Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogfest: Best & Worst Movie Remakes

(Hosted by Alex, Stephen, Livia, and Al)

I couldn’t resist joining in on this blogfest after seeing Livia Peterson post about it! Because of this, though, the latest Weekly Webcomic Update will show up on Saturday instead of Friday for a change. But enough about that…


I know most people will disagree with me on this, but I absolutely love the 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill—so much so, it’s actually one of my all-time favorite films. While it does have distinct differences from the 1959 version, this movie still manages to be a fun, creepy homage to the original, especially when you see callbacks like this:


I also can’t help but love the prominent role the ghosts had to play in this remake, or the fact that they were insane ghosts. Making the house an abandoned asylum was such a clever reinvention from the original. Plus, Marilyn Manson’s sinister cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” was featured. Gotta love a movie with an awesome soundtrack!

You also gotta love a movie that will randomly have Lisa Loeb and Spike—excuse me, James Marsters—riding a rollercoaster together...


Worst Remake: The Stepford Wives

I’m a fan of both the book and original film adaptation, so I can’t help but think the 2004 remake is a complete mess. This version pretty much obliterated the tone and message normally synonymous with The Stepford Wives. It’s not a tale with a happy ending, yet this remake gave it one. And the plot holes! Were the wives being replaced with robots? Brainwashed with personality chips? Brainwashed, only to have those brains transplanted into robot bodies? Based on what’s seen in the remake, only the third option seems feasible, but I’m sorry, my suspension of disbelief only stretches so far. Better to just forget this movie exists and instead watch the original or—better still—curl up with Ira Levin’s classic novel.

50 comments:

  1. I haven't seen House on Haunted Hill but since it has James Masters I might have to check it out (anything with James in it has to be good :D)

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    1. He's only in it briefly, but he certainly leaves an impression!

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  2. I have never seen House on Haunted Hill and I didn't mind Stepford Wives, but admittedly, I have never seen the original.

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    1. The original is very different in tone, since it's a thriller instead of a comedy. Definitely see it sometime if you ever get the chance!

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  3. I haven't seen those movies but I certainly like Marilyn Manson's remake of Sweet Dreams. Very rare indeed since that's not my kind of music, but the song is really appealing.
    Thanks for participating!

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    1. Yeah, his take on the song is great--I enjoy it even more than the original!

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  4. Yea, I didn't care for The Stepford Wives remake.

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    1. Hollywood definitely messed that remake up big time!

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  5. Too funny! Stepford Wives made my worst list also. I called it a hot mess.

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    1. LOL, "a hot mess" is a perfect description for that remake!

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  6. I haven't seen any pf these films. But I've heard Stepford Wives was a bomb. The books are almost always way better.

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    1. Yeah, I agree, the books are always better. That was definitely the case for The Stepford Wives!

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  7. Yeah! Seeing Spike on a roller coaster is always fun to me too.
    I liked the remake of House on Haunted Hill. Although the first one scared me more.

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    1. Neither of them really scare me, but then again, I'm hard-pressed to think of any horror movie that does! I think seeing Stephen Gammell's creepy illustrations as a kid desensitized me. XD

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  8. Just the other day I was telling my mom that I purchased the Titanic (1997 version, you know Leo and Kate, how can you not love it?), and she said how much she didn't like that version and preferred the old, old version (which I didn't even know about). :-)

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    1. I've actually never seen Titanic! (My sister loves it, though.) But wow, I'm still mind-blown to learn that it's a remake. Had no clue!

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  9. I didn't even know about the old Stepford Wives, but I have to admit the happy ending didn't really work. I thought the ladies might either not have survived, or that they would have had some kind of revenge (obviously I don't know the book either)

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    1. Yeah, the happy ending felt really contrived to me. Definitely check out the original sometime or, better yet, read the book to see how this story really ends!

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  10. I never saw the original Stepford Wives, but I will agree that the new one was pretty cheesy.

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    1. I have no problem with cheesy flicks, but the fact that this story was never meant to be cheesy, and that it became such a confusing mess of cheese on top of that, really disappoints me...

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  11. I didn't see either original, but House on Haunted Hill was a very good movie, and Stepford Wives, that was my issue with it, too. Were they robots? Weren't they? ugh.

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    1. Yeah, The Stepford Wives really dug themselves a huge plot hole with that. It should have at least made sense if they weren't going to bother making this a decent remake!

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  12. I haven't seen the original Stepford Wives, but I remember not being a big fan of the Nicole Kidman version. Great choices!

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    1. Yeah, I even remember hearing how Nicole Kidman regretted being in this remake, which really says something about the quality of the movie in general!

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  13. I had to look up the House on Haunted Hill because I was getting it confused with Silent Hill and The Haunting! lol I don't remember much of it except for the ending. Loved the people making it onto the ledge outside - great image for a finale. I like Famke Janssen, too. Like you, not a big fan of new Stepford Wives although Bette Midler was great! :-)

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    1. The House on Haunted Hill remake definitely had a memorable ending!

      I agree about Bette Midler, but it's still a shame the movie as a whole ended up being so lackluster...

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  14. Didn't see the original of Stepford Wives, but I can't say I enjoyed the remake either.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. If you ever have the chance, watch the original--it is worlds different from the remake!

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  15. Yeah, that Stepford remake sure was a stinker, huh?

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  16. I haven't seen The House on Haunted Hill! And with a Marilyn Manson song and James Marsters, I really have no excuse but to go rent it now.

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    1. You really should! It's such a great horror movie...

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  17. SPIKE! Wait... what were we talking about? I know I saw both those movies, but I really don't remember much about either. They didn't make an impression on me. There hasn't been a horror film that can really hook me in a long, long time. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

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    1. Yeah, horror movies haven't really been hooking me in lately, either. Just need to rewatch old favorites or let my own horror stories play around in my head, haha!

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  18. House on Haunted Hill was creepy. And it had the awesome Famke Janssen, not to mention Geoffry Rush.
    Thanks for participating in our blogfest.

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    1. Yeah, House on Haunted Hill definitely had a fantastic cast. Geoffry Rush was a great stand-in for Vincent Price!

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  19. I haven't seen the first one, but I agree with you on the second. Awful stuff!

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    1. Yeah, it's hard to imagine how that remake ever got approved!

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  20. I never saw the House on Haunted Hill (either version) but I definitely agree with you on Stepford Wives. That remake was just awful.

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    1. It really was! If nothing else, though, it makes me appreciate the novel and original film adaptation that much more...

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  21. I agree with your worst. The original Stepford Wives was creepy and the remake was silly.

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    1. Yeah, the tone shift was so jarring! I have no idea why they thought that was a good idea...

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  22. Somehow, I never heard of house on haunted hill, but I do agree about Stepford Wifes.

    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com

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    1. Yeah, that remake was definitely a mess--glad I'm not the only one who thinks so!

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  23. What a great idea for a blog post! Though I'm really struggling to think of a great movie remake. Most are awful or just plain pointless. Like the Footloose remake - why bother? And The Karate Kid - I couldn't even bring myself to watch the remake, as the original is such a classic. Though I do want to see the Red Dawn remake.

    Let's see...what about Desperado? That was a remake. Of a foreign language film, but it still counts. And it was a great movie!

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    1. I've actually never seen the remakes or originals of any of those movies! (I'm such a bad movie-goer, heh.) A lot of people have put Footloose and The Karate Kid on their worst remakes list for this blogfest, though, so you're certainly not alone with thinking that!

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  24. I don't remember the House remake and missed on the Stepford remake, but I think you're probably right on both calls.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I already know a lot of horror fans would disagree with me about House on Haunted Hill, but there are certainly plenty of people who agree with me about The Stepford Wives remake!

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  25. Haven't either of the originals, and haven't seen the Haunted Hill remake. I did see the Stepword Wives remake but can't really judge having not seen the original or read the book.

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    1. If you ever get the chance, definitely check out the original and the book! (Especially the book--it's such a classic.)

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