching townsfolk in bloody and creative ways.
Yeah, the film takes from both Halloween and Friday the 13th and this is obvious but it doesn't make it any less fun to watch.
This was another one where the remake wasn’t bad.
The best thing that the 2009 film does is blend old and new and makes it work. The use of prosthetics is also a welcome return and something that is easily forgotten nowadays with all the new CGI technology.
The story is somewhat different from the original. This time we’re in the town of Harmony, I like Valentine Bluffs better. Also, instead of teenagers planning a party we get a husband and wife who are having problems in their marriage and the husband is cheating.
The remake does suffer from a mediocre script. Like the original, the film becomes a whodunit that is only hurt by the major plot twist that has been overused. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it, but trust me we’ve seen it a lot.
So, which is better?
This is a hard one for me. I liked both for different reasons but I have to say that I enjoyed the remake a little bit more.
Even though the 2009 film had its problems with the script and its mediocre performances, I found the use of modern technology, without forgetting the past, to be a wonderful blend.
Remake Wins

Saturday, October 12, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 12

The Last House on the Left (1972) vs. The Last House on the Left (2009)
Inspired by Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960), The Last House On The Left is a parent's worst nightmare come to terrifying life. 17-year-olds Mari (Sandra Cassel) and Phyllis (Lucy Grantham) head into the city for a rock concert, but once there, they're kidnapped by three sadistic escaped convicts led by Krug Stillo (David Hess). After the gang drives the girls into the woods, where they do unspeakable things, the crew ends up at the home of none other than Mari's parents, John (Gaylord St. James) and Estelle (Cynthia Carr).
This movie is shocking and hard to watch. Yes, there is gore but that's not the scene that will get to you. The scene in the woods with the two girls is the most horrible, shocking and brutal scenes in movies.
This was director, Wes Craven’s first film, and I feel bad saying this but I’m just not a fan of it.
The Last House on the Left accomplishes what it wants to accomplish. There is a clear story and the threats in the movie make it a true horror. Yet, with the over the top violence and brutality does not make it an enjoyable film.
Now, even though the first one was created for the purpose to shock and make you squirm, this one was targeted to a more mainstream audience.
The important plot points return for the remake, but the gore and violence are enhanced.
The film feels more of a revenge flick then a straight horror movie and that’s fine because it works for the most part.
Where it fails miserably is when it takes away the moral ambiguity that the original film had. The original film had a certain level of intelligence.
With that said, the remake was a decent and effective addition. It does deviate from the original a little but in the end it works.
So, which is better?
This is a hard one to call, because I’m not a huge fan of either one of them. They both deal with sensitive subjects and I feel the original does it slightly better, even though it’s far from a perfect film.
Yet, the remake was made better and had good performances and a decent script. It might not be as smart at the original but I found it more engaging.
Remake Wins

Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 11

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) vs. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
This movie was inspired by the mass murderer Ed Gein of the 1950s and is the granddaddy of all splatter films.
It opens up with five unsuspecting teenagers who are driving a van through the rural parts of Texas. They soon pick up a crazy hitchhiker and then they find themselves at an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.
Soon the seemingly abandoned house becomes the stage for some gruesome things.
Soon the teenagers start disappearing one by one and the star of the movie, Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) must muster up all of her strength and escape from the psychotic family who want to put her on the dinner table (yeah they eat their victims). It becomes more and more difficult for her as she meets her match in the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen).
After this movie we would see the formula it used to present day slasher/splatter films. That formula being all the victims suffer horrible deaths and the one lone female becoming the heroine of the story.
What makes this film great is its suspense, which is created by its documentary-style camera work and a surprisingly engaging script.
For me, the film still holds up. The scene with the meat hook still disturbs me today. Yet, besides the script, scares and camera work, the other thing that made this work so well was the crew willing to take risks. Because of those risks we have a horror movie classic.
If there ever was an unnecessary remake, this would be it.
What the original had gotten right, the remake just gets wrong.
In the movie, like the original, we find ourselves with a group of young people. There is Erin (Jessica Biel), Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), Kemper (Eric Balfour), and Andy (Mike Vogel). They’re driving through Texas on a road trip when they pick up a hitchhiker, Pepper (Erica Leerhsen), who is on her way to Mexico to get some drugs.
They all soon pass through a small town in Travis County, and see a girl (Lauren German)  full of blood and visibly disturbed walking on the side of the road. They stop to help her and soon find themselves going against a family of murdering cannibals.
They did try to do something slightly different with this one but what they failed to realize is gore isn’t what made the first one scary.
It brings nothing to the table, is virtually free of any real scares and it’s just boring.
So, which is better?
Of course, this is going to the original. The 1974 version just had it all, and the 2003 version tried to copy that but doesn’t understand what scary is.
Original Wins

Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 10

The Haunting (1963) vs. The Haunting (1999)
The movie is set in Hill House, a house that is known for its dark and evil history that includes accidents, suicide and human misjudgment.
A doctor by the name John Markway (Richard Johnson) a psychic researcher assembles a group of people who have histories linked to paranormal activity.
One of the group members is a woman by the name, Eleanor (Julie Harris), who was the subject of unexplained poltergeist activities as a child. She also is feeling guilt over her mother’s death, but when she arrives at Hill House she slowly falls into obsession with the estate.
When the group gets together they explore Hill House, and their own insecurities. Little do they know that the estate holds darker horrors, as the souls from the house’s troubled past begin to make themselves known.
Released in 1963, this movie still holds all the scares and thrills it delivered so well all those years ago.
It’s based off of the Shirley Jackson novel, The Haunting of Hill House, and in my opinion is one of the best psychological horror films ever made. Because it doesn’t rely on blood, gore or monster to get its scares it plays with your mind.
The big reason everyone should watch this movie because it’s one of the very, very few movies that leaves its audience with an unsettling feel. It also leaves you with questions that you can answer for yourself.
Where do I begin? If you have ever had the chance to see this remake I feel your pain.
The movie has a similar plot to the original. It also has Liam Neeson, Owen Wilson and Catherine Zeta-Jones who are clearly doing it for a paycheck.
The script for the film is an uneven mess, and the only thing that the movie had going for it was its visual effects, which have aged terribly.
The Haunting (1999) is a film that should be avoided at all costs. It’s not so bad it’s good, it’s so bad that it’s just painful to watch.
So, which is better?
The original. Not even going to explain why, because thinking about the remake is only going to make me mad.
Original Wins

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 9

Fright Night (1985) vs. Fright Night (2011)
Fright Night centers around Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) who discovers that his next door neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) is a vampire! Soon Dandridge starts to stalk Brewster, so he turns to a washed up actor, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to help him defeat Dandridge.
The original Fright Night was a film that was way before its time. It’s able to take on a comedy/parody and also mix in its own drama and what we get is a well blended film that has now become a classic.
There is just so much put into this movie that makes it a worthy horror film. It will make you laugh, scream, and cringe and all because it does its job effectively.
This is a remake that many believe, including myself, that shouldn’t have been made. Yet, come to think of it there are a lot of horror remakes that shouldn’t have been made.
With that out of the way, I’m happy to say that I’m glad to have this remake because I enjoyed it immensely.
Let’s first look at the world that this Fright Night was released into. By 2011 vampire lore was being changed dramatically due to the success of the Twilight series. Vampires no longer needed permission to enter your home, they no longer feared the son, and they were no long creatures of the night. So, basically everything that has made vampires cool in the past has almost been destroyed by movies like Twilight.
Now they release the remade Fright Night, which follows all of the classic vampire rules and it’s just refreshing to see. It’s nice to see a vampire acting like a real vampire. He can’t go out in the sun, so he does his yard work at night, he can’t enter your home with out being invited, and overall he’s a dangerous predator that lurks around at night. Just having these things in the remake make it great to watch.
Now, the performances from Colin Farrell and David Tennant are great. Farrell really lets himself get into his role as the vampire living next door and Tennant brings actually humorous comic relief in his role as Peter Vincent.
The film does get attacked for being an average vampire movie and at times it can be held down by certain clichés. But that’s easy to overlook because I was entertained through out most of the movie.
So, which is better?
The remake is above average and I highly recommend it. Yet, the original still has a hold on me. Maybe it’s the nostalgia but I still find the original to be superior than the remake.
Original Wins

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 8

The Fog (1980) vs. The Fog (2005)
On April 21st, 100 years ago, the wealthy leper Blake bought the vessel Elizabeth Dane and relocated himself and his family from leper colony to California and effort to build a town for them to live with less aggravation and more comfort.
Problems occur when the family is crossing Spivey Point in a very thick fog. The problems only worsen when they are misguided by a campfire onshore, causing the ship to come to close to land and crashing into rocks - Blake, his family and crew die.
We are then brought to present day, where they are preparing for the Celebration of the centenary at the fishing town of Antonio Bay. On this very day a strange, glowing fog appears, bringing the zombies of Blake and his crew back from the dead with the intentions of killing the residents of Antonio Bay.
The zombies want revenge for their deaths and as the movie goes on we see why.
What worked with the original is its atmosphere, a memorable ghost story, and great direction by John Carpenter.
Yes, the movie does have its flaws; mainly with its action. The action isn’t all that exciting and because of that the movie lacks a lot of suspense.
Out of Carpenter’s movies this is definitely no Halloween or The Thing. Yet, it’s a fine ghost story that still holds up well today.
What was the point of this remake? I tried to come up with reasons this film didn’t work and my list consisted of everything about the movie.
The great thing about the original is the fact they accomplished effects with very little … well, everything. With the remake they try to impress us with the effects and the fact they can create fog, but I wasn’t impressed. I would be more interested if the movie could create atmosphere or suspense, but it doesn’t … it’s just bad.
The direction, script, characters, effects, and dialogue were all bad. I mean the guy from Smallville (Tom Welling) and the girl from Lost (Maggie Grace) couldn’t save this film. If Superman can’t save your film, than your movie has no hope.
So, which is better?
Original. Because, well, pretty much everything.

Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 7

The Fly (1958) vs. The Fly (1986)
The premise in both of these movies is the same. A scientist who has invented a teleportation device accidentally merges himself with a fly. He soon starts to turn into a fly himself.
Both films deal with this and they both deal with the hardships these characters relationships go through due to the horrible accident.
What worked so well with the original was its ability to bring science fiction into a more believable area. It makes sure that the script is strong, especially when it starts to become ridiculous. It really plays between black comedy and drama, which works for the most part.
For films that came out of the ‘50s horror this is probably one of the top ones. Even with the hilarious scene where they see a tiny entrapped fly with one of the main characters head and arm, screaming "Help me! Help me!" in a tiny voice, as a spider approaches. Yeah, it gets weird and campy like that.
David Cronenberg's remake of the 1958 classic becomes a moving portrait of a man and his lover attempting to come to terms with his physical disintegration. "The Fly" stars Jeff Goldblum as a spaced-out scientist who invents a genetic teleportation machine and accidentally transforms himself into a fly. In the horrifyingly graphic detail that is his trademark, Cronenberg depicts the scientist's painful mutation from human into insect. What gives the film its tragic dimension is the emotional depth of the relationship between the scientist and his journalist girlfriend (Geena Davis) as she witnesses his slow, painful metamorphosis.
The Fly gives us some great and creepy special effects but also strong characters that we grow to like and care about. So, when things start to go south we actually feel for what these characters are going through and that’s something all movie should have. Sadly they don’t.
So, the first half of the movie with Goldblum and Davis is heartwarming and then things happen and the second half is heartbreaking, which is done beautifully within the realm of gothic horror.
So, which is better?
I’m going to have to go with the remake. With Cronenberg’s version I felt more connected with the characters, which is what became key in making this a great movie.
Remake Wins

Sunday, October 6, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 6

The Crazies (1973) vs. The Crazies (2010)
Another George A. Romero film, which isn't the best but still good.
In a small town of Pennsylvania, a government plan crashes carrying biological weapons. This deadly weapon seeps into the water supply and anyone who drinks it becomes crazy and murderous. David (Will McMillan), a firefighter and his wife, Judy (Lane Carroll) and a few others attempt to escape the town.
Romero is able to take away the living dead and replace it with ordinary people and it works well.
The whole idea behind The Crazies is a thought provoking one. It really explores the effect of biochemical disasters. Yet, it does come off as a zombie knockoff and that’s the biggest flaw the film has. It can’t escape being compared to the Romero zombie films that came before it.
In 2010 they released the remake and I was impressed with it.
This remake does follow pretty much the same story as the original, but it’s one of the few that got it right. I was so surprised to see that the film had intelligence, tension, and style. It felt like director and writers really had a passion for the original and wanted to do the remake justice and they did.
Yes, the charm of Romero’s original is lost, and the film does give us run and hide moments that we could have done without. Also, the movie does fall into some of the genre’s trappings, which is disappointing when you have a smart script. But the director seems to understand how to balance the horror and illogicality of the situation.
So, which is better?
I’m going to have to go with the remake. Yes, the original has its charm and it will always hold a special place in horror, but the remake took that idea and made it even better. That’s a true accomplishment, especially when you’re talking about a horror movie remake.
Remake Wins