Remakes are tricky. While some tend to be well-received, such as The Last House on the Left and The Crazies, most tend to serve as a sobering reminder that some remakes simply should never be attempted. News recently spread of a possible remake for the incredibly brutal Pascal Laugier-directed French "new wave horror" flick Martyrs, and while most hopped onto the pedestal to cry foul, I welcomed a chance to import this film for an American audience. Remakes are a loathsome bunch, and while I prefer money be spent to give us new, original films, I'm always intrigued to see if someone can update a film, old or new, for a new audience. I may need to rethink that position.

Jen Yamato over at FEARNet chatted with Wyck Godfrey, producer of the upcoming remake, about the film, and he's already championing for a young actress to star in the film: Kristen Stewart. This really isn't surprising considering Stewart's performance as Joan Jett in The Runaways was critically lauded and Wyck is the producer of the vampire vehicle that made her a star. I have yet to see The Runaways, but given that Martyrs is a type of film that requires a level of emotion beyond "slightly bewildered," I have trouble believing that Stewart could adequately serve as one of the film's unfortunate female leads.

In his discussion with Yamato, Wyck said, "I think it's not remake-able in its form for an American audience. But the core elements of it are fascinating." The very fact that he prefaced this with a declaration of his love and deep appreciation of the original has my head spinning. Wouldn't this necessitate a more faithful adaptation of the film, though maybe slightly toned down? Even if this were the case, it's the sheer brutality of the film that put it on the map and to tone that down in any capacity would be an insult to the spirit of the original.

As was pointed out at FEARNet, the chances of Stewart appearing in the film are slim given how full her slate is over the next couple of years. In the long run, the problem isn't with who is being cast in the film; it's with the intent of the filmmakers. After reading what Wyck had to say about the film, I don't have much faith in this remake, though I still remain intrigued to see how well they can butcher it.

You want to remake Martyrs? Give it thirty years, then go nuts.
CATEGORIES Movies, Features, Horror