The horror genre has been an indisputably popular one for a very long time. Audiences get thrills from being scared. That said, horror films are much more than a means for delivering cheap thrills. …
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A horror film made during paranoid times might capitalize on these times by making their films focused around paranoia as well. A film made during a post 9/11 era might capitalize on the nation’s moods, and fears, by delivering a film about good and evil, such as The Omen. The films that will be discussed in this analysis, The Dawn of the Dead, The Omen and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre all have reasons, either ostensible or stated, for being made. Two of the films, Chainsaw and Dawn, have very little in common with their predecessors. The third, The Omen, is virtually a shot-for-shot remake of the original. This paper will examine these three films, and their remakes, emphasizing the differences between them. Then, this paper will attempt to ascribe motive for making these films, beyond the obvious, that these films will probably will make money. Finally, this paper will make a conclusion about the films, and the reasons for making them. Included in the analysis of the remakes verses the originals will be an analysis of the audience reactions for these films.
Dawn of the Dead
The Omen, which is the next film which will be analyzed, was pretty much a superfluous remake for a variety of reasons. The main reason that it is, however, is that it pretty much is a shot for shot remake of the original, and brought nothing new to the table. Not so Dawn of the Dead. The George Romero version and the Zack Snyder version are as different, as, well, night and day. The Zombies The first difference that will be explained will be in the zombies themselves, as they are really the “star” of the two shows. In the George Romero version, the zombies were the epitome of campy shlock (Romero, 1978). According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of schlock is “cheap or inferior goods; trash,” and this would describe the George Romero zombies accurately. Unfortunately for the integrity of the film, there were many close-ups of the zombies, and they were laughably bad looking. There were no Academy Award nominations for makeup on this film. The zombies basically walked around with a greyish-green tint on their face, and this was the extent of the makeup job. Romero himself admitted that the make consisted of “grey makeup” which was basically pancake makeup. He talks about “slapping grey makeup on,” which means that Romero himself did not take the makeup issue very seriously (DVD Commentary, Dawn of the Dead). The blood that came on of the zombies as they were shot also looked incredibly fake, like the kind of fake blood one might buy at a Walgreen’s when one wants to dress up as Dracula. Moreover, the zombies themselves were not aggressive – they were too slow to really be too much of a threat to anybody, unless one is in a large crowd of them. Because the zombies were more comic than scary, and were, for the most part, non-threatening because of their extremely slow gait, the overall effect of the zombies is comic. The inescapable conclusion is that the Romero meant for this film to be either a black comedy or satire, because fear was not an emotion that this viewer registered upon seeing the zombies. Contrast the zombies in Romero’s film to the zombies in Snyder’s remake. In Snyder’s remake, the zombies were literally menacing. Whereas in Romero’s film, the zombies walked around with a blank stare, in Snyder’s film, the zombies had facial expressions, and these expressions were of fury. These zombies were scary, because they looked like they meant business, and their business was to hunt people down and eat them. Moreover, these zombies were incredibly fast and strong. This was shown at the beginning of the film when Ana (Sarah Polley) drives her car to get away from her husband, who was a new zombie and was chasing her.
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