Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogfest: Best/Worst Movie Remakes

It's been said that there are no more original thoughts. No where is that statement more true than in Hollywood. Every time I visit the theater I see more and more trailers for movies that are remakes of previous films and some of the "original" films aren't even 10 years old (Did we need another Spiderman origin story?). Of course, some of these films end up being just as good as the original. Films like:

Quarantine (2008)

I first saw Quarantine while browsing the free videos that were On Demand from Verizon. I had heard of it before and, being the science geek that I am, I wanted to see exactly how they handled the "plague zombie" outbreak. Any quarantine is frightening. Nothing says panic like realizing you're being isolated from the outside world because you have been exposed to a deadly disease. Add to that horror the possibility of being hunted down by the infected at the same time and there is no chance of escape (for if you step outside the CDC will shoot you)... yeah, that says terror to me. So, I decided to give it a go, turned off all the lights and waited for the film to make me jump.

The jump didn't come until the end. I knew it was coming, I anticipated it and yet it still caught me off guard. Plus, the explanation for the disease wasn't too far off. Granted, they likened the disease to rabies in animals and while it does effect the brains of those mammals, humans are effected in a different manner. Still, if a disease could cause madness in us the way rabies does in animals - that's pretty frightening. All in all, when the movie was over I had a good scare and I was entertained.

Then, a few years later I discovered [REC] on the same On Demand queue. "Ah, that's the Spanish movie that Quarantine is based on," I said to myself and decided to see how close to the original Quarantine had been. I decided to judge it on how much it frightened me since I already knew the ending. I was surprised to find that I still jumped in my seat and my heart pounded in my chest. Quarantine was loyal to the original and still delivered the same scare. I would say that this film was a worthwhile remake of the original Spanish film.

I have a tendency to watch the remake before the original so sometimes I feel I have a bias towards the more modern version. That was not the case for the following remake.

I Am Legend (2007)

I know. I Am Legend has been spoken about numerous times on other blogs. And truly, it's not a bad movie. It does a very good job showing what the world would look like years after humanity (which prompted me to begin watching the Life After People on the History Channel). The science was a bit iffy but I was able to forgive that for the moment and just enjoy it for the action movie that it was showing. Of course, my husband then had to ruin it for me by uttering the most movie-killing quote of "That's not how the book ended."

I'm a stickler for book versions. I tend to love the book more than the film, mostly because you can get more out of a book whereas the film limits you in what you can see and you only know what the director is willing to show you. Yes, the ending is completely different but that's not the flaw I'm going to speak about, even though it's a valid flaw.

My husband informed me that I Am Legend was made into a film starring Vincent Price called "Last Man on Earth". I found the movie on Netflix and decided to give it a go. The tone was different. In I Am Legend you feel the utter emptiness of the city whereas in Last Man on Earth, you hear his thoughts through the day but at night he is plagued constantly by the walking vampires that bang on his house and call out his name. Most of the movie is a flashback of how he came to this point and the big twist ending, that was missing in I Am Legend, was far more effective.

If you have the chance (or Netflix) I suggest watching the Last Man on Earth. It's a good watch and is still eerie even after all these years.

Comments? Think I'm completely wrong? Have any suggestions for movies? Add them to the comments! I'd love to see what you have to say.

Don't forget to check out the other articles from the blogfest. You can find them here: