The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Remakes are too predictable

2 min read
Remakes and reboots are one of the most popular yet divisive trends in the realm of modern motion pictures.



Multitudes of franchises from “Godzilla” to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” have undergone re-imaginings for a more current audience, causing many to flock to their local theater and see their childhood favorites on the silver screen once again.

However, nostalgia can only take something so far.

In an article for, David Christopher Bell wrote that the No. 1 reason reboots and remakes of sci-fi films flop is due to the fact that they do not inspire the viewer to look toward the future.

In the 1968 motion picture “2001: A Space Odyssey”, astronauts kept in touch with their families on Earth through the use of tablets.

Decades later, everyone from doctors to sound engineers at music venues make use of tablets in their careers.

If a remake of “2001: A Space Odyssey” were ever to be produced, no matter how blasphemous the concept is, a scene depicting astronauts using tablets would have little to no lasting effect on the audience.

Relevance is key in making a motion picture stand the test of time.

The fact that director Stanley Kubrick was able to paint such a rich picture of space, both at the peak of the Space Race and nearly ten years before “Star Wars,” is what made such an impression on the audience of 1968, earning the motion picture a wealth of appreciation and respect.

The same can be said for horror films.

One of the biggest commercial successes 2013 horror movies was director James Wan’s “The Conjuring.” The motion picture harkened back to its supernatural forefathers of the 1970s, such as “The Exorcist” and “The Omen.”

Much of the praise “The Conjuring” received was rooted in its ability to bring viewers back to a time before excessive gore and torture were the kings of fear; a time when spooky tales of ghosts and possession reigned supreme.

While a taste of déjà vu may be appreciated once in a while, the motion picture in and of itself is essentially a nostalgia trip whose lasting appeal remains to be seen.

While the excessive number of remakes makes it seem that Hollywood is running dry when it comes to fresh ideas, this may not be the whole story.

David Cox, in a piece written for “The Guardian,” asserts that the source of these retreads is more associated with the studios and producers rather than the directors and writers.

Studios hold a firm grip on the intellectual properties they have rights to, and if yet another “Spider-Man” film is what it takes to bring people to the theater, then so be it.

Remakes are much like the fast food of cinema.

They may not leave the viewer with a new perspective on the art form, but the viewer does receive a predictable experience that they know and already love.