The Ring... The Ring, yeah. Yeah, man, The Ring. Cool film. Yeah. Are you talking about the original or the remake? The original, I think. Was there a remake? Yeah man, there was a hit American remake with the chick from Mulholland Drive. From what? ... From King Kong. Oh! King Kong! Wait, the original King Kong or the remake? I'm not sure. She was in Funny Games, though. Ah right, so she's German? What? No! But Funny Games is German, right? Or Austrian or something. I thought it was American? No, that's the remake...
The Ring. The Grudge. Infernal Affairs. Dark Water. The Eye. Shall We Dance? Insomnia. Possession. My Sassy Girl. The Uninvited. Pulse. Taxi. Everybody's Fine. Vanilla Sky. Nightwatch. The Scent Of A Woman. Quarantine.
The amount of foreign films remade by Hollywood never ceases to astound. It also never ceases to grow, much to the dismay of ME. Particularly upon finding out that a remake of "Let The Right One In" is crawling closer to its release. "Let The Right One In" is an amazing movie. It's beautiful and gracious. It's clever and haunting. It's just f**king great. I love it. It was released 2 years ago and that's how long it took for American producers to decide it had faded off into the distance and needed remaking. The guy who made the original was not happy; he pointed out that you remake a film when there is something wrong with it. If the movie is bad or has some patches worth fixing or even if it's just out of date, then remakes can be justified. But this movie came out 2 years ago and was brilliant. So why the remake? Because audiences can't be bothered with all that horrible reading of subtitles that so drains their scarce mental energy? No. To make money. The orginal remains an indie cult hit. It did fairly well in its native Sweden but never reached huge commercial success. This upsets me. A lot of money is being spent remaking a film (which is so great that the remake will have to be f**king mind blowing to come close to it) just to make cash. Another example is "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". That movie was out here THIS YEAR. It's still showing at some cinemas near me but it's already started to be remade. WHY BOTHER? The Swedish film is fine. It's fresh. It's still warm, for Christ's sake.
BUT JACK! SUBTITLES CAN BE ANNOYING! IT ISN'T EASY FOR MASS MOVIE AUDIENCES TO BE READING ALL THAT TIME! IT'S A MOVIE! THEY DON'T WANNA READ!
Okay, that's fine. Why, then, remake a film that's already in English!? Anyone catch "Death at a Funeral" this year? I caught it 3 years ago when the original was released. Anyone catch The Wicker Man (one of the most unintentionally funny movies of all time) with Nic Cage? I caught the original when I was a wee boy and it scared the hell out of me. Fever Pitch? Nick Hornby himself helped out with that in '97. America even remakes its own movies for no reason! Halloween! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Dawn Of The Dead! Last House On The Left! Friday The 13th! Even the Hitchcock classic Psycho was remade scene for scene, making the whole remake pointless. It doesn't even end with movies. It's happening on TV too. The Office, Cold Feet, Coupling, Being Human, The IT Crowd, Life On Mars, Teachers, Spaced.
There was some good news, however. "Oldboy" by Park Chan-wook is one of my favourite films ever. It's beautiful and clever and scary and thrilling and startling. AND THAT'S JUST THE SOUNDTRACK! Hey now. Anyway, there have been plans to remake it for an age. That's all been scrapped now and fans of Park Chan-wook (such as myself) are partying everywhere with joyous relief. This partying has been short lived. Park Chan-wook's movie "Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance" (which is equally as astounding as "Oldboy") is going to be remade. I'd go off on one about this but somebody has done it for me here.
If you haven't seen Let The Right One In then go and see it. Then go and see Let Me In. And then ask yourself if the remake was substantially better than the original and if it wasn't so much better, what was the point of remaking it?