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There’s a world of great horror beyond our shores, and American filmmakers are eager to remake much of it — with varying degrees of success.

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At AlethalWeaponArt, movies (particularly horror) are a huge part of our life — and our business — so we take time to celebrate the art of film every day. Follow along with us to see what we watched each week. We will tell you if it’s worth watching or if you should skip it altogether and why.

Editor’s Note:

It’s almost inevitable. Whenever a foreign film makes a huge splash, someone will remake it for American audiences. You could argue that, in today’s Global media landscape with streaming access to just about everything, Americans could just as easily watch the original foreign versions of these incredible films. But many won’t due to the language barrier and the dislike of subtitles. That’s a lament for another day, however.

Fortunately, some of these American remakes are actually good. Plenty are not, of course. Films like Dark Water, Oldboy, Martyrs, One Missed Call, and 1998’s Godzilla all failed miserably to live up to the genius of their foreign film inspirations. Yet, films like Funny Games, Quarantine, Insomnia, and Let Me In all did a fine job rekindling the magic of their source material.

American audiences will soon be treated to one highly anticipated remake, Speak No Evil, based on the 2022 Danish film of the same name. The Blumhouse film will star the always-reliable James McAvoy, along with Mackenzie Davis, Aisling Franciosi, Alix West Lefler, Dan Hough, and Scoot McNairy. It looks great. The original film was outstanding and so chilling, so my fingers are crossed that the remake can bring that same nightmarish energy.

We’ll find out on September 13, when the film is released by Universal Pictures.

This week, we dove into foreign films and American remakes of fantastic foreign films.

1. THE WAILING (2016)

The Wailing was the only movie we watched this week that was not an American remake. Although we could see an American remake of this being made in the future, we wouldn’t be mad about it.

The Wailing is very dark, gritty, and original. The story follows a policeman and his family in a small town in South Korea. Shortly after a Japanese visitor shows up in town, villagers start attacking each other, hysteria builds, and the police try to unravel this new mystery.

This is more of a slow-burn suspense film, but it does have some great bloody and gory scenes with some really frightening images. The daughter in the film is played by Kim Hwan-hee, and she does an incredible job. For such a young actress, she was incredibly captivating.

We’re not going to lie; this film is a time commitment and a bit of a downer. However, it’s great if you’re in the mood for that.

This one is definitely worth a watch if you like atmospheric Asian horror. 

Recommended; Watch on Netflix.

2. SUSPIRIA (2018)

OUR FAVORITE OF THE WEEK!

This was a first-time watch for us, and it has been a while since we’ve seen the original, so it was a little hard to compare. However, that actually might have made us enjoy it more.

Right off the bat, we were into it because the cast is stacked. Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia Goth, and Tilda Swinton killed their performances. Dakota Johnson also felt very believable and almost relatable in her role; she’s got strong “new girl with something to prove” vibes.

The whole movie has really great sound mixing and foley work that really brings it together. The body horror in the movie looks great and is super weird and witchy; the way it happens in conjunction with dancing is exciting and unique. The setting is stunning, filming at the Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori in Italy gave it an authentic vibe.

We loved all the red tones and the gore at the end.

Suspiria (2018) is a slow-paced and suspenseful trip to a bloody end and is more than worth a watch.

Recommended; watch on Prime Video.

3. THE GRUDGE (2020)

The Grudge is supposed to be related to the 2004 film of the same name, taking place before and during the events of that film — which was a remake of the 2002 Japanese film Ju-on: The Grudge. However, it bears little to no resemblance to those far superior films.

We found no redeeming qualities that made it worth watching.

The film follows a police officer who investigates several murders that are seemingly connected to a single house. It starts off with a very weird jump scare and is followed by a nonsense plot involving poorly written and hollow characters you don’t care about. Nothing in this movie is even remotely frightening.

The ending made even less sense than the rest and really left us with a bad taste in our mouths.

We rarely say this, but this time, watching this movie was just a waste of time.

Not recommended; watch it on Hulu.

4. THE RING (2002)

The Ring (2002) is very nostalgic for us, and we love it! The rainy-day vibes and a lot of creepy imagery make it a great one for when you’re in a gloomy mood.

We really enjoy the blue and green tints of color, which add to that uneasy feeling. There are a lot of ominous moments. It holds your attention and has great tension that builds throughout. There is an incredible scene with a horse that has stuck with us for years and years. On top of all of that, the acting is solid as well.

There’s a really good reason why this is considered one of the most successful (both artistically and financially) horror remakes of all time (in the top ten according to box office success). Not only did it resonate with audiences and critics, but it helped spark an entire “J-horror” movement in the United States.

There’s no doubt that The Ring is worth watching, and it is a great introduction to what makes Japanese horror so unnerving and terrifying. 

KILL OF THE WEEK: The twisted face from the beginning of The Ring (Aiden’s cousin)!
Recommended; watch it on Paramount Plus, or rent on VOD.

5. THE UNINVITED (2009)

This movie is a fun little teen scream, a remake of a Korean film called A Tale of Two Sisters with a similar premise.

The Uninvited is set in Maine but was filmed in Vancouver for its beautiful location. The house they chose is gorgeous and right on a treacherous waterfront. This movie very much has a 2000s vibe, and the vocabulary of the characters reflects this.

It follows two teen sisters (Emily Browning and Arielle Kebbel) when Anna comes home after a suicide attempt following the death of their mother. They become convinced their father’s new girlfriend is trying to kill them, and chaos ensues. There are a lot of nightmare/dream sequences that at times make it hard to know what to believe but overall a very straightforward plot.

The Uninvited is predictable yet still very enjoyable to watch unfold.

This one is worth a watch if you’re in the mood for a teen scream with a twist.

Recommended; watch it on Prime Video or Paramount Plus.

6. NIGHTWATCH (1997)

Nightwatch has a great premise with a stellar cast. It grew on us as we watched, even though it had a bit of a slow start.

The film is a remake of the 1994 Danish film of the same name. It follows a group of friends and a necrophiliac serial killer that become intertwined. With Patricia Arquette, Josh Brolin, Ewan, McGregor, and Nick Nolte as some of our favorites, this cast is stacked and keeps the story interesting and captivating. We love the brutality of the murders and the graphic first-kill scene.

It has a good soundtrack and great tension throughout, with some really creepy parts.

Nightwatch is definitely worth a watch if you’re in a 90s horror/suspense vibe.

Recommended; find it on Hoopla or Showtime, or rent on VOD..

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