Before we get balls deep internationally, I wanted to take a moment to talk about a truly sensitive subject amongst us diehard horror fans. Especially when concerning foreign horror films. American remakes. Whenever something awesome makes its way across the pond and finds its eventual path onto a Hollywood executive's desk, it is usually turned into something soulless and ugly. It is stripped of everything that made it great and dumbed down for mass consumption. For you see...American film studios are infested with uncreative greedy beings that only care about money.
While I'm not a fan of taking a brilliant foreign horror film and turning it into an American money-making vehicle, I am also a realist who has been desensitized to the inevitable notion of finding something amazing and mass producing it as a watered down version of the original. I understand why it is done. Shit, Hollywood continues to do it to some of its own classics, hoping for the next big payday. Why not take a lesser known gem and turn into an American cash crop? Throw in a few million and some edgy marketing and you have something "different" and "cool". I mean...every once in a while it does work. The Ring was an awesome remake of Ringu.
However, there are some foreign horror films that should never even be discussed in the same sentence as the word remake. Films that are perfect the way that they are and should remain that way. Untampered. And while an American remake can never take away its original counterpart, I can argue that it can certainly do its part in soiling its legacy. Creating a sort of silly caricature of what was to be something much greater and potent. That is why Hollywood should never even dream of remaking certain foreign horror films.
Here is my list of foreign horror films that American film studios should leave alone.
10. Any Fulci Film
9. Deep Red
I absolutely love Bedevilled. It is a film worthy of more exposure than it's had since it was first released. It is as much a treat visually as it is emotionally and rewards the viewer with heaps of gory entertainment, as well as social relevance. It is much more than the sum of its parts and to reveal anything about the film would be a severe crime. To remake this film would be an even greater crime punishable by execution with a sickle. Bedevilled is easily one of my favorite Korean genre films combining gender-bending depth with a keen cinematic beauty and Hollywood better keep its greedy mitts away from this masterpiece.
You don't think they would ever remake Guillermo del Toro's elegant film...The Devil's Backbone...do you? It's a rich and sad commentary on a specific time, while also weaving the delicateness of innocence lost with an expert sense of storytelling. The Devil's Backbone is my personal favorite del Toro picture and now that he's quickly becoming a major player in the film world, Hollywood better not think about touching this film. It is perfect the way that it is and could never survive a "young Hollywood cast" with snappy dialogue. Del Toro's film has something that could never exist in Hollywood...heart.
Audition is my favorite Japanese horror film. I've seen it so many times. While I sometimes have a new "flavor of the month" in terms of favorite films from the far east, Audition is a film that shook me in such a way that it remains an important building block in my unhealthy love for the genre. There are things that Asami does to her victim in this film that I would do to a studio exec should he or she ever think about remaking Audition. While I sometimes feel that I see some of the same themes from this film in more modern premises, it is ultimately its own creature. Audition cannot be remade for the simple fact that it transcends its own boundaries.
When I first watched Let the Right One In I was stunned at how beautifully original a genre film could be and how far the story could take my emotions. Then they announced plans for a remake and I was saddened. I feel the same exact way about the Norwegian film Trollhunter. An original story about a badass who...hunts trolls. And seriously? Hollywood wants to remake that concept?? Well, the rights have been purchased for an eventual American remake. But, it won't work. It can't work. Trollhunter is such a unique film that it can never be duplicated. Unfortunately, we might one day see a remake of this one.
4. I Saw the Devil
4. I Saw the Devil
Kim Jee-woon's masterpiece, I Saw the Devil should never be even brought up in consideration for an American remake because it is a perfect film. It is filled with exceptional performances by the two main leads and stands as my favorite of all the Korean horror imports that have come our way in recent years. It's a film that tests your emotional commitments and bends your belief in what is right and what is wrong. Hollywood wouldn't know what to do with such intricate depth. Especially since they like to use explosions and comedic side-kicks quite a bit. I Saw the Devil should never see a Hollywood re-imagining of any sort.
Inside is, perhaps, my favorite horror film of the last decade...never mind favorite foreign film. I love everything about this film. It twists the emotions like no other film out there. It handles delicate themes with the precision of a butcher knife. It's beauty is matched by its repulsion. Hollywood wouldn't know what to do with such complexity. Still, nothing Hollywood does these days surprises me. But, it cannot happen. Ever. Beatrice Dahl is absolute unrelenting brutality in the film and yet...your emotional investment becomes something transcendent within the confines of this film. No, Hollywood...NO!
In recent years, Suspiria has been put on the slate for an American remake. However, very recently, the project was put on hold indefinitely due to legal issues. Hopefully, these are some serious legal issues that would prevent this remake from ever happening. I could never imagine another version of Suspira other than what already exists. It is a perfect film full of bright horrific colors and imaginative concepts that push Italian cinema into bold new directions. Suspiria is what made me truly love the genre for what it can do. Dario Argento at his absolute best and inspiring. Nobody can ever replicate Suspiria.
Speaking of genre films that can never be replicated, Martyrs is one of those films that comes along and completely turns everything you know about the genre upside down. And as a perfect example of how Hollywood seriously doesn't know what they are doing, the producers of Twilight have been wanting to turn this into a Kristen Stewart vehicle with an optimistic ending for a while now. To give Martyrs a happy ending shows a complete disregard for what the original represented and for that this project should never see the light of day. Seriously, what in the fucky fuck is Hollywood thinking? Remake Martyrs?! Dafuq??!!
So...that's my top 10 list of Untouchable Foreign Horror Films that should never...ever...be considered for any kind of American remake. They are brilliant masterpieces as they stand and Hollywood should take inspiration from them, instead of duplicating them. Entertaining the notion of remaking these films is just asking for failure.
What other Foreign Horror Films deserve to be on this list? I'm sure I forgot some gems that should be in there. Let me know in the comments below!
|I'D SOONER CUT MY OWN WRISTS BEFORE INDURING A HAPPY REMAKE OF MARTYRS!|
Thanks for reading,