We Present to You… Again


Liron Brunner, Staff Writer


When reading the sentence, “Once upon a time, there was a princess with hair as dark as night and skin as pale as snow…” what comes to mind? Of course, the infamous tale of Snow White. The plot of this 1938 classic is known throughout the world as one of the most iconic stories ever told. I’m sure you’ve seen the original, but have you seen Mirror Mirror, Once Upon a Time, Charming, The Huntsman


When it comes to the 1950 Cinderella, have you seen (the very creatively named) Ella Enchanted, A Cinderella Story, or Another Cinderella Story, or best yet the 2015 Cinderella? Even if the tale unfolds in modern day California rather than in France with fancy carriages and horses, remake after remake, the basic story doesn’t change. This list of recycled plotlines doesn’t even account for the countless sequels that are made.


Remakes have been prevalent in Hollywood for decades, but are they all bad? In my opinion: no. Even though every remake follows a similar plot to its predecessor, a well-made remake can offer a different viewpoint on the story. An example of this lies in Maleficent (2014) which tells the story of the antagonist of the classic, Sleeping Beauty, and how she became so cruel. 


I really enjoyed this movie. There was entertainment, there was action, and there was fantasy. The plot stays true to the core aspects of Sleeping Beauty, but the audience is given new insights into Maleficent’s past. This remake in particular answered many questions from the end of the original film, and allowed fans to see this infamous antagonist in a different light. On the other hand, after the animated classic film, there were three Sleeping Beauty films with the exact same name, which didn’t add to interpretations of the story.


So, why are there so many remakes right now? Has Hollywood run out of ideas? 2021 alone debuted films and television shows such as Cruella, Home Sweet Home Alone, Dune, Gossip Girl, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and West Side Story. Don’t get me wrong, some of these movies were good, but I have always been a fan of original content. Original creative content that will blow me away and be something that I have never dreamed of before. 


Dr. Matthew Jones, a Film Studies Lecturer at De Montfort University, explains that “The most secure option for studios is always going to be something we call a ‘pre-sold property… Remakes, reboots and sequels do, precisely because they are already properties familiar to audiences and which some people will feel an emotional attachment to already.”


Studios aren’t being lazy per say, but they are trying to ensure that they will profit. Unfortunately, sequels and remakes are not known to have the highest ratings. I love the original Ghostbusters (1984), and I recently saw Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), which was fine. This new edition was a continuation of the original film, but its plot was almost as redundant as the 2016 remake. The antagonist was the same, and if you strip the movie to its base parts: people who chase ghosts, one big bad guy, and a ghostbusters win in the end, it is very similar to the first movie. If you hadn’t seen the original movie, then a lot of it wouldn’t make sense.


The issue is that sometimes a continuation is simply unnecessary. Home Alone was a classic series that already had three movies following the original. It became a holiday essential, everyone knew Kevin McAllister, and the quotes “Say your prayers you filthy rabbit,” and “This is my house, I’ve gotta protect it,” rang through the streets every December. 


The series had a satisfying ending, and that was that, until a new Home Alone came out which was entirely unnecessary. It had the same exact plot as the original, just with updated toys that fit the modern day, and a new setting in England. This film was truly just a money grab, I find it completely unnecessary to create a remake of such a classic, especially when it offers no additional value.


I respect the idea of wanting to keep a beloved story alive, but sometimes leaving the audience satisfied with “and they lived happily ever after” gets the job done.