It was 1999 when a film called The Mummy was in theatres. I did not see it on the big screen but much later on television. I was young, probably about 8 years old and I was mesmerised by the film, even a little scared. Mostly because of the insects that crawled under your skin and that seemed very unpleasant to me. I just rewatched the trailer and noticed how fake it all looks. That’s 90s CGI effects for you. Still, it has a special place in my heart as one of the first films that truly gave me chills, apart from IT of course. Then again, IT basically made me die a little inside.
Now I recently saw a trailer for a new Mummy film. Starring Tom Cruise, the Mummy is now a woman who wreaks havoc in London, after Tom, his love interest and some other extras awaken her from her slumber. I did not know that there would be a remake of the Mummy. Well, let’s not call it a remake. A re-imagining. I watched the trailer and the despite the fact that I will probably go see it anyway, I wasn’t all that excited. This is not the first re-imagining of classics that do not need re-imagining. It seems as though the well of stories in Hollywood has run dry, but movies and money need to be made and thus they resort to taking an old idea and turning it into something new.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
It’s not even a new phenomenon. In recent years we’ve seen remakes of King Kong and the musical Annie. And remaking a classic is not always a massive success, as the creators of the Rocky Horror Picture Show revival found out. Starring Laverne Cox, Christina Milian and Adam Lambert, the remake came out last year to less than favourable reviews. Rotten Tomatoes rated it with just 29% as opposed to the original film’s 80% of favourable reviews.
While the original is queer and a bit of a mess, it is an organised mess that stole the hearts of many. The remake just seemed a little bit too clean and not bold enough, which is a shame. Needless to say, the remake wasn’t a success. Hopefully they learned that it is not a good idea to do remakes of cult classics with such a huge following. See the difference for yourself:
I mean, let’s be honest. The entrance of Frank ‘N Furter in the original is far more memorable than the one in the remake.
Remakes rarely surpass the original
I am not against all remakes, although I am a bit worried about the Power Rangers remake that’s also coming up, for example. It’s just that despite modern technology, remakes rarely ever surpass the original in greatness. Because at their core, they do not have the heart of the original. The CGI can be fantastic and the costumes can be amazing, but that doesn’t make a good film. And while all movies are made to make money, remakes are especially designed to rake the cash.
It is especially hard to do a movie justice that has a special place in people’s hearts. Similar to book-to-screen adaptations, people will always compare the two. And almost always will the original picture win, which is not strange, considering. And while I am happy about animation film remakes, such as Beauty and the Beast, I feel like Hollywood should leave the older actor-driven movies alone. It is time they refill that fountain of ideas again and come up with original stories. Those will thrill us to the core and they will be remade in 20 years time. Which will result in the original fans complaining.
Just like you will never convince 8-year old me that the new Mummy is better than the original, you will not convince these guys that their classic is not the best out of the two. So let’s come up with some new ideas, shall we?