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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Horror Remakes - Fright Night & A Nightmare on Elm Street

Horror remakes seem to becoming a trend these days, and they seem to cause ill feelings for followers of the originals.
I have my favorite films and there are plenty that I wouldn't mind seeing remade as long as they are remade well!

I recently went to see Fright Night August last year, and enjoyed the film because it didn't simply rewrite the original. It took the key characters of the original, such as Jerry - the vampire next door, as well as the fictional vampire killer Peter Vincent, and of course Charlie, Amy and Ed, except the story didn't follow the original game plan of the 1985 classic and took the viewer on a different track.

This time Jerry lives alone without his protector, and Charlie is a geek, turned popular kid overnight, by his new girlfriend Amy.

Peter Vincent is an over confident, and cocky illusionist, and fictional vampire hunter, with a history, and Ed is a geek who falls short of Charlie and his new friends and is turned a lot sooner than in the original.

The film does start with the old plot of Charlie trying to convince his girlfriend and mum that Jerry is a vampire, as well as snitching to the police, for them to only make mockery of the accusation.
Once Jerry is found out by Charlie, his girlfriend and mum the story starts to unfold in a much different way to the original, but it stays roughly with the chain of events from the original.
The final parts of the film see Charlie tracking down Amy in Jerry's house, but the scene is rather different to what happened in the old film, and Peter Vincent manages to fend off his fears and drop by to help Charlie bring down Jerry and get Amy back.

The original is a different film, and staying faithful to it, i have to say that it just beats the remake, but only just. I feel that horror films made during the 80s were something very different from the horror films that are released today. Its hard to say exactly why i feel this way, but one thing that i cannot stand in new films is the overuse of CGI effects.

When i look back to the work that was carried out in such films as Dawn of the Dead and The Burning (Tom Savini) i really do respect the work and effort that was made in creating such gore from make up and props. You cant fault it, and you take it more seriously.
The scene where Jerry's protector is killed in the original. It was disgusting watching him melt away, and even if not realistic, its more believable than watching Jerry, and his victims in the new film burn up and turn to ash.

The overall rating for the new Fright Night has to be a 7/10 due to its story, and action, but the original has to clock up a good 9/10 for its story and realistic killing scenes (all be it if Jerry's death is a little far fetched).

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Another remake that I have watched recently is A Nightmare on Elm Street. This film is symbolic of the time that I started to get into horror films. Freddy Krueger was already haunting me, and I had never watched one of the films. In fact i believe that one of my first references to Freddy, was when i was watching an episode of Mr Bean, when he takes his girlfriend to the cinema!

The film was due to be shown on Channel 4 one evening after 'Don't Forget Your Toothbrush' hosted by Chris Evans. This was around the time when such programs as 'The Word' were being shown, and what a lovely program it was!
My father had let me stay up with him to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street, and i felt so cocky, being able to actually stay up and watch a decent horror film, and I wasn't let down!
It was one of those times nights where I was too scared to go upstairs to the toilet on my own, in case there was something up there, or worse Freddy Krueger!
The film starred the more scary and ruthless Freddy, rather than his rather humorous character in parts 2 and on-wards. The opening sequence was enough to have me touching cloth, and the film would only get more worse throughout. I cant remember if I actually finished the film that night, or if I had it recording, but it stood by me for a long time. Freddy was the ultimate bad ass till the likes of Micheal Myers and Jason Voorhees came into my film watching life.

The remake roughly kept with the plot from the original, or at least the first half of the film, except the start where we see our first death very quickly.
The film has its Tina character from the original, except her name is Chris in this one, and her life is being haunted by Freddy invading her dreams, and making life hell for her, before taking her in an almost identical way to the original (probably the only scene guilty of copying the original). 
The film then focuses on Nancy and her friend Quinton, who is are suffering from Freddy nightmares, and they become hell bent on finding out why they are being attacked in their dreams by the same man.
The film touches on a more realistic and sensitive subject of child abuse and i can only guess pedophilia, from the way that some Polaroid pictures at the end of the film are looked upon by Nancy and Quinton in Freddy's hideout, and this does make the film that bit more shocking, where as in the original, Freddy was just known as a child murderer. 
The background of Freddy is that he was a man working at a elementary school, and during his time he took all the kids into his basement where there is a secret room he called the 'secret cave' and abused them, before the parents found out and burnt him in a nearby factory. 
The victims he targets in this film are all the kids he abused at the school. The parents made the children forget everything that happened to them, but when the killings start, Nancy and Quinton try to find out the connection between them all, and find a photo of them all at their old school, and they get the truth out of Nancy's mother.
Nancy and Quinton are unsure about what really happened, but have a shadow of doubt that they may have accused an innocent man and told lies which saw him killed, and as a result Freddy may have come back to get revenge.

Freddy's character is roughly the same as his character in the original, but he does seem to be more evil than the original character played by Robert Englund. 

The ending is much different to the original, we see Nancy and Quinton find their old school which is abandoned, and they go searching for Freddy's lair, and find photos of Nancy which Freddy had taken.
This concludes that they told the truth about Freddy as children, and he was back to get them, simply for grassing him up.
By this time Nancy knows that she can drag Freddy out of her dream and back into the real world where they would have a fighting chance of killing him once and for all. 
So she falls asleep in the lair, and manages to drag him out, before dicing off his hand and slashing his throat, which i thought was a little tame, given the circumstances.

The final scenes see Nancy and her Mother getting home from the hospital, and everything seems safe and well, only for Freddy to smash out of a mirror and stick his razor glove straight through Nancy's mother before the credits roll. 

So the film is good, its similar to the classic, but should be viewed as a new film, because in its own right, its has a good story about Freddy which as i say is rather gross, but at the same time it keeps you watching to find out the truth behind his death.
The previous version saw Freddy coming back to get the children whose parents had hunted him down and killed him, but the vendetta is more towards the children themselves in the new film, rather than just an act of revenge to get back at the parents who killed him.
Again though CGI seems to be used greatly in this film and it was not badly used, but i have to look back at the gore from the original and think that it was better.
Take a quick look at the two scenes below and let me know what one turns your stomach more...

Oh and by the way, i don't think CGI was used for this scene in the 2010 version, but you may still find the original better, i did anyway!

The film is well worth a watch, and is not simply a rip off of the old version.

This will be it for now, but i will do more very soon. Please let me know if there are any particular remakes you would like me to blog about. It would be easier to watch the films, then write up on them straight after, so i can give you a better analysis.

Thanks for reading guys!

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