From found-footage horror to 3-D re-releases and more
Some movies are just of their time, such as the Cold War-themed "Red Dawn," Sam Peckinpah's Vietnam-era "The Wild Bunch" and "Straw Dogs," and Paul Verhoeven's '80s satire "RoboCop." They don't necessarily lend themselves to 21st century updates, and "modernized" remakes so often skip the original's timely urgency and create a dumbed-down, sellable product similar to any number of other recent hits.
Easier to contemporize are the countless remakes of cult horror films like "Fright Night," "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Evil Dead. They're generally inexpensive and often turn a profit. The downside is that the glut hampers studios' abilities to create new potential cult hits.
Other remakes such as "Total Recall," "Dirty Dancing," and "The Crow" seem to bank primarily on recognizable titles, even if some have little in common with their predecessor.
Ultimately, Hollywood's lazy reliance on remakes is safe, needless and too-familiar. And familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt.
- Dave Lewis