Film remakes I’m looking forward to… and one not so much

I’m excited about the forthcoming remake / prequel of John Carpenter’s classic horror / sci-fi film, The Thing. Firstly it’s not a reboot (I really have a problem with reboots of films that weren’t broke in the first place – on the other hand, feel free to remake dreadful efforts such as The Hulk), rather, it’s picking up before the first film started – with the Norweigan outpost all but destroyed, chasing what is apparently a dog across the ice.

The film explains exactly what happened at the Norweigan base. It’s directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, who checking his IMDB profile doesn’t seem have done very much at all. But the attention to detail evidenced by this on-set article makes think this is going to be special.

The Thing was a metaphor for the cold war… the enemy inside (literally “inside” as it turns out). It’s all about mistrust, paranoia and witchhunts.

Mark Farnsworth writes on Global Comment:

“The Thing” is the darkest film in the Kurt Russell trilogy of Carpenter’s science fiction films and the beginning of his “Apocalypse” cycle. It is a master class of pessimism nearly unrivalled in cinema and a bleak critique on the nature of humanity itself, inspired by the Reagan administration, Carpenter’s first foray into studio film making, and the escalation of the arms race with the Soviet Union.

In the earlier movie the scientists and soldiers work together to destroy the visible threat of the thing, as they would do with communism. There is a unity mostly derived from the fact that they are white and embody a people fresh from the moral victory in WW2. America in the 1950s was still perceived as the ‘good guys’, the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’”

The very best horror movies focus either on the fears of the age, or play on deeply taboo subject matter to get right under the audiences skin. I can’t wait to see how this film will reflect 21st century concerns.

Here’s the trailer:


As an aside, this book on 70’s horror films looks great.

The other remake I’m intrigued by is Spike Lee’s version of Old Boy.  I don’t have too much information on this yet, but I wonder what interests him about this project?

Oh and Total Recall is also being remade… with Colin Farrell (who I find intensely irritating for some reason – although I did like his turn as the slimey PR guy trapped by a sniper in Phone Booth). It’s not set on Mars and I’m not filled with confidence… who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.