Let's start with the obvious one. Now, before you speed down to the comments section to remind me, yes, I know Stephen King's book, The Shining, was remade as a TV mini-series in 1997. However, this series drew no inspiration from Stanley Kubrick's cinematic classic. I also know the 1980 Shining movie bears only a slight resemblance to King's book, something which disappoints some fans. However, despite this, you have to accept The Shining is still a pivotal horror movie in its own right.
Kubrick is famous for his incredible dense cinematic masterpieces. Every scene in The Shining contains hidden meanings and allusions, while his long tracking shots and use of music helps to turn the monotonous Overlook Hotel into a foreboding and sinister location. Throw in a great performance by Jack Nicholson and you get a horrific classic that just cannot be remade. Interestingly, a prequel to The Shining, named The Overlook Hotel, is in production. We'll have to wait and see how that turns out.
The Blair Witch Project
When The Blair Witch Project released in 1999, found footage horror was still a term which elicited confusion and curiosity. Nowadays, the horror sub-genre is responsible for a huge proportion of horror movies being released. This explosion is due, in no small part, to the surprise success of The Blair Witch Project, a low-budget independent horror movie that blasted even the huge studio releases out of the water.
The Blair Witch Project is a unique item. Not only was it partly responsible for introducing found footage, but the story of its creation is a special one. The characters in Blair Witch appear so terrified because they actually are. Blair Witch was filmed in an informal, improvised method, in which the actors were only given daily notes informing them of their character developments. They had no idea what would happen to them at night, and over time the crew reduced their food rations to increase their frustration and fatigue. This means when the characters are traipsing through the woods at night, they really were tired, confused and scared. It's for this reason, some people believed The Blair Witch Project was genuine.
Although Alien has now become a sprawling franchise covering sequels, spin-offs, crossovers and video games, the original Alien is still a masterpiece of sci-fi terror. The conceit is simple - a commercial space vessel receives a distress call and soon discovers an insidious interloper has arrived on their craft. The inability to combat the alien as well as the frustrations of the quickly diminishing crew turns Alien into a kind of space cabin fever flick. However, what really makes Alien stand out, is it's treatment of the ferocious space creature and the film's art direction.
Alien rarely actually shows the titular antagonist. Apparently, this was a fortunate side-effect of Ridley Scott not wanting to reveal that the alien was actually a 7-foot dude in a rubber suit. By only filming it close-up or in profile, Scott managed to keep the alien as a sinister force to be reckoned with. With the modern day obsession with CGI and 3D special effects, a modern Alien reboot would have to resist the urge to show the alien in its fully glory - ruining what made the original so scary.
Jaws, like Alien, is a classic almost by accident. Although nowadays, Stephen Spielberg's breakout movie is known as the birth of the blockbuster, at the time Spielberg did not have the budget to actually deliver the movie as he had originally intended. With special effects in their infancy, Spielberg would have to rely on prohibitive expensive practical effects to show the shark attacks. With this ruled out as a method, Spielberg fell back on another solution - not actually showing the shark.
Spielberg reportedly went to composer John Williams and asked him instead to suggest the shark's ominous presence with a terrifying theme. The result is, of course, one of cinema's most famous soundtracks. Once again, in the modern age, the pressure to show the shark with incredible CGI might be hard to ignore. Furthermore, if a remake did keep true to Spielberg's original minimalist approach to Jaws, it would simply be a rehash of a near perfect film, and therefore completely redundant as anything other than a cash-in job. Jaws did spawn quickly forgotten sequels, however the original is now preserved in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". For this reason it should never be remade.
So there you have it.
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What is your favorite horror film, ONTD?
Creepy post y/n?