Ginger Nuts of Horror
After enjoying the 1981 version of My Bloody Valentine, I had to get together with my friends and watch the 2009 remake starring JENSEN ACKLES. With the original fresh in my mind, every time something new happened, I gasped then muttered, "That's not what happened in the original." About 30 minutes in, I knew that if I didn't stop this muttering, I was going to ruin movie night, so I resolved to do the following:
1. Accept the passage of time.
In this case, it's been 28 years. A successful plot in 1981 would be unacceptable by today's standards. For example, the original's storyline is fairly convoluted: Oh by the way, this happened 20 years ago. Oh by the way, now we decided to have the dance again. Oh by the way, if you want to be a teacher you have to vanish without telling your girlfriend where you went. Oh by the way, this guy did it because of reasons we never told you until the end of the movie. I accept this level of ridiculousness because the filmmakers were novice slasher makers. There is no room for novices anymore. The updated version straightens out the timeline, gives the characters authentic motivations, and gives hints and false hints about who the killer is.
2. Accept that it's made by different people.
It annoys me when people don't like movies because they weren't "just like the book." It bothers me equally so when people say remakes aren't "just like the original." As humans, we tend to crave the familiar, but what's the point of making the same movie twice? Nowadays you could just re-release an old classic. If you're doing a re-make, you're recasting the vision. Because the creators were familiar with the first, which was a straightforward cautionary tale, they were able to go deeper with big questions:
The writers and director involved were fans of the original, so they set up some homages:
4. Allow yourself to mourn what's missing
It's best not to compare the two, but to treat them as individual movies. There are some things about the original that are hard to forget, but I can just re-watch the original. That's right. It still exists. Remakes don't replace originals. Just think of it as high-budget fanfic. Here's what I missed:
ABOUT JENNIFER BRINKMEYER
Because horror interests me for both its entertainment and dark muse value, I am a lifelong writer and votary. My first film ever was Ghostbusters (if that counts), but I loved Gremlinsas a kindergartner and watched Night of the Living Dead as a 4th grader home sick from school. My first books down the haunted path were Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories.The first scary story I wrote was in 7th grade, and it won the school prize. The cool kids had no idea they were voting for such a nerd–a landmark victory.
Flash forward to now: I watch 31 horror films in October and at least one a week throughout the year. I read widely, believing that everything has a little horror in it (check out my Goodreads).
I write full-length paranormal novels (news forthcoming) and am a member of the Horror Writers Association. In the daytime, I teach English to the world’s foremost paranormal fans—teenagers.
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