Remakes and Fright Night

Remake. It’s the word that’s been known to set off a thousand nerds into an agonized frenzy. Even before the movie has begun filming, they are all up in arms and ready to denounce it.

Taking great pride in their love for a certain franchise, many people are uncomfortable with the notion of something being changed around for the sake of satisfying the Hollywood machine.

Some will fight it to the point where they will refuse to enjoy the movie at all costs and poke holes in it. Never mind the fact that the original version probably has its own flaws except it’s protected by Nostalgia. And maybe that’s where the fear lies. The fear that somehow these new movies will magically erase the old version from existence, much like Marty McFly’s siblings, and be replaced by this new interpretation.

Some remakes work, and some clearly don’t. But that’s a matter of opinion. Star Trek, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all were the victim of Internet scorn; and most recently Ghostbusters has joined the ranks. And while it’s easy to understand the fear behind having a much loved franchise messed with, we need to hope for the best and wait until it comes out before we pass full judgement. Who knows. It might actually be good.

Just look at Fright Night.

Fright Night was a classic 80’s horror movie with a loyal cult following. It never reached the same stature as several other horror movies of the times, but it is loved by horror fans around the world. So of course when a remake was announced the fans gave a silent groan and moan. Not even Fright Night, a not-that-well-known horror movie, was safe from the remake machine.

Fright Night 1985-Jerry Dandrige-Chris Sarandon

Colin-Farrell-in-Fright-Night-2011-Movie-Image-3But something odd happened with the Fright Night remake. It was actually good. Some will take issue with that statement, but Fright Night is the perfect example of Hollywood saying “Give me something different, yet the same”. The familiarity of a pre-set franchise is the safest bet to get our butts in the seat on opening day. And in this day of 300 channels, Netflix, and every other form of entertainment vying for our attention, we want some type of guarantee in knowing that our hard earned money is going to be well spent on a theater ticket. Why take a risk on something we never heard of? (Okay, no one heard of Guardians of the Galaxy before last summer, but it had the Marvel seal of approval so it HAD to be good, right? HELL YEAH, it was.)

“Give me something different, yet the same.”


Fright Night 2011 3

Fright Night gave us the same characters we all loved from the first movie and gave it a modern twist by changing it around enough that it’s a completely new movie with just the right amount of nods to the original without losing its grip on being its own entity.

So while many remakes leave us wishing Hollywood would just leave the past alone, we can’t quickly close the door everything. Who knows? Perhaps the new Ghostbusters can be the next Fright Night.

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