While older remakes involved doling out the same basic story with new casts and technology, Hollywood has recently engaged in a trend of making movie remakes with major differences. Directors and producers have been searching through the franchise archives and breathing new lives into these films with modern spins. Whether that's diversifying the casts, shoehorning in millennial tropes, or ultimately, just trying to do something new with the films.
Who wants to see the same film again anyway? It's always more fun to switch up the setting and characters if the story is going to be revisited. Although, some of the big changes made in the spirit of updating a dated film have been better than others.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (and the simplified remake title The Taking of Pelham 123) features a group of crooks taking a subway car's worth of passengers hostage to get a ransom. In the original, the lead hijacker, Mr. Blue, was a former mercenary in Africa. In the update, to cash in on the Wall Street buzz in a post-2008 media landscape, the villain was a former investor named Mr. Ryder.
As it turns out, Mr. Ryder was staging the hijacking in an attempt to manipulate the markets. Also notable is the switch in protagonists. Instead of following a transit cop named Garber who's attempting to stop the crooks, it follows a train dispatcher named Walter Garber.247Smart change?
In both versions of Evil Dead, a group of friends travel to the woods to spend the night in a cabin. While there, they find the Naturom Demonto - AKA the Book of the Dead - and resurrect a malevolent spirit. While those basic principles remain the same, a lot of the trappings of the film were changed for the remake.
In the remake, the friends aren't just at the cabin to have fun. They're there because one of the friends, Mia, is trying to quit using, so they're all there in support. The original film chooses to focus primarily on Ash, the only friend who doesn't get possessed. The remake splits time a little more evenly and ultimately focuses a bit more heavily on Mia, the character that was possessed first. The remake also adds a bit more lore to the film, as the possessed Mia is working towards the explicit goal of capturing five souls to unleash a creature known as the Abomination. Eventually, Mia is healed, but everyone else perishes.3018Smart change?
In the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, a girl named Nancy and her friends are bombarded in their dreams by a deranged ghost named Freddy Krueger. Eventually, they learn that Freddy was a child slayer who was apprehended, released on a technicality, and then burned alive by their parents. In the new one, as Nancy and her friends attempt to learn more about Freddy, they realize that they don't have any memories of each other before high school, even though they have pictures to prove they knew each other.
They eventually find out that Freddy was a child predator and used to work as a groundskeeper at the preschool they attended, so they visit the preschool to investigate. This adds a new set-piece as they search for Freddy's hidden room where he committed his misdeeds. In this version, it was Nancy herself who reported Freddy's wrongdoings to her parents, making his hatred towards her more personal.3535Smart change?
People that have heard of Friday the 13th most likely associate it with Jason Voorhees and his iconic hockey mask. Well, those people would be shocked to then watch the first Friday the 13th film and discover that Jason isn't part of it at all. Instead, it's his mom that's the slayer, and Jason doesn't start haunting camps until the sequels.
Well, when it came time to reboot the property in 2009, that obviously wouldn't do. Now that fans had a taste of Jason, that's who they wanted to see slashing camp counselors. So, this reboot opens with the events of the first movie, then quickly skips ahead to Jason doing the slashing. So, in a way, this movie is able to tell the story of the first film while combining the best elements of the later entries.2430Smart change?