‘The Prophecy’, ‘The Cursed Journey’ and other horror movie remakes turn 16 in 2022



Does anyone remember when Hollywood stopped betting on original ideas for their movies? Many will say that even today there are those who prefer to invest in this originality. But let’s be honest, these pioneers are the great minority. And when we talk about recycled premises, the movement that attracts the most attention are the so-called remakes. Nothing against, the problem came when the producers of the biggest cinema industry decided to want to “remake” classics that had always been in the mind of the public.

This “reinventing” is always more interesting when it comes to an obscure, or very old, production that no longer resonates with current audiences. Something like a filmmaker like Guillermo del Toro did. First, it paid homage to classic monster movies — particularly Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) — with The Shape of Water (2017), which wasn’t even a remake. And this year, the filmmaker will give his vision of the classic O Beco das Almas Perdidas, originally released in 1947. In other words, a full board for a remake.

When you think about remakes, however, no other decade commands as much attention as the 2000s. Especially the mid-decade. The fact was even cleverly satirized by Scream 4 (2011), when one of the characters fleetingly cites the “hundreds” of horror remakes of recent years to get away with his life. When it comes to horror, things become even more critical, as very few works survive without being remade for today’s audiences. Into that realm comes our new article, focusing on remakes released exactly 16 years ago, a peak time for these projects to be given the green light. Check it out below and watch this Halloween – if you dare.

It was even a better call than the remake of the timeless classic The Prophecy. It is because Sadists’ Gang (1977), the horror from which it is inspired, although it is the second film by the famous Wes Craven, has become a cult production, unknown to the general public. Simply put, it was a niche horror, so it was up to the producers to repackage it for the next generation. And when I say producers, Craven himself is among those responsible for the feature film. apart from that, a talented filmmaker in the making: the Frenchman Alexandre Aja. In the casting, one of the gimmicks was the presence of Emilie de Ravin, very popular at the time because of her role as pregnant Claire, in the phenomenon Lost (2004-2010).

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The Prophecy (1976), by Richard Donner, turns 46 in 2022 and has long been a part of the pantheon of supernatural horror classics. The feature is part of what I like to call a “triad” of demonized children – alongside Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973). The Prophecy, however, was the first to receive a remake. However, one that was quickly swept under the rug. After all, do you hear about her these days? But yes, it existed and was released in theaters 16 years ago, with Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles and the same Mia Farrow from Rosemary’s Baby. One of the issues here was casting the boy Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien, who doesn’t have the duality between cuteness and menace like in the original.

Before Friday the 13th, before A Nightmare on Elm Street and even before Halloween, there was Black Christmas (1974). The film is considered by many to be one of the first of the teen horror subgenre and featured a sorority house of young female students being terrorized by a maniac who makes lewd phone calls. The guy is hiding in the attic of his house, without any of the girls knowing. And little by little, it starts again one by one during the Christmas holidays. It is still a cult classic of the genre today. So 16 years ago the remake debuted, much more focused on the smart teenage vibe that emerged after Panic – this one ten years late, but could easily have happened at the late 1990s. The attraction was the names of promising young women who sold the feature film on the poster, such as Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lacey Chabert and Katie Cassidy. But it didn’t stop there, and in 2019 Universal and Blumhouse bet on feminist horror that forgot to scare and just hammered home its obvious, pamphleteer message.

Many consider this film as the turning point in Nicolas Cage’s career. The intention of the actor was however of the best. And alongside then equally promising filmmaker Neil LaBute, they delved into the cult remake The Straw Man (1973), a British horror classic about rural cults – from which the controversial Midsommer (2019) drew plenty of his inspiration. The remake proposal was bold and interesting, not only changing the gender of the cult leader (now female, Ellen Burstyn), but also placing the feminine at the center of the narrative. The result, unfortunately, people only remember is Cage’s bear costume and the infamous bee scene, complete with the actor’s blowout.

Rounding off the list of 1970s American classics, When a Stranger Calls was released in 1979 and had Carol Kane (who would later become more attached to comedy roles) as the protagonist. Here, the whole plot motto was certainly influenced by the aforementioned Halloween, released the previous year. Both have young women still in their teens who work as nannies for the families, looking after the children. A common practice in the United States. Either way, they end up being chased by a maniac. The difference here, and which serves as a motto, is that the psychopath in this movie makes calls to torment the young victim, and when the police finally track down those calls, they discover that they came from inside the house. The remake already incorporated cellphones into its narrative and had Camilla Belle as the protagonist, and Katie Cassidy (again) and a still-girl Tessa Thompson in the cast.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Speaking of classic horror films released in 1974, the one that stands out the most is arguably The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, considered one of cinema’s first slashers. The film was successful and became cult, however, it was so visceral and explicit that it ended up being banned from several exhibition places around the world, unlike the more contained and suspenseful Halloween, which would become a financially very successful classic. The sequel to Massacre will not take place until more than ten years later, in a film more focused on black humor. Two more sequels, in 1990 and 1994, and the franchise would be put on ice. That is, until in 2003 a successful remake was released, featuring the revelation of Jessica Biel in its cast. That film, however, ended in a way that simply couldn’t be continued – so much so that nothing has followed it in its narrative line to date. Thus, the filmmakers opted for a prequel, which instead of continuing, preceded the facts shown in 2003.

The original Japanese Scream, or Ju-On (in the language of the country), is a 2002 production, released the same year that the American version of The Ring had great success in the United States. Thus, the American producers were quick to bring their own version of this story two years later, with The Scream (2004). Among these producers was the renowned Sam Raimi. Starring the eternal Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, the horror was a moderate success. So, two years later, the sequel arrived, exactly 16 years ago. This streak, however, went completely unnoticed – with many not even knowing of its existence. In 2020, the producers tried again with a more serious and dramatic version of the story, also to no avail.

We are now entering the realm of remakes of Asian productions. Kairo (2001) closely followed The Call and The Scream (the original versions) catching up with the wave of supernatural films that enjoyed great success in Japan between the late 90s and early 2000s. The motto is even interesting and uses the Internet as a gateway for evil spirits. to our plane. 16 years ago, in 2006, the Internet was more widespread in the world and was part of our daily lives. So the North American version arrived, with blonde Kristen Bell as the haunted protagonist – another actress more accustomed to comedies.

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