Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Old vs. New Horror Movie Remakes Stephen King Edition

Hi everyone I'm Jack Red, today I decided to tackle a very tricky topic. Usually horror movie fans go with the classics. In some occasions their respective remakes is better. I figured to do four similar cases with one major connection. All four of them has movies and shows based on Stephen King's works. Easily one of the greatest writers of our time.

Considering King's popularity among books, there could be more related blogs to this. I just wanted to showcase four of them to prove a point.

Round 1: Maximum Overdrive (1986) vs. Trucks (1997)

Maximum Overdrive is loosely based on the short story Trucks. This is the only movie adaptation directed by Stephen King himself. Although he was doing drugs during the production of this movie. A little over a decade later an TV movie Trucks based on the short story of the same name. Roughly similar movies with some clear differences. The short story is about people that ended up getting surrounded by trucks at a gas station.

The better movie based on Trucks is Maximum Overdrive
It is not because Maximum Overdrive came first it won. Maximum Overdrive ultimately did more things going for it. Name something lacking in Trucks. Maximum Overdrive has you covered in many ways. King took a huge risk of having majority of it's soundtrack being done by AC/DC. This move pay off compared to the somewhat boring soundtrack of Trucks. Most characters in Trucks doesn't stand out much. Most action scenes are simply more entertaining in Maximum Overdrive. There wasn't much humor to help lighten things up in Trucks. Maximum Overdrive has a few funny parts including King's cameo. The same exact concept with a similar ending. You won't miss much not even either movie. But if you had to choose one, make sure it is Maximum Overdrive. Also huge points to Happy Toyz Truck.

Winner: Maximum Overdrive

Round 2: The Shining (1980) vs. The Shining (1997)
This is a personal favorite of mine. One of Stephen King's most popular stories is The Shining. An family moves in to a famous hotel with a colorful history. Stanley Kubrick gets to make The Shining movie back in 1980. The director is widely known for changing critical details in movies based on books. This greatly piss off King to get an mini series remake based on The Shining made. However their strict guide line is King had to not say anything bad about Kubrick's version. This is a case of one being loosely based on the book while the other following it more directly.

The best version of The Shining is 1980 version
Yes this movie left a great deal of information out. This version also has a slower start compared to the mini series remake. A good amount of things are shared between both versions. I felt the actors especially Jack Nicholson left a bigger impression on me. Let's be honest he nailed Jack Torrance with flying colors due to his history of roles. True the ghosts plays a bigger part in the remake. The way everything plays out in the movie seems for the most part so real. I actually could picture something this horrible possibly happen in real life. There are more key parts in remake that King felt should've been in the movie. I am only saying this out of respect for the man. Sometimes being too close to the source material can ruin it's chances of success. This is exactly why majority prefers Kubrick's version more. It took some important parts but ultimately put his own twists to them.

Winner: The Shining (1980)

Round 3: Children of the Corn (1984) vs. Children of the Corn (2009)

Regardless how I word this, there are so many Children of the Corn movies. In fact despite their differences, they do share a lot of the same elements. Therefore I was surprise to learn about Children of the Corn remake. The original Children of the Corn came out in 1984. Easily one of the better King adaptations at the time. More recently originally aired on Syfy channel was Children of the Corn on 2009. There are many major changes between both versions. Most Children of the Corn movies are about a cult mostly children killing people near corn fields.

The best version of Children of the Corn is 1984 version
Let's be honest the original Children of the Corn is a good movie. Mostly more of it's own thing takes parts of the short story. Everything plays out better in the long run. For example although I do prefer how He Who Walks Behind the Rows was used in 2009 version. I couldn't look past Isaac in the original movie. Not only he was more convincing as a leader at one point gets possessed by their god. More brutal murders occur in the original movie. The ending is more satisfying for many reasons. All that happens in the remake version is our hero gets revealed dead from his encounter. Which comes off as a let down to say the least. Who doesn't remember He Who Walks Behind the Rows getting blown up? Moments like that are the reasons I'm more likely to come back to 1984 version. Also Malachi was more interesting in the original. In the remake version Malachi does acknowledge not trusting his leader over beliefs. I like Malachi in the original version ended up screwing over Isaac. Also the part in the remake where older kids had to die was kinda pointless.

Winner: Children of the Corn (1984)

Round 4: Carrie (1976) vs. Carrie (2002) vs. Carrie (2013)
I left the hardest one for last. Stephen King's original story about an high school girl with telekinesis. You would be very surprise to know there exist three movies based on the book Carrie to date. All three of them have similarities with plenty of differences. The original Carrie movie came out in 1976. Two years after the release of the book. TV movie version simply called Carrie came out on 2002. More recently a second remake movie came out on 2013. Let's be honest just doing two of these wouldn't be fun. I figured doing all three versions would be a challenge.

The best version of Carrie is 1976 version

Both 1976 and 2013 versions are superior to 2002 version. I will say based on what I think 2002 version is the most faithful adaptation. By now you are likely seeing a pattern. Both 1976 & 2013 versions actresses playing Carrie nailed her character very well. I felt with 2002 version she wasn't right for the role & it showed. Most important scenes are present in both 1976 & 2013 versions. I do like adding more insult to injury during Carrie being crowned in 2013 version was genius. Ultimately both remakes doesn't pull off prom slaughter better than the original. Everything about that portion of the movie was spot on. I also felt 1976 version had the best cast overall. Oddly the ending is very different between all three movies. I do prefer 1976 version's ending the most due to how mysterious it is. One moment Carrie had to kill her mom. Another moment the house is falling down. The next moment we see her grave. One of the strangest endings I ever seen in a horror movie. I do respect 2013 version for having Carrie looking into her gift of telekinesis. In the end the original movie did a great job following the book while left a major impact still being felt today.

Winner: Carrie (1976)

One minute before anyone goes off saying you didn't even consider any of these remakes. But I honestly took a lot of time. Yes I sit down watching all of these movies through out the years. Eventually I might do a similar blog of horror movie remakes better than their original movies. Also some of these followed the source material too much. You kinda wish some clever changes would be done to spice things up. Until then I'm Jack Red and I'll see all of you later.

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