Thoughts from the Ledge: Does horror really need to be rebooted?


The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the 1980 classic horror film, The Changeling starring George C. Scott is getting the remake treatment. After the success of Get Out does the genre really need to be rebooted?

“Audiences are simply fed up with an approach to cinema that looks a lot like asset stripping.” -The Guardian

Who Will Be the Next George C. Scott?

When I read in the Hollywood Reporter that Cornerstone Films was going to be remaking the 1980s horror classic, The Changeling, I just shook my head. For those of you that might not be familiar with that particular story, it is the tale of John Russell (George C. Scott), a recently widowed composer.

He uproots his life in New York after a tragic traffic accident took the lives of his wife and daughter. Looking for solitude and an atmosphere to heal, he settles on a Victorian mansion in Seattle to start over.

Instead of finding solace, he gets embroiled in a haunting and a mystery surrounding the death of a young boy. As a result, catastrophic events take place that alter Russell’s life and others. This film is not a jump scare scenario. It is a definite slow burn, good old fashioned haunted house story.

The producers are going to have one hell of a time trying to find an actor to fill George C. Scott’s shoes. Mark Steven Johnson known for Grumpy Old Men is set to helm the reboot. Venice, Italy is the new film location with production set for 2019.

Joel Michaels, one of the movie’s original producers is onboard along with X Filme representatives, Uwe Schott and Stefan Arndt.

Of course, this begs the question, with the box office success of unique stories such as Get Out and Split, why does Hollywood keep trying to reinvent the wheel? Jordan Peele and M. Night Shyamalan have both proven that you don’t have to go back to the well time and time again.

Yeah, but……

Sure, Get Out borrowed elements from the Stepford Wives and Split deals with multiple personalities which has been done before but here is the difference. They aren’t reboots or remakes. In my mind, it is okay to borrow from other areas as long as your presentation offers a different viewpoint.

More from Horror Movies

Nothing is authentic if you think about it. Every writer has been copying Shakespeare who was actually taking his cues from Greek and Roman playwrights. However, it is the spin that you put on the story.

In my world, on a daily basis I routinely watch short films from up and coming horror talent. It isn’t hard to find hungry, creative individuals if you know where to look. The fresh perspectives are out there but I guess much like sports, why take a chance on an unproven entity when you can grab something from the studio vault that is a moneymaker?

Understandably, everything in life is driven by return on investment (ROI). “It’s a business” is something I hear a thousand times a day. So, I can’t fault Hollywood for the plethora of superhero movie reboots either. As long as there is an audience and the box office is insane, you keep giving the people what they want. It is a concept as old as time.

A Different Spin

I don’t have an issue with continuations either. For example, the upcoming Halloween 2018 written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has John Carpenter’s blessing and Jamie Lee Curtis has returned. They are revisiting Laurie Strode years later.

For that matter, Fede Alvarez’s 2013 Evil Dead wasn’t a remake in my mind. It was a different movie that didn’t have the same characters or even the same reason for being at the ill-fated cabin in the woods. Of course, that is my opinion and I realize it differs from the fans of that franchise.

Horror doesn’t need to be rebooted. Jordan Peele is already working on his next film. It is entitled Us. Not much is known about it but I am certain it will be coming from his inimitable viewpoint. Shyamalan’s next effort is the extension of his Unbreakable story with the upcoming focus being on the character of Glass.

A New Trend

Case in point, the film Hereditary is creating buzz and is being touted as one of the most terrifying cinematic experiences in recent years. Mainly due to its twisting, psychologically driven plot, this recent effort serves as proof that innovative creativity is alive and well. In fact, it is thriving.

Now, that’s a trend I can get behind.

Do you think Hollywood is going too far with the reboot and remake cycle? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.

Next: Thoughts from the ledge: The end of Ash vs Evil Dead is about hope

Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She is also featured on Friday Night Tights, the ultimate pop culture wrap up show at Nerdrotic Podcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. You can catch her weekly coverage on IFC’s Brockmire at TV Series Hub.