Remakes: Different to a point

The “Ghostbusters” remake debuted in July 2016 and received mixed reviews.  | PC:

The “Ghostbusters” remake debuted in July 2016 and received mixed reviews.  | PC:

Column like I see 'em

Nobody I know seemed to like the “Ghostbusters” remake.
Now I can’t say anything about that directly, as I’ve yet to see the film, but I can say that I’m glad they made a gender swapped version of the film.

I don’t particularly like remakes, but if you’re going to make one, you should at least change something from the source film.

Take “The Magnificent Seven” for instance. The newer film, which came out last semester, is a remake of an older film of the same name which itself is a remake of an even older film called “Seven Samurai.” The original “Seven Samurai” is a fantastic movie, and the remake “The Magnificent Seven” was equally great. The remake was able to maintain its quality through a change in setting.

The newest remake was mildly received. It wasn’t bad necessarily, but it wasn’t any good either. The setting was the same, name was the same, story was the same. They only changed two things: The ethnic diversity of the cast and the tone.

Tone changing is tricky, as fans of the original are liable to feel betrayed from any changes too drastic. Tone is usually changed when adapting a film from something either foreign, or old enough that most people who saw the original are already dead.

Ghost removal is tough work, but someone has to do it. | PC: or

Ghost removal is tough work, but someone has to do it. | PC: or

I believe a remake needs to make substantial change to become its own film. The only time this wouldn’t be the case is if a technology or cultural shift occurs, allowing filmmakers to push the original theme of the original film to all new heights in the remake—as was done with “The Fly.”

“The Fly” remake is strikingly similar to its original, save for the advances in special effects. The effects make the drastic and often disgusting mutation from man to fly monster all the more horrific and difficult to endure, which is exactly the point. Remakes need to either look at things from a new perspective or do everything objectively better than the original. If the new “Ghostbusters” film is different enough through its gender-swapped characterization that it can stand on its own and deliver a quality film experience, then I see no problem with it being made.

When I wear my “Ghostbusters” shirt in public, I often get compliments from young girls. They seem to look up to the all female cast in the same way young (and current) me looked up to Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. I know they aren’t talking about the same movie I am, but isn’t the sharing of culture from one generation to the next the entire point?

Kevin Niederman is a junior studying nursing.