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poofandmook's avatar

What did you think of the new Nightmare On Elm Street? (semi-spoiler) And recent remakes of 80s horror in general?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) May 2nd, 2010

I think they did a great job of mixing the old 80s cheese feel with the current trend of horror. In horror movies now, it’s nearly all about the startle or the jump; something jumping onto the screen so suddenly and quickly it’s a flash, with a big bang in the music. The 80s took the big moments more slowly and built up the moment more and didn’t rely on the startle factor.

But this movie used a great combination of the old music and new music, remakes of old scenes/shots with new back story, and a little bit of 80s cheese and the 80s style gore but also a good deal of the “startle” factor of late.

Unlike, say, Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween, which was just a display of unnecessary gratuitous vulgarity and typical Rob Zombie sexual content/“white trash” focus and really wasn’t true to the feel of the original Halloween at all.

Or, the remake of The Exorcist a few years ago. The original Exorcist was a phenomenal mix of gore, psychological fear, supernatural, religious threat, and it carries well as it ages. The remake had absolutely not one shred of the feel or thrill of the original.

Your take? I’m interested because my best friend and I are very loyal to 80s horror and tend to really be disappointed in the heart of remakes that are more like independent movies, rather than another part of the classic.

I know The Exorcist isn’t 80s, but you just can’t talk about horror and exclude it

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27 Answers

Trillian's avatar

First of all, I think that as a movie director, Rob Zombie is an excellent musician.
I liked the remake of Dawn of the Dead after I went home and thought about it. It was campy and lots of fun, but lacked the visceral, underlying and intensifying horror that I still feel every time I watch the original. I also recently saw the remake of Day of the Dead, which pissed me off just because of all the super powers the zombies had. I liked that there was a military guy named “Bud”, even though the original was “Bub”, but really, at this point what more can a zombie movie do?
I didn’t bother with the remake of The Exorcist, and the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street is at the top of my miss list.
But I didn’t like any of the original 80’s slasher films, as they seemed pointless and completely gratuitous to me.

talljasperman's avatar

I’m still waiting for the remake of Omen to come on Cable…even though the first four moives bombed…I would hope that the son of Satan would have more powers than an ability to make a burst of wind (omen 2 or 3)

poofandmook's avatar

@Trillian: Rob Zombie has done films that I liked. I just don’t think his style meshes with the originals he tries to redo. He’s all shock, and classic horror is more than that.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I was contemplating to whether or not should I watch the remake because of Jackie Earle Haley. I thought he was good as Rorschach in the Watchmen. Maybe I’ll just rent it some day.
I usually hate remakes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Jack79's avatar

I agree with what you say in the first paragraph, which is why I no longer watch horror movies. They’ve become stupid (even “Final Destination” which I liked as an idea originally). I might as well pay money for someone to come into the theatre and shout “boo!” behind me while I’m trying to watch. No point in going into the trouble of making a movie for that.

I was never a big fan of the first one, but from what I hear they did do a good remake. And to answer your main question, yes, I am all for remakes if they have something new to offer. Not just better graphics, but some sort of new angle on the story, a different version, focus, etc. In that sense, most remakes have been successful, despite the flack they sometimes get.

Berserker's avatar

I haven’t seen it, but I’m about to soon enough. I really hope they retain some of that eighties goodness, Elm Street was fucking king for that back in the day.

As for your comments about Rob’s Halloween, I could go on forever about it, but yeah it wasn’t a question about that…^^

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Also…there was a remake of the exorcist?

poofandmook's avatar

@Michael_Huntington: Not a “remake” really, but an addition… so maybe it was a stretch to mention that one while talking about remakes. But it was horrible as an addition anyway.

poofandmook's avatar

@Symbeline: you can talk about Rob Zombie’s Halloween… I’m interested in what you might have to say about it. It’s relevant… part of the question is a generalization about remakes.

poofandmook's avatar

@talljasperman: I went to Blockbuster to rent The Omen this afternoon and I wasn’t paying attention and almost rented the newer one. But I do plan to check it out after I’ve seen the original. I also have the newer Friday the 13th on my DVR but I want to get through my rentals first. I’m told not to expect much out of either.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

The Omen is a classic!

Trillian's avatar

Let me add that I’ve seen three Rob Zombie movies, and I at least enjoyed his Halloween, and I especially liked the back story of his childhood. The other two were gratuitous garbage, and I really hated the clown.

poofandmook's avatar

@Michael_Huntington: I meant that I was told not to expect much from the newer ones.

poofandmook's avatar

@Trillian: Most everyone I’ve spoken to liked his version. I am well aware that I’m in the minority here. But the original 4 Halloweens (with Michael Myers) are among my favorite movies of all-time. So when Rob Zombie did it, I had problems with his blatant disregard for the time period in which his story would have had to take place. And really, by then, his love of “white trash” was starting to get really old with me.

Trillian's avatar

@poofandmook Yeah, the white trash, the pointless violence, and Walton Goggins just creeps me out. I understand what he was going for, I’ve heard chapter and verse from a girl at work, but she like David lynch movies too, so… there you go. I personally had a hard time sitting through them, and the second one I actually had to try a few times. I still haven’t seen it beginning to end. Making the woman have sex with him in front of her husband really bothered me. And the clown, of course. I already don’t like clowns, this just gave me one more reason.

syzygy2600's avatar

It just doesn’t have the feel of the original. In a way, the new one is far more cheesy in my eyes – like you said, its just a bunch of jump scenes. Nothing new or original has been done with it. Why not just watch the old one?

Berserker's avatar

Well, here’s my tired tune about the Halloween remake that I’ve been singing ever since that movie came out…

I’m a big fan of the original Halloweens, from one to six, and so, it comes as no surprise that any remake of the very first one will be critically compared to the original coming from me, and well, it pretty much fails.
Rob said that he was going to explain what turned Michael this way, but he really doesn’t tell us much of anything that we didn’t know in the original movie. We get a more elaborate look at his childhood, and I could guess that his upbringing was fucked up, which made him this way, especially when you consider the addition that he started by killing small animals and this often rings true in real life for some murderers…but then we get this thing with Loomis about a force possessing him, much like in the original franchise.
(As I recall, it was said that his family in the original was perfectly normal and loving.)
But we don’t get any more of this elaboration in the remake about this force aside that Sam makes some novel about it and the drama follows all the way into the remake of Halloween II which is complete bs if you ask me…other than its imagery, I hated it, but then the original number two is my total favourite so, no contest there, and anyways… and it doesn’t even include all that business about Samhain and the Thorn constellation from the originals, (Not spoken of in number one, granted.) and I must say this is what disappointed me the most. I was looking forward to having things better explained but the remake leaves you in the dark just as much.

I understand though, that this actually a re imagining, rather than a remake, so I guess it can be forgiven, despite the promises to elaborate. With that said, I totally appreciated the movie…it was artsy, nice and violent, and fun to watch, and quite hilarious at times.

The problem is…that isn’t what Halloween is about. The original has next to no gore, it’s a lot more suspense than actual horror, and the only reason the series even continued was because Carpenter had no choice but to respect a contract which he signed without a thought, thinking the movie would be a flop. It was to be originally called The Babysitter Murders, and he wanted to end it at number one, with Myers vanishing after falling from the window…(Which might explain why number II was a lot more violent and gory, as a sign of rage or frustration or something; still, it went on to create the cheesy slasher genre of the eighties, the latter often being falsely credited to Friday the Thirteenth.)
But that’s not the point, point is it seems to me that Rob completely failed to see the essence of the original when he made his remake.
Michael Myers is intelligent, cunning, stealthy and has no emotion whatsoever, (Aside from his famous head tilt at least once a movie where he displays some slight emotion, usually mockery or morbid delight/satisfaction.) and this where we draw the fear of the character…not from him being a lumbering giant who looks like a wrestler, devoid of any intelligence whatsoever, and just busting through walls all night long like he was doing in the remake. Also he’s very emotive in the remake, and I find this wrong. Myers is a fucking killing machine, not a crybaby.

I say I like the movie because I like exaggerated gore, and I love Zombie’s approach to the grindhouse genre in his works…his movie is awesome for what it is, but it ain’t Halloween.

If anything, Rob Zombie would have been the perfect choice for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake instead, judging by House of a 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects…
Also he’s got a thing for dudes with long hair, doesn’t he.

It so happens I gotta shitload to say about the remake for Friday the Thirteenth too, but I’ll sit still for that, at least until I see the Freddy remake and actually answer the question with what I’ll have thought of it.

poofandmook's avatar

@Symbeline: That’s my point. It didn’t have the heart that the original Halloween had. Aside from me being tired of the same tune in every Rob Zombie film: sex, gore, sex gore, white trash having sex, white trash engaging in gore, sex sex, white trash, gore.

Don’t tell me about the remake of Friday the 13th because I haven’t watched it yet. lol

Berserker's avatar

Fair enough. It’s interetsing though, I’ll say that. Now go check it out!

poofandmook's avatar

@Symbeline: It was just on TV Saturday afternoon and I DVRed it. But I rented a few that I want to get through first since I have to return them.

poofandmook's avatar

@Symbeline: Okay, I saw the recent Friday the 13th… did you see Nightmare yet??

Berserker's avatar

No, now I have to wait until it gets on DVD. I hate small towns, despite how awesome they are in horror movies.

poofandmook's avatar

@Symbeline: well then tell me what you thought of Friday.

Berserker's avatar

As a remake I thought it was a much more decent effort than Halloween, especially when it came to the storyline, however I still feel that essence was discarded.

One of my complaints in Halloween was making Myers a blundering moron, and the contrary in Friday the Thirteenth happened.

Jason is extremely emotive, guided by relentless anger and hatred. He’s not very smart, and other than the general ability of all slashers to be like ninjas and pop out of nowhere, he’s supposed to bust through walls and windows. But you saw in this remake, how he’s extremely ingenious, cunning and intelligent. Now that’s not bad, and by building an entire system underground, I thought it was very neat to go and explain just how he manages to pop out of nowhere and everything.
It was different, fun and innovative, and actually a lot more realistic and plausible than I’d ever imagine any of these movies to get, but it isn’t Jason, so to speak. Not the original Jason.
I always saw those movies as a dumb fun time where elaboration isn’t needed and this movie kills itself by dropping that flair in exchange for wanting to be more intelligent than other movies remakes of its kind.

There’s also the very fact that, if you’re familiar with the Jason saga, this is, technically, a remake of number two, rather than number one, which in the remake was told in a prologue…I thought it was a bit odd seeing as the original first movie defined itself and just about the whole genre to follow by its plot twist, but still forgivable if only because the original number two doesn’t deviate its story out of its state of non existence until part IX, but I also find him kidnapping the girl for something other than death a little lame. Jason is emotive yes, but he’s angry and as he cannot rest, then everyone else will, and this kinda messes up the mythos. If they think that doing this will give some spark back to the cheesy eighties flash, then I think they’re wrong, unless that wasn’t their intent.

Also I was really looking forward to knowing how he found the mask…and it was a little lame. If you look at the extras, you’ll see what they originally intended to do for the mask discovery and they shoulda just stuck with that. I doubt it would have deviated the whole movie away from its main concept, as they feared it would.

But yeah I bitch about everything, but the movie was fine, if you take it for what it is. Fun deaths, stupid teenagers and creepy scare moments, it all works, it’s just not the Jason I remember.

But enough of that, what did you think of it?

poofandmook's avatar

You basically said it. It was a lot like the new Nightmare. It was a pretty good movie, but it wasn’t Freddy. Freddy talked too much. Just like this guy wasn’t the original Jason. Doesn’t stop it from being a very enjoyable movie though.

Berserker's avatar

Indeed. A bit slow I think, but that’s nothing when considering some of the original slashers were nearly two hours long.
I still can’t wait to see Freddy now. Does he crack a whole bunch of jokes still?

poofandmook's avatar

Ehhh.. truthfully I don’t remember, but I think he was more creepy than joking. He did talk too much though lol.

But I still liked it a lot.

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