Welcome to Revenge of the Remakes, the place columnist Matt Donato takes us on a journey by means of the world of horror remakes. All of us complain about Hollywood’s lack of originality each time studios announce new remakes, reboots, and reimaginings, however the actuality? Much more constructive examples of refurbished classics and up to date legacies exist than you’re prepared to recollect (or admit). The nice, the unhealthy, the pointless – Matt’s recounting all of them.
I’ve had fairly the rewarding streak right here at “Revenge of the Remakes” when it comes to topic high quality since A Nightmare On Elm Avenue, so let’s fuck all that up! After watching 1986’s April Idiot’s Day, Horror Queers’ very personal Joe Lipsett questioned if I’d be tackling the 2008 remake for the column. I supposed to do one thing Halloween associated on the heels of October, however my curiosity in The Butcher Brothers’ straight-to-TV April Idiot’s Day received out.
Earlier than we begin evaluating morbid schemes and faux deaths, I’ll stage with y’all. Fred Walton’s April Idiot’s Day is a performative and psychotic whodunit with the vacation’s spirit jingling like bells on a jester’s cap. The Butcher Brothers’ careless and catty April Idiot’s Day is a joyless interpretation that’s extra a whydyoudoit. The latter movie by no means achieves any suspense across the ruse at hand, which highlights the most important drawback of remaking April Idiot’s Day. How are you going to shock audiences as soon as once more with an ending that’s now broadly popularized? The reply is you may’t, and the “step additional” try is extra of an insult to the viewers than a double-down gotcha. Yikes throughout…
Danilo Bach’s screenplay for the unique April Idiot’s Day is enjoying with hearth but lands the punchline. Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman) throws a celebration for her prosperous group of future world leaders at her arrive-by-ferry mansion, the place her company begin getting murdered — which all seems to be Muffy testing her bed-and-breakfast immersive homicide thriller on her invitees. It’s the equal of a movie ending with the revelation of every part being a dream or hallucination. Cinematography makes it appear characters are laughing on the viewers as soon as Muffy explains every part — and surprisingly, we be a part of with giggles. There’s no infuriation.
The Butchers Brothers strategy April Idiot’s Day with all the passion of an uptight after-school particular about affluenza, possibly even worse. Torrance Caldwell (Scout-Taylor Compton) is presented a debutante ball by native Kardashian substitute household the Cartiers, the place attendee Milan Hastings (Sabrina Ann Aldridge) dies in a freak seizure-off-the-balcony accident. Blaire Cartier (Josh Henderson), Need Cartier (Taylor Cole), and different responsible buddies are beckoned to Milan’s grave on the primary anniversary of her loss of life, with a message that dares name out wrongdoing amidst the group. It’s true — Blaire tried to mattress her that night time for a intercourse tape as a part of Need’s spitefully epic prank, and Milan’s freak medical situation helps tampering or potential drugging beforehand. Till the reality comes out, everybody’s life is at risk.
It’s a snobbier departure that tries to mix “The OC” with way more intuitive stalker flicks. The moronic “joke” that kills Milan fumbles any April Idiot’s Day ambiance. Characters within the remake are embarrassingly one-note, caught inside their upper-crust stereotypes. There isn’t a query in regards to the movie’s blueprints. The Butcher Brothers are embarrassingly ahead, and that ruins no matter suspenseful ambiance the movie makes an attempt to offer. It’s a film about deception that couldn’t be extra conspicuous.
Does It Work?
What works least is the try and duplicate the phantasm that Fred Walton and Danilo Bach conquer of their April Idiot’s Day, which excels as a plausible slasher narrative that turns into a merciless joke. The Butcher Brothers reply with a bland Carolina riddle as background our bodies from an episode of “The Hills” stumble by means of a slipshod, thrill-devoid thriller. The essence of sure points resonates as Muffy’s and Need’s cohorts are all thought of elite of their post-collegiate aspirations. Nonetheless, The Butcher Brothers can’t see previous the glitzy shimmers of diamond equipment and millionaire accents to outline their characters. There’s an actual goofy-goober sense of cheesiness that Walton accentuates — whereas nonetheless portray its crass womanizers as sleazeballs with a few of these “pickup” strains — which The Butcher Brothers jettison. That, proper there, reveals such a lack of knowledge in regards to the unique’s attraction.
The “deaths” themselves lack a replicable sense of slasher savagery, as Muffy’s manufacturing employs gifted sensible results technicians to realize gore (throughout the narrative). Blaine’s grasp plan to coax a confession from his sister Desiree (Taylor Cole) tries to promote the identical mischievousness sensible results by employed specialists. But, the 2008’s loss of life sequences are much less concerned on the entire; pondering of loudmouth politician Peter who will get “run over” by a automobile — we see some briefcase contents get tossed into the air. There’s a juicy slit throat on cameraman Ryan (Joe Egender) — a throwback to Muffy’s pornography aficionado Chaz (Clayton Rohner) — however every part is simply so unspectacular. The place 1986’s April Idiot’s Day succeeds in masking its gimmick, 2008’s April Fools Day expires with a deathly wheeze like a kind of greenback retailer plastic hen toys.
It’s an insult to motion pictures like Clue which have paved the best way for diabolical misdirections in cinema, not even paying thoughts to performances and scriptwriting that make 80s slashers appear like Oscar contenders. April Idiot’s Day pretends just like the “residing” ghost of Milan isn’t one other character in a wig, nor does Blaire’s asshole of a “protagonist” vying for management of his household’s luxurious and bountiful property ever redeem itself as a story. It’s all mean-spirited jabs with no punctuation and fanciful flashes of classless “humor” like effeminate Perez Hilton wannabe Charles (Joseph McKelheer) dying in a pool as he jumps in, arms flailing as an affordable emasculation joke. It’s an unpleasant movie, not simply in stale cinematography. I say that compared to a number of the coarse, crude dialogue Muffy’s male partiers use to attempt to mattress feminine targets for lack of higher phrasing (admitted as a lot by Thomas F. Wilson’s horndog).
The End result
The Butcher Brothers’ April Idiot’s Day and Fred Walton’s April Idiot’s Day are night time and day. On paper, they each settle for the identical problem — idiot audiences. One succeeds in defying the unthinkable by negating numerous kills on display screen, eradicating any precise horror, and nonetheless squeezing in another prank that but once more mocks loss of life and permanence in slasher cinema.
The opposite? An exemplary case research in regards to the unoriginal, cash-in remakes that many outline because the plight of aughts horror tendencies, reaching so deep into the nostalgia effectively you must scratch your head over why April Idiot’s Day was on anybody’s listing of fanbases to reignite.
There’s an introductory stretch of 1986’s April Idiot’s Day that indulges Muffy’s prankster angle with undrinkable glassware, breakaway chairs, and crossed lightswitch wires that drill house the movie’s tonal buffoonery. The Butcher Brothers barely execute sufficient pranks to rely in your hand all through their complete movie, and but we’re purported to consider Need is that this devious pranker due to the best way her cohorts describe her aloud. It’s nearly like 2008’s April Idiot’s Day actively despises the unique it’s aping, past a gap celebration sequence the place characters introduce themselves by means of videographer interviews and the general construction. Blaine will get “tricked” into sipping champagne that turns his enamel black, a faux critter lunges from a produce bowl on Torrance’s movie set (she’s an actress), nevertheless it’s all with out the identical snicker and applicable eye-rolling from a spot of humorous humility.
This sentiment echoes as The Butcher Brothers play their ultimate trick on viewers by subverting the unique’s happy-go-lucky sendoff. Need is shot with an actual bullet from the supposed prop gun — what a horrible choice to look at after the current Rust tragedy — and her sleazebag brother Blaine drives away in his sportscar after being awarded sole possession of all his household’s riches. Keep in mind how I mentioned 2008’s April Idiot’s Day struggles to make you care about its prosperous stereotypes from pageant queens to senate wannabes? Blaine’s getaway encapsulates that misfire feeling and concludes with such a heavy sigh. It’s pointlessly nasty with out social standing commentary and all the time conveying the slightest enthusiasm — no thanks?
It’s laborious to grasp why you’d select to remake April Idiot’s Day with none of the vitality, belly-laughter, and prank-centric leisure. The Butcher Brothers remix sucks any vitality from Fred Walton’s grinning farce — a hole cinematic shell of a comedic slasher that supposedly is supposed to be humorous, at the least how Phil Flores (a Butcher Brother) describes. As per Flores, 2008’s April Idiot’s Day is “just about contemporized, with off-beat humor, totally different settings — one thing that may gel with as we speak’s viewers.” It says rather a lot in regards to the creator’s opinion of us if April Idiot’s Day means to characterize late 2000s horror followers.
So what did we study?
Know what makes an unique tick and be sure that shines within the remake, whether or not or not your strategy is totally different.
Possibly motion pictures that depend upon a trick play finale shouldn’t be remade?
Low-hanging fruit is simple to seize for a cause.
Generally, as soon as in a blood moon, a remake is only a unhealthy concept.
I’m not mad (possibly a little bit bit), simply disillusioned. April Idiot’s Day is a kind of bombs that offers horror remakes a awful fame. It’s a shambling corpse of the unique it lays to relaxation, and I’m not even that treasured about Fred Walton’s class clown. There’s so little resemblance to the unique’s spirit, dedication to bits, and cackling humorousness that separate April Idiot’s Day from a pack of lookalike 80s slasher flicks. There’s nothing right here that makes me perceive why April Idiot’s Day needed to be remade, which is essentially the most damning sin I can deliver up all through this column.
Some would possibly say April Idiot’s Day is…[lowers sunglasses]…no laughing matter.