Having accepted the fact that remakes, sequels and reboots are here to stay, should there be a limit to how many times they should happen? Two of our writers enter the ring to battle it out…



“I would propose, if I ruled Hollywood… to limit the number of shots studios get at remaking an original horror film to just one.”


o horror fan with a functional short-term memory could ever convincingly argue against the existence of remakes. Even though most have no excuse for their existence, there are too many good ones to make a convincing case: David Cronenberg’s The Fly and John Car- penter’s The Thing are my go-to ‘remakes can be great’ standbys for just such an occasion. Just because a film was revered by your parents doesn’t mean a younger filmmaker shouldn’t be allowed to evolve/fuck with it for his or her peer group. Stories are meant to be retold, which is why high schoolers are going to be reading (and mostly hating) Macbeth until the water wars put a halt to organized society.

But there is – or should be – a limit. Sure, each new generation of movie studio executives can try to fatten their bottom lines by remaking demonstrably profitable horror titles. That’s called capitalism and it’s why we have two unnecessary Black Christmas remakes and two American Grudge redo abominations. Re- makes are going to happen ad nauseam, but should they?

I would propose, if I ruled Hollywood – cue the guffaws – to limit the number of shots studios

get at remaking an original horror film to just one. Seriously. Put all your creative resources into one great retelling. Do something that balances reverence and weirdness. That’s what Cronenberg and Carpenter did (al- though, yes, I know The Thing bombed upon release). And I know you don’t have the patience, but you should also have to wait at least twenty years before your ‘retelling’ makes any sense. Instead, let a new crop of fans grow and fertilize the bones of that great horror film you’re itching to re-monetize with contemporary fears. Be- cause we don’t need another Grudge nor a Black Christmas version 4.0 before the ink has dried on our print reviews of their lacklustre prede- cessors. You tried, you failed. Now, if you can get your shit together and come up with a decent Hellraiser reboot...

hether it’s the second one ever or the third one in as many years, remakes offer a chance for new perspectives, updated FX, and new actors to breathe fresh life into existing territory – full stop. Put- ting a cap on how many times a filmmaker can access a pre-established sandbox goes against the borderless quality we all love about horror in the first place.


Remakes help keep our favourite monsters alive and well, creating a greater likelihood of being accessed by a wider audience. When the last Godzilla film came out, despite its numerous incarnations and having missed the previous cou- ple, I took my teen to her first monster movie, which sparked her (and my) excitement to see what titanic terror gets the next cinematic facelift. Remakes can also provide deeper explora- tion of established worlds and their monsters. Through umpteen versions, we got to watch Ja- son Voorhees evolve from a lumbering psycho who preyed on equally lumbering victims, to a re- juvenated supernatural maniac who ran down the new kids at a terrifying pace. The 2013 Evil Dead remake dubbed itself a reimagining of the original and took a more serious, straight-ahead horror

approach than its predecessors. Meanwhile, the newest Grudge incar- nation released earlier this year delivered a sidequel, expanding what we understand about its storyline. You might not love each installment equally, but lets not pretend they’re all just serving up more of the same. I shudder to imagine a world without a remake of The Haunting of Hill

House, which has never been more terrifying than Mike Flanagan’s Net- flix series. On the other hand, imagine if the sacred Halloween franchise simply ended with Rob Zombie’s stab at it (pun intended)? As I type this, the series is continuing its third incarnation, promising to ignore every- thing beyond the original in favour of its own path.

The idea that familiar territory can’t deliver new fears is just as silly as the notion that you shouldn’t drink from the same well more than once. Drink up, I say – the best horror is good to the last drop.

Are practical effects always better than CGI?

RICK HIPSON R M 62 86% yes 14% NO

Yes, well-executed practical effects pull us in as close to our terrors as we can possibly get.

“Putting a cap on how many times a filmmaker can access a pre-established sandbox goes against the borderless quality we all love about horror in the first place.”




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