FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Feb 12, 2015

why you gotta test me

Like most cranky, entitled horror fans, my relationship with remakes is a tempestuous one. The trend has been going on for so long–should a ten-plus-year trend actually be called a "trend"? or is it a "wave", maybe?–that it's just a way of life now. I've experienced nearly all the highs, lows, and creamy middles that remakes can bring and I've been left numb. I'm good at ignoring movies and the such if I'm not interested in them, and of course there's that ol' chestnut of an argument: well, a remake doesn't take away from or change the original you love so much, so what's the harm? (The counter to this, of course, is that money spent on shitty remakes is money that could be spent on original stories, that's the harm. But let's let that lie for now.) I just can't get angry anymore. You wanna remake an already-good horror movie? Go for it. You wanna remake a remake? Like I give a shit.


There have been a few rumored remakes that angered up my blood (you're going to remake Suspiria come on now), sure, but beyond initial reports they just seemed to disappear. Then one day, a couple of years later "Hey, wasn't Michael Bay going to remake The Birds?" runs through your mind. You realize this has yet to be, and you immediately banish the thought forever in case a mere mental mention is enough to summon it. You know, like it's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or something.

The point of all this is, you guys I thought the HOW DARE YOU American remake of Martyrs was banished to the Cinematic Negative Zone of Really Fucking Bad Ideas, but now Bloody Disgusting reports that it's already finished. Filmed totally in secret! I'm not sure if that portends good or ill, but in this day and age of endless (pointless) set updates and photos and press releases, I'm shocked. In a good way.

But that's all you'll get from me, Martyrs remake! I'm putting away my wussy "wait and see, who knows, give everything a chance, maybe I'll like it" giant foam finger and replacing it with the one that says FUCK YOU. I'm going to get irrationally, pointlessly irritated about this because 1) come on, it's still a really fucking bad idea to remake Martyrs and you know it is, and 2) it's something to do.

Here are your new martyrs:

Apparently the one on the left (Bailey Noble) hails from True Blood, while the one on the right (Troian Bellisario) is on Pretty Little Liars. Look, I don't watch those shows so for all I know these women could be terrific actresses. All I know for sure is that names like "Bailey" and "Troian" make me feel old and scared.

And YES they look as uninteresting as slices of J Crew pretty white bread, so imagining them in fucking Martyrs is making my brain hurt. However! (What's this "however" shit? JUST BE IRRATIONALLY MEAN AND ANGRY.) Judging from "actress" headshot photos isn't really fair, and also let's not pretend that Mylene Jampanoi and Morjana Alaoui (OG MARTYRS 4 LYFE 5EVER) aren't like supermodel gorgeous. If I judged them the way I'm apparently judging these Designer Imposter Martyrs, I wouldn't have had faith in them, either, and we all know that's stupid.

Here's the thing: I know I'm going to have to see this remake. It's just too much to ignore, isn't it? It's such an outlandish notion, I simply must see how it turns out...because how do you remake Martyrs I have so many Martyrs feelings and YES I KNOW I've yet to write anything about it but it's very difficult for me to even think about trying to try to articulate those feelings okay I just aokjnlklkdnfldskndfdddddddddddddd



Hey, maybe the remake will finally get me past my write about Martyrs-block! Maybe that's the reason it exists. I guess we'll see. I'm really really going to try to go into it with as open a mind as possible (yeah right) and curb my urge to slap this remake right across its audacious face. RIGHT ACROSS IT I SAY.

Ah, sometimes irrational anger feels good, doesn't it? It's sure warming me up on this cold winter's day!


Anonymous said...

Lolol my partner hasn't even SEEN Martyrs yet and is incensed about the remake! I think this is the one that sneaks past everyone's jaded exterior and gets us riled.

Because, I mean, come on, this goes beyond just "Boooo Remakes". Remaking Martyrs is SUCH a bad idea on every level. That material is so finely balanced that anyone with anything less than a perfectly deft touch is gonna collapse that house of cards within the first 3 minutes. Maybe the first minute. That first minute is pretty heavy.

(First time commenter, long time reader. Thanks for giving me a good reason to finally check in!)

Sandisan said...

I have enjoyed a few remakes in my time (the only one that pops to mind right now is Evil Dead) but this? NOPE. Some things are just too unique, too special in and of themselves to try remaking. I just don't understand why (other than the obvious, money). Just leave some things alone, please!!

And I'm right there with ya on articulating anything about Martyrs beyond "GUH." Such a damn good movie.

Stacie Ponder said...

Ahh, welcome to the magical world of commenting, thank you!

Obviously I agree with everything you said. I have to admit, I'm curious about this remake...I mean, I just assume that it's going to be way neutered and this is material you really CAN'T neuter if it's going to be effective. But then, just making it violent for the sake of violence (which is the other way it might go, really) is going to miss the mark completely as well. I'm not a fan of I Spit on Your Grave by any means, but that remake was a fine example of "Okay, you're as violent/more violent than the original, but you REALLY missed the friggin point. ALSO YOU'RE A TERRIBLE MOVIE."

Gah, I hated that remake.

Anyway. I guess I'm just expecting Lucie (or whatever they're Americanizing her name to) to bust out some cool lines in this.


William Quiterio said...

Remakes of classics never turn out well (or at least they never turn out better). It's the remakes of the merely half-successful older efforts, like The Fly or The Blob, that have the potential to be excellent. However, there isn't as powerful a financial incentive to remake the merely half-successful, which means we will probably never see remakes of Invasion of the Bee Girls, Carnosaur, or I Bury the Living. Sometimes pondering the remakes we don't get makes me as sad as watching the remakes we do.

Also, I am kind of hoping this new version of Martyrs is awful, since I feel that, in a sense, a merely average and forgettable effort would be a greater insult to the original than an absolute disaster. Anything with the 'Martyrs' tag should scar, one way or another...

Marvin the Macabre said...

I'm just hoping it turns out so different than the original that it's pretty much Martyrs in name only. That way, I can be okay with it. If they try to follow the original closely, they're going to screw it up. These guys don't have the stones to go full-on Laugier suicide-inducingly depressing ending, so what's the point? From the beginning they promised us a more hopeful (neutered) ending. Why not just make a completely different film?

I don't hold out much hope, however, because they'd hardly use the name Martyrs as a selling point considering how few people in the US have actually heard of the original. I'm duty-bound to see it though.

Rachel Kapila said...

The only horror movie remake I have ever loved was Carrie. I was so mad when I heard they were doing a remake but it surprised me, and I ended up loving it.
This Martyrs remake is, I think, a terrible idea, but I will say that Troian Bellisario is an incredibly talented actress, so even if it's terrible, she'll somehow still be good in it. One other good sign is that Troian is independently wealthy, so girl is pretty much never going to take a movie just for the paycheck. She's either the daughter or niece or something of the guy who produces all the NCIS shows so $$$$$$$. I think she's turned down a lot of work since she started PLL.
Pretty Little Liars is something you think will be a guilty trashy pleasure. It does work well on that level only if you are not paying that much attention, but if you're looking, it turns out to be a beautifully crafted show with so much going on that people are writing entire books about half of a single season. And Troian is SO GOOD in it.
So, maybe this will end up being ok?

Stacie Ponder said...

I'm definitely curious to find out! Who knows, maybe it'll be great. Good acting is essential, so if at least one of these women can act, that's a good sign :)