When Should Remakes Not Happen?

They’re everywhere, and they’re not slowing down, but when is it actually right to revisit a classic?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

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81 Comments on "When Should Remakes Not Happen?"

MidnightScreeningsman2014
Guest
MidnightScreeningsman2014

Remakes shouldn’t happen cause most of the times they fail to top the original is my opinion on the matter

Welshguy
Guest

Then you wouldn’t have the remakes of Scarface and Ben-Hur, as Critic demonstrated in this video.

Hardback247
Guest

Scarface with Al Pacino was itself a remake, you know.

Edit: The video says that.

Welshguy
Guest

Did I not just say that?

Hardback247
Guest

Never mind.

Strangefacts101
Guest

Technically, Scarface is an adaptation of a book. Other adaptations of books don’t count as remakes. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) isn’t a remake, but another adaptation.

Digital Jedi
Guest

Then most movies would have stopped in the silent era.

jccw227
Guest

It’s true about how sometimes, the remake can outshine the predecessors. The Wizard of Oz had been made several times during the silent era, before the 1939 classic came out. Amusingly, up to that point, it was probably the most faithful adaptation of the original book, and even it took quite a few liberties.

mccuish
Guest

People call the ring the better remake of a Japanese film, but I found the grudge better and scarier.

Wooster
Guest

The ring is a lot less scary than the Japanese original, which is itself an adaptation of a novel. The grudge was quite entertaining, but also pretty ridiculous and I felt it didn’t bring anything new to the over exploited theme of the haunted house ^^. I haven’t seen Ju-on (the original for The Grudge) so I can’t tell but the same guy directed the Japanese version and the remake and he wrote the original scenario so I guess it was probably pretty faithful.

Devil's Advocate
Guest

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn’t a remake, it was a re-adaptation of the source book. I heard the screenwriter never even saw the first movie.

and how does the Nightmare on Elm Street remake have less when they had the balls to actually make him a child molester and in fact, make that his only crime pre-mortum? it was obvious in the original continuity even though it wasn’t directly said but still.

Welshguy
Guest

Just because they confirmed he was a child molester doesn’t really add anything, especially when the whole movie was just a copy of the original.

80sQueen
Guest

It’s both an adaptation and a remake. Since there had only been one film adapted from the book, it’s thought of as more of a remake.

And, I remember Nancy’s mom mentioning that in the first film. They also showed flashbacks to it in one of the sequels.

Digital Jedi
Guest

That’s pretty much the definition of remake. If it was done once before, and someone does it again, it’s a remake. Doesn’t matter what the inspiration or intention was.

Dechha1981
Guest
It’s both. From the book they kept the squirrels, grampa joe suddenly jumping out of bed shouting “yippee”, actually seeing the injured but alive kids, the songs, and the fact that charlie “wins” the second the body count is low enough and flachbacks to India, the early days of the factory and Loopaland, and the other 2 rival chocalateers besides slugworth and the Oompa Loompas only going up to a human’s knee. From the Wilder version they kept the fact that they each only took 1 parent instead of everyone but Charlie taking both parents, Willie’s lack of facial hair,… Read more »
Cyndaquil
Guest

People don’t want Freddy to be a child molester. In an odd way people like Freddy. He was scary in the first, and weird in the second, but from there on it was cathartic dark humour. He was even the host of ‘tales from the crypt’ esq anthology show. I still prefer to think child killer only meant that he killed creepy thirty somethings who shouldn’t have been hanging around high schools.

Devil's Advocate
Guest

no, in Freddy’s Dead and Freddy Vs Jason we saw flashbacks and newspaper clippings that make it clear he murdered 8 year old kids.

and serial killers who go after children more often then not also molest them.

Cyndaquil
Guest

They took his daughter. Freddy’s motivation was revenge; it wasn’t sexual. I’m glad him and Maggie make up in the comics.

Besides, my whole point is that making him a child molester makes the remake worse, not better. Freddy is likeable, ( to a niche audience ), and turning him into a child molester just makes him gross.

Devil's Advocate
Guest
that whole sob from Freddy’s dead was a lie except for his and Maggie’s biological connection. notice he was going to stab her with his glove while he was talking about that? and what would his motivation be when he first started killing children? remember, he was a child murderer long before his kid was taken away. he was a sadist who didn’t really care about his family, child rape or not. TV Tropes lists him as a Complete Monster for a reason. and he wanted revenge for his death, he only cared about Maggie as a way to get… Read more »
Devil's Advocate
Guest

and when he killed the last Elm Street kid at the beginning of the fourth movie, he kept killing teens and younger kids unrelated to anything in his mortal life for funzis.

MountCDOSgamer
Guest
I’m going to have to disagree with you on two movies; Firstly, Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s not so much a remake but rather an alternate adaptation. A lot of the people involved in production hadn’t seen or didn’t like the musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Your dislike of this film and Matilda really makes me wonder if you’ve read any of Roald Dahl’s books, because you really should if you haven’t. Secondly, the Beauty and The Beast remake. I’ve been a bit iffy on Disney’s remakes of their classics, but I was quite keen… Read more »
MrGermanblood
Guest

Have you guys thought about doing vlogs about “Twin Peaks”? The show is actually pretty good when you get patient enough. It’s by David Lynch and Mark Frost and some of their work ranges from pretty good to incredibly bizarre and Twin Peaks certainly walks on the line of both.

handsomefatman
Guest

When abusive scumbag Johnny Depp is going to be in them.

Don’t @ me.

Welshguy
Guest

Don’t “At” you?
I wouldn’t know where to “At” you without knowing your email.

Cyborcat
Guest

Ignore him. He’s just a troll who gets off on starting flame wars.

Welshguy
Guest

I know, but sometimes its fun to mess with them. 😉

Cyborcat
Guest

True =P

TragicGuineaPig
Guest

Oh, HAI handsomefatman! How is your sex life?

weldo8
Guest

I think when a good movie that not many people know about exists, it should be remade. (Fistful of Dollars, The Departed, etc.) Another situation is a shitty movie with great potential. (Most franchises, I think Devil should be remade by someone who’s not Shyamalan.)

ThatRandomGuest
Guest

I agree with you. Quite a bit of flops had decent ideas but weren’t executed properly so remaking them could really help.

TheSKARD1
Guest

The #1 reason why a remake should not happen is the trends of the time. If the original is dated, avoid replacing it with something that will become dated even faster.

Continuing with the original Ghostbusters as the example; the effects still look good, the humor is still funny, the characters are unusual enough to be interesting while still having a relateable quality.

What did Ghostbusters (2016) give audiences? Essentially the opposite of what I just described. It is very much a product of the time in which it was made and it very much suffers for that.

Xane2
Guest
I’m in the minority prbably, but I don’t think Ghost Busters aged partcularly well. I saw it 3 years ago for the first and only time and was not much impressed. I found it neither particularly funny nor particularly clever nor particularly entertaining it. Maybe it’s simply the “Seinfeld is not Funny” effect. I was actually exited about the remake, because in my opinion there was much to be added to the original, but my interest quickly waned when the first reviews rolled in and made clear how similar it was to the original. That’s the problem with remakes that… Read more »
weldo8
Guest

One of my favorite “new directions” is the ’97 Romeo and Juliet. Putting one of the most famous stories of all time in 90s Los Angeles is just hilarious to me.

Welshguy
Guest

Me too. The only problem was they kept showing the movie in my High School English class, until me and the rest of the class got sick of it.

Welshguy
Guest

Apparently the person who disliked my comment seemed to miss the words “Me Too.” at the very beginning.

TragicGuineaPig
Guest

Either that, or handsomefatman got himself a “Revenge Dislike” on you.

Jalen Washington
Guest

Honestly, I usually picture Willy Wonka as Johnny Depp rather than Gene Wilder.
I guess it’s because I read the book and find the former closer to the original Wonka than the latter.

Megalodon
Guest

…a short, jolly man with a dark-haired goatee?

Jalen Washington
Guest

Not from his physical description, more for his overall personality.
Take the oompaloompas, for example. Neither version matches the appearance of the originals, but while the first movie’s version is more iconic, the latter version is more in-line with how they behaved, namely in the singing department.

JiCi
Guest

Here’s a reason that can go for or against remakes: “making it for a new generation”

Several movies/series are old, and even today some people have never heard of them, let alone watch them, so remaking them is a good way to tell these classics for a newer audience… except that it can be be as sweet as it can go sour… Hey, just by checking out NC’s Old vs New series, you can see both ends of the spectrum.

JohnnyElRojo
Guest

But we all know for sure: a remake of Citizen Kane would probably kill it in the box office!

Mides
Guest

Wasn’t that what The Social Network was? A fictional interpretation of a real media mogul’s rise from humble beginnings?

Welshguy
Guest

Not really, although they have a similar plot, both movies have different characters, sub-plots, arcs. etc…
A remake is an updated version of a specific movie with the same characters and plots that audience already know.

Moon Spirit
Guest

Everyone always would love to have their own imaginings of certain movies, but to do that would be task and a million.

Davanthall
Guest
This is why I think it’s so stupid when people say Teen Titans Go is a remake….no, it so very obviously is not. it’s a spin off. it is in absolutely no way whatsoever trying to do the same thing that the older Teen Titans cartoon did, it’s not trying to “replace it” or “reboot it”. it’s a meant to be a comedic alternate version of those characters. it’s not telling any of the same stories, it’s not trying to improve on anything, IT IS NOT A REMAKE. IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN A LAME SPIN OFF. now whether it’s… Read more »
Welshguy
Guest

I think you should take your own advice, and ignore whether or not people hate it. After all, why does it make YOU so mad?

Goldstar
Guest

Teen Titans Go! is neither a spin off nor a remake. It’s an alternate parody version of Teen Titans: The Animated Series. It’s based on the TT universe but it’s not a continuation of that series or any of the events from said series. Ironically, TTGO! is more reminiscent of Tiny Titans from the comics, only not funny. TTGO! is basically like Marvel’s Super Hero Squad Show, except that SHS did it much better.

And I agree that anyone who doesn’t like the show should just not watch it. It’s not drugs; it’s really easy to quit.

RobbyB
Guest
Oddly enough, TTGO has actually established that it IS a sequel series… in a really stupid way. Old universe got blown up, new one continues after it left off. They meet up with elements and hold overs of the original show ocassionally. Control Freak shows them the previous series and they comment on it and he claims he ended the previous universe… the redub an old episode without changing the footage at all, they have dreams in the style of the old show, etc. Not a *legitimate* sequel that continues the plot points or tone or something anyone would actually… Read more »
TheRussian
Guest

Seriously there is a remake of nightmare on elm street ? Why ?

Mides
Guest
This video has renewed my confidence in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake. Money may be a primary motivating factor, but I’ve just tested the Remake project against Doug’s list, and I’m happy to say that it sweeps all the good reasons and dodges the bad ones. Let’s go through them now, shall we? Can it be made better? Absolutely. Final Fantasy VII was a groundbreaking masterpiece in its day, but you have to admit that many aspects haven’t aged well. The most obvious is the graphics; it’s clear that the technology just wasn’t there yet in 1996. And yes,… Read more »
Kevin Reyes
Guest

Good directing from passionate film directors who understand and expand on the heart of the original is when a remake should be made

Pharaoh Lapis
Guest
Remakes are very tricky to do. They either do better or are worse. We all have opinions on it. some might be good in our minds while some not so much. Some people want a remake while others don’t. I do want some movie remakes, mostly one of the movie that came out in 1994 called The Shadow. It was a flop but i love watching it. With superheroes movies making lots, I would love to see a remake of The Shadow, but will it be good or worse? There are even some movies that i’m scared to see remade… Read more »
happymel
Guest

One of my main rules for remakes is that usually at least 15 years needs to pass before a remake is done. I agree on the improvement rule as well. I’m not sure how I feel about the expanding rule. I agree with the foreign rule. Although, I liked the Willy Wonka remake and the Alice in Wonderland remake more than the originals (I hate the originals in fact) so go figure. I think it just depends on a case-by-case basis. Lastly, I didn’t know that Scarface was a remake.

CJ-1
Guest

No mention of “The Fly”??? That’s a remake of an original classic and clearly topped it, doing the same story but making it a whole new experience.

Strangefacts101
Guest

Doug Doug Doug. People hated the idea of female Ghostbusters because they didn’t wanna see them “cross the streams”

Angryatthecritic666
Guest

Okay I seriously disagree with anything he says about the beauty and the beast remake

YukoValis
Guest

haha I’m actually watching Charlie and the chocolate factory right now when I stumbled on this. Honestly nothing wrong with a remake. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is so bad it is funny, and other times it is ignore-able.

I’ve been surprised by remakes, so I won’t put anything down until the reviews come out (reviews from people I trust mind you)

Chicken Puppet
Guest

Doug Walker has finally learned an important lesson about film: You don’t always have to explain everything, if you have a narrative and visual elements strong enough to convey your mood, message, and story.

I think Hollywood is starting to remember that now. Just like we don’t need Superman, Spiderman, Batman, or the Hulk’s origin stories re-hashed anymore for a good decade or two now.

TragicGuineaPig
Guest
Here’s how I think Hollywood could improve on the Superhero Genre Film: 1. Just tell good superhero stories. Don’t rehash the origins, and – and this is one I think a lot of Marvel critics are starting to latch on, but you can see it in DC and Universal – DON’T SHOEHORN IN CROSSOVERS! Sure, what Marvel is doing with The Avengers is kind of neat, but it shouldn’t be that every superhero story needs cameos or guest appearances from other heroes to work. Sometimes a hero just needs to stand alone and do his/her own thing. 2. Do some… Read more »
Dechha1981
Guest
This got me thinking about a video I made years ago arguing that you should remake bad movies not good movies. After seeing this and thinking about it, I’d like to expand/clarify the hypothesis I had back then; They should remake plan 9 and mario bothers, but make sure it’s unique enough that people are almost suprised when someone casually mentions it’s based on the original. It should be like, “hey, did you know there was a version with the guy from Roger Rabbit?” “Really?” A hypothetical good version of Plan 9 would be a cross between War of the… Read more »
Tiago
Guest

Is Fistfull of Dollars a remake/reboot? I’m sure Kurosawa disagreed on that one (with words like ‘plagiarism’ being used)

RubyCube
Guest

You make some valid points about when to remake something and when not to. But I think for when a remake is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to me is subjective. I’ve seen some movie remakes that make me never want to watch another movie again, (Ninja Turtle’s) Then there are some remakes that I’m in love with. (Beauty and the Beast 🙂 Point is some dislike them, others will defend them to their dying breath, good and bad depend entirely on the individual

Honore de Ballsack
Guest

I liked the Peter Jackson King Kong and the female Ghostbusters a lot. I also liked the stuff from the Depp Wonka that was originally in the book but hated the stuff they added and I thought Depp was god awful.
why are there so many versions of Cinderella? Is it really necessary to constantly remind everyone how important looks are?

TooMuchFreeTime
Guest

If the thought is ‘hey, what if it was done this way?’ then go for it.
If the thought is ‘the name recognition is valuable enough to be worth making another’ then DON’T!

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