This just in: a movie announcement that chills my blood:
Producer-director Michael Bay is in in talks to remake the 1968 horror classic Rosemary’s Baby.
What the fuck? First the cast of American Idol takes on the Lennon/McCartney songook and now this! How does Bay, the hack’s hack, get his Transformer mitts on Roman Polanski’s masterful take on a young wife (Mia Farrow) who thinks she’s been knocked up by the devil? The nagging core of the story is that Farrow’s Rosemary may just be paranoid about being married to a selfish actor (John Cassavetes) who isn’t Catholic? The heat of the plot is all in the lapsed-Catholic subtext. There’s a problem right away. Bay doesn’t do subtext. Or subtlety. No doubt one devil baby won’t be enough for the Baymeister. Why not twins? Or devil quints? Bay also threatens to redo Hitchcock’s The Birds after that. Why doesn’t he try to remake his own?
Pearl Harbor since he botched that one so badly the first time. Leave Polanski and Hitchcock the hell alone.
All this remake Armageddon leaves me thinking. Have any remakes of horror classic ever been the equal of the original or even just good? David Cronenberg’s 1986 recasting of The Fly comes to mind, also Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Then I’m lost. All I can think of is the lousy 2005 xerox of House of Wax with Paris Hilton, the horrible redo of The Haunting with Liam Neeson, the appalling 2005 retake of John Carpenter’s The Fog, and don’t even get me started about what Tim Burton did to Planet of the Apes and Gus Van Sant did to Psycho.
Your nominees for best and worst horror remakes are gratefully requested.