3 More ’90s Horror Reboots We Need in Addition To ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’
No one has any lingering affection for I Know What You Did Last Summer, right? No? Great. Just making sure no one’s feelings will be crushed by the announcement that Sony has an IKWYDLS reboot fast-tracked for 2016. The following details come by way of Deadline: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (Oculus) will script the reboot, which will “again” take its inspiration from the 1973 novel by Lois Duncan. “Again” should really be up for debate, because it’s not like the original film was a slavish page-to-screen update. The book saw a group of teens kill a kid in a hit-and-run and then be haunted by a mysterious figure with a spooky connection to the killing. The movie saw a group of teens kill a scary hobo. Then they were slashed apart by a scary hobo.
Still, it’s not like anyone’s thought of IKWYDLS in years. It made a boatload of cash in 1997, churned out a sequel in 1998 and was promptly forgotten, but for a direct-to-DVD threequel in 2006 that turned the hook-wielding killer into a magic zombie with teleportation powers. Long-dead franchise that was originally a hundred-million-dollar hit? That’s prime reboot real estate.
It’s also a sign of the times – as a society, we’re above continually remaking the slashers of the ’80s. Because it’s now been 20 years since the ’90s, and whatever weird cultural embargo everyone was following is up, it’s open season on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air-era serial killers. Hollywood is already dipping its toes into ’90s slasher rebootdom, first by morphing the leprechaun from Leprechaun into a grimy rat monster and making Scream into a TV show that may or may not have a connection to the original Scream (is it a reboot? a quasi-sequel? no one knows). There’s so much more to be rebootified.
So, let’s delve into the other teen-choppers of the decade and pick out a few candidates worthy of a good rebooting. It may not have been as kill-heavy a decade as the one before it (marred by slasher fatigue and the beginnings of a remake tidal wave), but there are still a few gems in the ’90s that could stand a little updating.
Sure, IKWYDLS has a serial killer with a hook for a hand (well, a hook in his hand, which is infinitely more boring), but Candyman has all that and a torso infested with killer bees. It’s a mash-up of your typical slasher urban legend, a guy with a hook for a hand who will also gladly make a pop-in appearance in your bathroom if you say his name in the mirror enough times. Also, his desiccated body is infested with bees, which has nothing to do with urban legends but is plenty gross. And Candyman, unlike IKWYDLS, is a fairly inventive little slasher flick, way more poetic-looking than these movies typically are. Tony Todd’s screen presence as the Candyman and the bee-laden atmosphere are a world beyond the usual “strip strip, sex sex, stab stab” stuff.
Here we’re dealing with horror cliches – killers hiding in the backseat of a car, calls coming from inside the house, Bloody Mary (that was kind of a recurring theme in the ‘90s). Not quite as clever as Candyman (nor as good), but a solid foundation for a reboot. The last time we saw an Urban Legend movie was in 2005, when Urban Legends: Bloody Mary scrapped the whole “each kill is a horror cliche” thing and just had a Bloody Mary stumble around and commit some generic murders. Scrap all that, compile a new list of killer cliches and we’re good to go.
Jack Frost is a chilling winter nightmare about a serial killer who is exposed to chemicals (bad chemicals, I’m assuming) that transform him into a living snowman. Because, again, chemicals. This is a call to all those who might be rebooting a horror film in the near future: try Jack Frost. Because if you can pull off a successful reboot of the movie where a snowman commits sexual assault with his carrot nose and is battled by FBI agents wielding hairdryers, you deserve at least sixteen Oscars. Still, to truly replicate the genius of Jack Frost, you’ll need to release a second Jack Frost reboot a year after the first, this time where the snowman is a friendly dad played by Michael Keaton.