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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Horror remastered

Like “fun size” candy bars and tastelessly skimpy costumes, Horror movie marathons have become a modern staple of Halloween. If you’re a fan of the genre there is a dizzying selection of films to choose from these days, but if you’re a student, chances are that the scary movies that always find their way on annual must-watch lists were released long before you were born. Somewhere along the line studios took notice, which resulted in an onslaught of remakes and sequels that no one has been asking for and that contain a general lack of original scares. This year’s crop of horror has been a mixed bag so far, but these notable new horror flicks might find themselves on your playlist next Halloween.
Vampire flick Fright Night, a remake of a cult-classic 1970’s film, starring Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell and directed by Lars and the Real Girl‘s Craig Gillespie, holds the dubious honor of being the first horror remake in recent memory to receive a positive reception from critics. Unfortunately audiences weren’t so kind: the film opened up at number six in the box office and only went down from there. It’s hard to fault the public for skipping yet another movie about vampires but Fright Night set itself apart from other films that capitalized on the rampant undead fad by ditching the teen angst in favor of some truly nasty bloodsuckers (most notably Colin Farrell’s charmingly murderous head vamp) and a sharp sense of humor rarely seen among modern horror films. Having never seen the original I can’t attest to how faithful the remake is, but Fright Night stands alone as one of the most fun vampire flick in recent memory.
The Thing, the year’s most ambitious horror film by a long shot, attempts to flesh out the legendary 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name – which also happens to be a remake. Horror fans watched the development of this confusingly titled prequel with fingers crossed, hoping that producers Marc Abraham and Eric Newman would use their experience on the excellent remake of Dawn of the Dead to create a film that could stand up to the original, one of the all-time greats of the genre, without copying the film or failing to do it justice.
The final product, which followed a team of Norwegian and American scientists stationed in Antarctica who uncover an ancient alien organism that can mimic any lifeform it encounters, followed the example set by Carpenter’s original a little too closely, imperfectly mimicking what made the film so scary – the isolation of its sub-zero setting, the tension created by the creature’s abilities, and the insane transformation sequences – while also replacing the groundbreaking physical effects of the original with just-okay CGI. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives audiences her best impression of Sigourney Weaver’s Alien heroine Ripley as paleontologist Kate Lloyd, but she fails to live up to the standard set by Kurt Russell in the first film. Overall The Thing remake is a very creepy, enjoyable horror flick on its own, but definitely not a classic.
Unfortunately neither of these films will be out on DVD in time to pick up for a last-minute Halloween fright fest, but you should be able to check them out by the end of the year.

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