Everyone knows that today's horror remakes are the gutter trash of cinema. No one expects much from them, and the only hope is that a bunch of teenage boys who have never heard of the originals will go see them. But it doesn't have to be this way. Remakes in general can be high quality, or at least interesting. Consider Brian De Palma's Scarface (1983), David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986), Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) and The Departed (2006), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (2005) and a host of others. The main problem behind the horror remake phenomenon is that studios are hiring totally uninteresting directors to be in charge of them. The guy who directed the new The Crazies is the guy who made Sahara (2005). Was anyone really clamoring to see another film from him? There's another problem that no one seems to be addressing: the guys who made the originals aren't working at all! They're making paychecks by selling off the rights to their ideas, but why not give them some actual work to do? Why not hire these old masters to remake each other's old films? Here are seven people we should be thinking about.
1. John Carpenter
Films Released in the Last 10 Years: Ghosts of Mars
Films Remade by Others: Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog
Carpenter is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, and as he has often described himself, he's like an old-time studio director who was born into the wrong era. He makes genre films exclusively and has never once felt the need to "go legit" and make something serious for awards consideration. At best, his films are sturdy and effortlessly entertaining. He has a specific visual style, and is one of the living masters of the widescreen frame. He even has one remake on his resume already, The Thing (1982), which is comparable to the original and a classic in its own right. It's truly a shame that ten years have gone by without a new Carpenter feature film.