The horror remake mania continues... Platinum Dunes has THE BIRDS, THE CHANGELING and NEAR DARK... oy....
Published at: Oct. 6, 2006, 4:07 a.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here... You know, there have been a few horror remakes in the last few years that I have enjoyed. I'm not particularly a fan of the CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake, but it was a hardcore, ballsy, beautiful looking film. I quite liked the HILLS HAVE EYES remake... but for every good or decent horror remake we have dozens that don't work. And now Platinum Dunes has gotten 3 more titles.
Now, Platinum Dunes has a better track record than most studios (Dark Castle I'm looking at you) when it comes to these remakes (with AMITYVILLE HORROR, which was smart in taking an iconic, but deeply flawed film to remake, and CHAINSAW), but forgive me if I'm a little untrusting of the handling of these 3 classics. They have THE BIRDS, THE CHANGELING and NEAR DARK.
NEAR DARK in particular I question. I love Kathryne Bigelow's 1987 twist on the vampire story. It's hard, it's totally off-center and definitely succeeded with the generous help of the post-ALIENS cast including Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton (who particularly shines here) and Jenette Goldstein. It's one of those films that is very much a product of its time and I don't know how interested I am in seeing a new version of it.
THE BIRDS is also a dubious choice. I know some look down upon Hitchcock's original film, but for me... THE BIRDS was my gateway movie into Hitchcock. As a kid, I loved the film and was introduced to the filmmaking of Hitchcock... the way he bent suspense to his will, the shot selection (for instance, that fantastic scene where Tippi Hedren sits for a smoke while the school kids sing on the audio track as the crows one by one cover the jungle gym behind her), the bleak as shit ending. Loved it. Maybe it's because all I can think of is that shitty direct to cable BIRDS 2, but I don't like this.
And I don't trust that THE CHANGELING will be adapted well, either. It's so much slower than horror audiences expect these days and I have no interest in seeing the souped up, CGI ghostfest version of THE CHANGELING. Plus, THE RING stole many elements of the original, which I fear will strike many audiences as being a retread of that movie now.
I'm curious to see how they approach these films. They've signed their 3-Year deal with Rogue Pictures and have these on the docket. It's really all about hiring the right people, interesting off-the-wall directors and writers to turn these projects from being something I (and many horror fans) will be firmly against to something to be cautiously awaited. Afterall, if you get somebody like John Carpenter to remake THE THING, that's an interesting choice and one that paid off in spades. So, we'll see what Platinum Dunes does next. As a horror fan, I just want to see good material out there.