The 2015 Austrian psychological horror movie, “Goodnight Mommy,” is an eerie little gem. I went into the latest remake with apprehension however decided to maintain an open thoughts, primarily due to Naomi Watts. I remembered feeling equally territorial over my bootleg VHS copy of the 1998 movie “Ringu” earlier than seeing Watts in its nightmarish 2002 American remake “The Ring.” Michael Haneke’s 2008 retelling of his personal 1998 dwelling invasion movie “Humorous Video games” was simply as terrifying the second time round with Watts within the lead.
As the top credit rolled on the brand new “Goodnight Mommy,” I made a decision the mournful Nineteen Seventies tune, “Look What They’ve Executed to My Tune, Ma,” would have made a greater title. No fault of Watts; my points with Matt Sobel’s movie stem from a cloying emphasis on the redemptive energy of motherhood, a theme extraordinarily at odds with the unique, and the way this model bafflingly appears decided to spoil its personal twist ending from the beginning.
However I don’t remorse watching the film. I’m enthusiastic about horror; if supplied a alternative between seeing a critically adored drama or a poorly reviewed slasher, I’ll select the latter virtually each time. There’s solely a lot time in per week, and as I’m consistently reminded, a masked man may behead me at any second.
Horror remakes surged within the 2000s. “The Texas Chain Noticed Bloodbath,” “Friday the thirteenth,” “The Hills Have Eyes” and different seminal Nineteen Seventies and ’80s classics have been dusted off, recast and rewritten. Of their podcast “Aughtsterion,” the hosts Sam Wineman and Jordan Crucchiola gleefully cowl horror from this period in-depth and level out that many of those remakes have been crueler than their originals, each in kills and dialogue, and mirrored the last decade’s cultural sleaze — the whole lot from TMZ to American Attire advertisements to “Women Gone Wild.”
The rise of torture porn movies, just like the “Noticed” and “Hostel” franchises, throughout the identical interval at the moment are broadly seen as allegoric reactions to Sept. 11 and the American-led invasion in Iraq, however a grim failure at making an attempt this theme arrived with a remake of the 1976 movie “The Omen,” 30 years after the unique performed to its decade’s fascination with faith and cults. The rehash had no real interest in disguising its intent and confirmed footage of the burning World Commerce Middle to sign the upcoming finish of days. Stephen Holden’s Occasions evaluate famous that individual alternative “sharpens this remake’s bitter tang of exploitation.”
And but, even after studying that evaluate, I used to be on the theater later that evening. I wanted to witness the mess myself, a form of cinematic rubbernecking, so I may discuss it with authority amongst pals. I’ll even admit that I couldn’t resist the studio’s advertising and marketing gimmick of releasing the movie on June 6, 2006.
It’s thrilling when my devotion to the style pays off and a remake works, like Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 tackle “Suspiria.” Somewhat than attempt to replicate Dario Argento’s 1977 beautiful, color-soaked story of a witchy dance academy, Guadagnino went with a muted palette, permitting his character-centric story to shine. Right here have been actual ladies working a coven, not simply the minions of a villainous asthmatic ghoul.
On the flip facet of elegant, however equally cherished in my eyes, is “Piranha 3D” (2010), which remodeled a tame “Jaws” rip-off from 1978 into an over-the-top judgment on sordid topless actuality TV content material. The director Alexandre Aja served up phallus chomping, a Sapphic underwater ballet set to “The Flower Duet” from Léo Delibes’s opera “Lakmé,” even a cameo by Richard Dreyfuss, a.okay.a. Hooper from “Jaws.”
I discover as a lot worth in a horror remake with a big price range for entrails as I do in one which’s a moody meditation on the transformative energy of dance. I treasure this style as a result of it permits me to outline horror nonetheless I would like.
After all I don’t converse for each horror fan. Regardless of #horrorcommunity being a well-liked Instagram and Twitter hashtag, the higher time period for us is horror crowd, as defined by Phil Nobile Jr., the editor in chief of Fangoria journal.
“Horror — as an curiosity, ardour, or occupation — has fandoms and sub-fandoms; it has cliques; it has little fiefdoms,” Nobile Jr. wrote in a publication final April. “A group is an concept (or perhaps a perfect), a crowd is a mathematical actuality.” He made this distinction whereas ruminating on homophobia and political variations amongst followers, however the phrasing is complete. Put merely, our opinions are in all places, and that’s usually on show when a remake will get launched.
The brand new “Goodnight Mommy” left me chilly as an alternative of giving me chills, and I’m OK with that. A horror remake sparks discourse, lights up social media, fuels podcasts, spurs assume items. When this occurs, for a quick and wonderful second, I soak all of it in and naïvely do really feel a part of a horror group earlier than slipping again into the gang.