Though there must be literally thousands of eager writers scribbling away all over the world, creating new and original material, Hollywood is apparently unaware of them. Instead they continue to plunder their archives, remaking even more films. On the whole I cannot say that this is entirely a bad thing. I enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake, for example. In fact, I like it a lot. However, when I read about some of the things that are being remade my heart sank.
In particular I'm hugely disappointed with the news that the Night Stalker is being re-done. For those of you not familiar with it, the movie and TV show starred the superb Darren McGavin as Kolchak, a reporter who investigated the strange and unusual- vampires and the like. In a way, it was the X-Files of its day and McGavin even guested on that show. To hear of a remake is bad enough (they probably won't use the same stories so why not just create their own reporter investigating the weird?) but it gets much worse- to replace McGavin they've picked....Stuart Townsend. Obviously I am entirely underwhelmed by this news. Townsend will not be able to fill McGavin's shoes.
Next up is one that might- just might, mind you- have a little bit of potential, it's George Romero's The Crazies. This is one of my favourite Romero films and it involves an accidental release of a virus by the military on a small town. The virus turns those infected in to 'crazies' and a few townsfolk try to escape. It's a pretty grim tale, partly due to the low budget and partly due to the cold direction but it's been overshadowed- unfairly in my opinion- by his more famous zombie movies. Perhaps a remake might work, especially since Brad Anderson is directing. I haven't yet seen The Machinist but I do have Session 9 and it's a very neat horror movie. Very well put together, nicely paced and with a great creepy atmosphere.
Finally, one that I just don't understand- Nic Cage in The Wicker Man. This is a movie that has a certain cult status and got a lot of press a short time ago with its release on DVD- but even at that it is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Not by a long stretch. Basically, it involves a Scottish policeman- a devout Christian- travelling to a remote island to investigate a girl's disappearance. When he gets there he is shocked to discover that the islanders are pagans. I think this was very much one for its time and while I enjoy it, it seems to have become very dated- and with today's sensibilities I'm not sure that a remake will work at all. Add in the news that they are already tampering with the plot (it's going to be a matriarchal society now) and it doesn't look good.