The Evil Dead series was almost unique in its ability to make audiences want to scream with terror and laugh out loud at the same time. When any cabin in the woods horror film is released today it’s hard to see past the film’s influence. Whereas films like Cabin Fever and Cabin in the Woods got away with it by lovingly paying homage to Sam Raimi’s genius creation, Fede Alvarez faces a far greater task as he attempts to remake the beloved classic. Any attempt to emulate the same comic horror tone would obviously suffer from a lack of Bruce Campbell and so this remake looks likely to appeal more to the gory horror elements of the original. With producer Raimi on hand to shepherd the first time director along, initial suggestions seem to be that Alvarez has pulled it off, but you’ll be able to see for yourself when it’s released in the UK next Tuesday.
The startling teaser for the new Carrie consists of a minute-long crane shot which swoops through a small town in chaos and ruin, until it reaches the blood-soaked figure of Chloe Moretz. The current trend for angsty teenagers with secret powers meant that a lazier studio could have given this remake to Catherine Hardwicke and gone in search of another Twilight. Fortunately this remake is currently being helmed by Kimberly Pierce, who gained notoriety in 1999 when her indie debut Boys Don’t Cry won Hilary Swank an Oscar. Pierce will strive to put across her own interpretation of Stephen King’s source material and avoid comparisons to the striking imagery of Brian De Palma’s original, but comparisons are inevitable between Chloe Moretz and Sissy Spacek’s iconic performance. However the real face-off will be Julianne Moore verses Piper Laurie; Pierce’s take on Carrie’s psychotic mother called for a red-haired maternal figure who is loony to the point of being threatening. Anyone who has seen Moore’s performance in Magnolia will know she can do that in her sleep. With a talented director and cast in board the 2013 version of Carrie deserves to be judged on its own merits, but we’ll have to wait until November to see whether it will be.
I think we can all agree that remaking a film like Oldboy is a pointless exercise, yet it has once again been decided that one of the greatest foreign films of all time is in the incorrect language and must be remade with American stars. Based on a Japanese manga of the same name, the South Korean version tells the story of Oh Dae-su who is imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 years, seemingly without reason by an unseen captor until he is suddenly released one day. Understandably hell-bend on revenge, he begins a quest to discover his captor whilst he also meets and falls in love with a sushi chef called Mi-do. Oldboy attacks the senses with its unrelenting use of bone-crunching physical violence, yet as the plot thickens we begin to sense that things are not as they seems. The film reaches a shocking climax which easily rivals the bit in The Sixth Sense where Bruce Willis turns out to be a woman or the bit in The Crying Game when Dil turns out to be a ghost. In the American version, Oh Dar-su and Mi-do are to be replaced by Joe Doucett and Marie, who will be portrayed by Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen. Overall I believe that they have cast well; Josh Brolin is consistently excellent and highly underrated and Elizabeth Olsen was one of the stand-out performers of 2011 following her enthralling turn in the chilling Martha Marcy May Marlene. Oldboy’s director Spike Lee recently sparked a debate after criticising Quentin Tarantino’s depiction of slavery in the controversial western Django Unchained. Say what you will about Lee’s views, as a director his is never afraid to address difficult subject matters, and Oldboy is no different. As pointless as it may seem, I am someone who stood up for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and so this remake deserves the opportunity to show us what it can do.