It’s easy to think that most remakes are terrible ideas. Mostly because they are—usually trading on the audience’s vague nostalgia or awareness of an intellectual property rather than having something original to say. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As Cecil Trachenburg of GoodBadFlicks points out, remakes in and of themselves aren’t a bad thing. In his latest video, “WTF Happened to Movie Remakes?,” Trachenburg looks at the current glut of remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings and wonders why they are being churned out in such great volumes.
Some remakes exist for a simple reason. For example, it’s customary for countries to remake popular films from foreign lands. But it’s also possible (and highly probable) that something gets lost in the translation. Often times these remakes/reboots/re-imaginings are simple cash grabs hoping to seize on a public’s semi-awareness of something, capitalizing on their vague fondness and using that to garner more money through a built-in recognition. Trachenburg breaks down the various types of remakes that Hollywood creates, and looks at why they are doing so.
Trachenburg is quick to point out that remakes aren’t inherently bad and points to several examples of the ones that work or at least prove the filmmakers had something new to say with the same material. But he’s also willing to indict the studios for going this easy route rather than creating new subject matter and original ideas (that in turn can be remade in a few years’ time). It’s an interesting overview of the issue and provides keen insight into the sense that Hollywood is running on fumes now more than ever.