I’m an amiable guy. Really, I am. The constant influx of remake announcements saddens me, but it doesn’t get me angry or up in arms. It’s no different than a book I really like being made into an inferior movie… the book is still there, untouched, and ready to be enjoyed again.
But sometimes… sometimes an announcement comes along that just boggles my goddamn mind and makes me want to pummel someone to death with my taint.
The French horror film, Martyrs, is an extremely violent and twisted flick about two girls who grow up in foster care and reunite as adults when one of them discovers the family who abused her as a child. (That’s an admittedly basic synopsis because I highly recommend going into the film cold.) It’s also an amazing movie, and even though I’m not entirely convinced the ending works there’s no denying the intelligence and ambition on display is more than you’ll find in most horror films. Word of a remake first came last month (via Bloody Disgusting) from producer Wyck Godfrey (Daddy Day Care) and writer Mark L. Smith (Vacancy). I figured the remake would never move beyond the script stage because the movie is pretty much not remake-able.
But today I read an interview over at FearNet where Godfrey spoke a little bit more about his plans… including his acknowledgment that Martyrs is “not remake-able in its form for an American audience.”
But he’s moving forward on it anyway.
We’re doing it for an American audience with an American cast,” Godfrey said, adding that “the script we’ve written for it is awesome… I love that movie, [although] I think it’s not remake-able in its form for an American audience. But the core elements of it are fascinating… I’m also obsessed with the nature of childhood friends — growing up when one doesn’t believe the other one and the corruption between that. I’m excited.”
He also wants Kristen Stewart to star as one of the two leads. And that’s the least offensive thing he said.
To be fair, Godfrey has substantial experience producing dark, brutal, and challenging material. His IMDB page speaks for itself on the subject… AVP, First Daughter, The Nativity Story, Eragon, Dear John, the Twilight franchise.
Am I being too harsh here? It seems to me that if a movie can’t be remade “in its form” and you acknowledge that, then maybe you shouldn’t try to dumb it down. If you need to change its form, message, or content to such a degree then maybe it should be left untouched. Every bit of Martyrs is necessary for the point it’s trying to make, every scream of pain, every plot turn, every sadistic cut. If you change that, you’re making a different movie. And if you change it because US audiences supposedly can’t handle the images or the motivations? Well, you’re just an ass. So make your own damn flick about angry orphans Mr. Godfrey, and leave this one alone.
Have you seen Martyrs? Are you excited about this stupid goddamn remake?