It's probably time to stop bemoaning the plague of horror-movie remakes, but between the new Last House on the Left opening Friday and the recent releases of Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine it's hard to get away from the subject..
The argument for remakes is that today's audience know the old titles, but either haven't seen them (because they're old) or saw them but were underwhelmed (because they're, you know, old).
For the most part I don't buy it, for two reasons. First, the bulk of the movies that have been remade or are slated for remaking date back to the 1970s and '80s, which weren't the reticent shadows-and-suggestion '40s. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and its progeny were dubbed "meat movies" because they brought on the gore and gristle. And second, most of them are good movies, and they hold up just fine.
I'm the first to stand up for the 2009 remake of My Bloody Valentine on the grounds that, frankly, the original is an hour of lackadaisical build up before something finally happens and it's dull. At least the remake hits the ground running. And I stand by my contention that the Amityville Horror remake is no worse than the original, which isn't exactly a recommendation but which acknowledges that "made in the '70s" doesn't inherently mean good. But Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Last House on the Left? No do-overs required. Yeah, the Dawn of the Dead remake was fine, but it doesn't improve on the original in any significant way. I know the bottom line is money, but come on… real horror buffs love nothing more than a new scare.
So bring some on!