Thursday, January 31, 2008

Michael Bay... please stop.

Michael Bay's production company, Platinum Dunes, is the company that remade "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "The Hitcher" and "The Amityville Horror". In October, it was announced that he was going to helm a remake/new interpretation of "Friday the 13th", they're planning on remaking "The Birds" and now, just announced, they're planning on relaunching the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise... Michael, please. Listen to me. Put the checkbook down, come down off that high horse and let's talk about this.

Let's call a spade a spade, I understand why you're doing this - horror is cheap and easy to make and these franchises have built in audiences. I know you're guaranteed to make money on these films, usually at the expense of the franchises reputation, but I get it. I get why you're doing it, but let's consider some other options when delving into this genre, okay? Let's see if there's a way to avoid disasters like "The Hitcher", Rob Zombie's "Halloween" or "The Island". Okay, "The Island" had no reason to be included there, but... it was a disaster.

There's a huge gap between a low-budget indie horror and a low-budget Hollywood horror, but that gap is narrowing all the time. New forms of distribution and new outlets are leveling the playing field all the time, but Hollywood hasn't really noticed... nor do they seem to care. Instead of remaking an already successful and much loved film like "Friday the 13th" or "Nightmare on Elm Street", why wouldn't you scour the world of indie horror and find some popular franchises and films out there? Pick up the rights to some film that most mainstream people haven't heard of, but has a buzz in the horror festival circuits and fans sites and remake it with a budget? Everyone involved would be excited... you'd be bringing something new to the masses, you'd be giving some up and coming filmmaker his break and you'd have an original film that doesn't destroy 20 years of built up reputation, not that "Jason X" did much for the "Friday the 13th" franchise, but you get my point. If these producers would just take a look below them and see the ocean of potential and just give a few people a break, we could make leaps and bounds in bridging that gap between indie horror and Hollywood horror and be bringing new, good content to audiences.

So, here's my thought - Hollywood is lazy, I get that, too. They just do what they know and don't want to exert themselves to have to come up with something original. So, Micheal, I'll tell you what... pull out that checkbook now and write me a check. I'll scour the festivals, the internet and every nook and cranny out there and I'll find you something to remake, I'll find you a bunch of stuff to remake. I'll find you something that's original, something that's good, something that most people don't know about and, most importantly, something that won't make us all cringe and moan when we see the press release.


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