This week on the Horror Junkies Podcast, Mike and Pat are joined by Alex and Sara to discuss two Foreign Horror films and their American Remakes.
In this, the first installment of Remake Rumble, the Spanish-language cannibal shocker Somos Lo Que Hay (2011) is pitched against its American remake counterpart, We Are What We Are (2013). In a lot of ways, this is a very interesting example to begin with, because Somos Lo Que Hay isn’t significantly well-known in its own right, so it doesn’t attract the same scorn as, say, 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but yet it was still considered a justifiable option for the reboot treatment. First off, it’s worth noting that Somos Lo Que Hay is by no means a perfect film. Atmospheric, tense and suitably scary, it moves along at a decent pace and ends on a sort-of cliff-hanger, which hints that the story is far from over. By contrast, We Are What We Are is a far more accomplished movie. With the action moved to backwoods America, the climate is changed significantly so that a blanket of rain covers everything, which immediately ensures the mood is downbeat and doom-laden.
When it comes to the second installment of Remake Rumble, Funny Games (1997) is pitched against the American remake Funny Games (2007). Its very important to note here that both these movies are filmed by the same director and are 99.5% shot for shot. So there isn’t much that has changed in the 10 year between each film. The director Haneke said that he initially envisioned Funny Games as an American movie, but couldn’t get it made in America. This isn’t a surprise, even the remake doesn’t seem like a film that could get made stateside with any kind of wide release. It’s somewhat of a commentary on horror, particularly the horror audience and the way American fans eat up and consume the genre. The more violent, the better, is the way it’s generally considered. The entire film is about the hunger for violence inherent in people. The family is genuine, sympathetic and taken through a series of traumatic events that seem absolutely plausible.
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