Generally I don't even get surprised by horror remake news anymore. The guy who did High Tension is remaking Piranha? Sure, why not? Oh, what's that? One of the Twilightproducers is aiming to remake the recent French horror film Martyrs? Hey, that sounds {spit take} whaaaaaat? That's just ... ok, breathe. The producer in question is one Wyck Godfrey, who produces not only the Twilight franchise, but also has his names on remakes and adaptations like I Robot, Alien vs. Predator, Flight of the Phoenix, When a Stranger Calls, The Nativity Story, and Eragon. (Also Daddy Day Care.)

According to Bloody-Disgusting, screenwriter Mark L. Smith is the one on Martyrs adaptation duty, and genre fans may recognize that name from Vacancy, Vacancy 2, and Joe Dante's upcoming The Hole. The question here is not over Smith's screenwriting skills (Vacancy is rather cool) or even Mr. Godfrey's inconsistent track record with proven properties ... the question here is WHY?

For those who generally avoid the more "hardcore" horror films, Martyrs begins as a brutally shocking "home invasion" thriller that gradually turns into something a lot more ... disturbing. It's not a film I plan to revisit very often, but truth be told, I think it's one of the best horror films of the past ten years. (Seriously, though, it's a rough one. You've been warned.) The idea of remaking a recent French flick is certainly nothing new, but the horror genre has always had a little more leeway where foreign languages are concerned. And by that I mean this: serious horror fans will deal with subtitles and not complain about it, provided the flick delivers the goods.
I assume the goal is to water the ferocious flick down and (I guess) use the original film's notoriety to squeeze an American version into the marketplace. And while Quarantine was actually a half-decent remake of [REC] (a damn fun horror flick), there's something fairly haunting about Martyrs that simply works best as is. Best case scenario: they do a carbon-copy remake, which is pointless. Worst case scenario: I don't even want to think about it.

{For more, check out John Gholson's thoughts over at Horror Squad.}
categories Cinematical