Monday, March 24, 2008

REPELLE-DUNDANT REMAKE POLL WINNER: PSYCHO (1998)



In a real squeaker, Gus Van Sant’s Psycho enjoyed (enjoyed?) a last-minute surge in this week’s polling action to steal the title of Most Repelle-dundant Remake away for Marcus Nispel’s apparently quite reviled revisit to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Out of the 94 votes cast, Psycho (1998) received 45 votes (47%) over TCM’s 44 (46%). Only George Sluzier’s ill-advised trashing of his own movie, The Vanishing (featuring a ending that could only piss off those who appreciated the grim horror that capped the original) came anywhere close to challenging the top two—it managed 38 votes (40%). It was a sharp drop to the 17 votes (18%) picked up by Brian De Palma’s ugly take on Scarface, but Martin Scorsese’s uglier take on Cape Fear was close behind with 15 votes (15%). Michael Haneke’s carbon-copy redux of Funny Games garnered 13 votes (13%), and my favorite of the bunch, Paul Schrader’s remake (rethink) of Cat People, which looked like a favorite early on, petered out with only 11 votes (11%).

This poll coincided with Nathan Lee’s article in the new issue of Film Comment entitled “Let’s Do It Again: Horror Remakes from Psycho to Funny Games. The link takes you only to Film Comment’s web page which does not feature the article online—you gotta buy the magazine to read it. But it’s a worthwhile read if the subject holds any fascination for you at all. Lee has done what I would previously have thought the impossible with his piece—he’s made me curious about Rob Zombie’s Halloween, which I avoided last summer (even though I had a revulsion/intellectual appreciation for The Devil’s Rejects), and he’s made me consider watching Van Sant’s Psycho again. I was one of the many who were put off by what I perceived as the indie director’s perverse performance-art joke, but in his article Lee, who isn’t sure himself if Psycho (1999) was worth doing, has at least made me aware of possible reasons why Van Sant might have felt it was a project worth the trouble of tackling it in the first place:

“Concentrated in Anne Heche’s entrancingly self-conscious turn as (Marion) Crane, Psycho gives off the queerest existential vibe this side of Kaspar Hauser. With its haunted mise-en-scene and awkward doppelgangers, each slotted in its predestined place and barely suppressing, it often seems, the uncanny cognizance of their reincarnated status, Psycho plays like the most expensive trance film ever made.

Remake as mindfuck, the horror film as ontological essay, both pseudo-Warholian gimmick and proto-Gerry conundrum, Psycho teases the brain with squirming semiotic minutiae. Why are the clothing styles less contemporary than the chic duds in Hitchcock’s version? Why follow the letter of the original so closely yet alter, ever so slightly, the letters of Marion’s license plate? What is Van Sant attempting to signify by opting for a prismatic shower curtain in place of the semi-transparent original? The movie fairly demands a companion volume to A Long Hard Look at Psycho, as Raymond Durgnat titled his exhaustive close reading of a text he once praised as ‘a prolonged practical joke in the worst possible taste.’”


An assessment, it sounds, which isn’t far from how many of us perceived the Psycho remake when it came out; practical joking (if a multi-million dollar joke can in any way be termed “practical”) even seems like a possible subtext for Lee’s own perceptions, that apparent pointless tweaking of the license plate being the only cited example out of many. I was entranced by Gerry’s gliding death march, fascinated and repelled by the vision Van Sant brought to Elephant, and drawn in by the half-heard murmuring at the doomed heart of Last Days (I have yet to see Paranoid Park); I wonder if an appreciation of these films will in any way shed light on the director’s motives behind Psycho (1999) and whether my receptivity to that moody triptych will make me more inclined to respond positively to this reviled remake if I should choose to see it again. Sounds like an interesting experiment…

P.S. Lee again, on Michael Haneke’s Americanized Funny Games, just because I think the writing is funny (I have yet to see the new version):

“Haneke’s facile stabs at the spectator (direct address, self-reflexive platitude) were tired in 1997; 10 years and much American atrocity later, we may well deserve a meta-cinematic kick in the nuts, but I’m not convinced Her Epater Glum, Ph.D., is the man for the job…

Funny Games is Hostel for the NPR set, a prolonged practical joke in the best possible taste…
(Nice fold-back on Durgnat! – DC)

…This frame-by-frame exercise generates none of the odd indeterminacy of Psycho, since Van Sant channeling Hitchcock, misguided as it may be, posits at minimum a montage of sensibilities, whereas Haneke doing Haneke is by definition an act of navel-gazing redundancy.”

Redundant. There's that word again.

UPDATE 3/24/08 4:27 p.m. Janet Leigh vs. Anne Heche-- who scrubs up best? I think we probably all know the answer to that question already, but in the spirit of supermarket taste testing, here's an opportunity to see the 1960 and 1998 Psycho shower scenes side by side. See for yourself the degree of Van Sant's fidelity to Hitchcock's seminal horror sequence, and maybe take note of a few more instances of "semiotic minutiae" that drove Nathan Lee crazy. The picture quality isn't the best, but YouTube poster "lewschoen" has put together a fascinating exercise in film study nonetheless.

35 comments:

pacheco said...

You know, I've owned the original Psycho for years but have never watched it. Recently, Van Sant's version was put up on Hulu.com for free. I'm thinking that I'll watch the remake first, and see what I think of it. I'm a Van Sant fan, sort of (loved Last Days and some of his more mainstream stuff as well, though I hated Gerry), so I wonder how I'll see the remake without having any "original" to compare it to....

Then I'll watch the original.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

You're in a pretty rare and unlikely position for a movie lover living in 2008, Pacheco! Even having not seen the original version, I wonder how much of it has seeped into your consciousness just from it being so much a landmark of popular culture. Let us know how your experiment goes!

bill said...

I voted for "The Vanishing", as it's an example of a filmmaker completely and nakedly selling out. That's not what Van Sant was doing, and even if his "Psycho" is some weird, pointless, art-school experiment, I still have to respect his motives, even though I don't understand them. It's not like he said, as Bobby Bittman did about his remake of "On the Waterfront", that he remade "Psycho" because in the original there were some things that Hitchcock didn't quite get.

driveindude said...

I've always had this weird attraction to remakes. Something about the familiarity to the material or how the techniques or technology can be used to update or tell the story.

I remember you and I had a short conversation about Halloween after I had seen an advanced screening. I believe my first impression I gave to you of the film was that I felt Zombie had raised the level of brutality that in the context of his directing style and sometimes over saturated cinematography seemed to me to be a very fresh turn on a very familiar tale.

It made the story line and characters seem very new to me. It was like experiencing a very twisted take on a dream I've had over and over again and I liked it.

I will say that in hindsight what I've discovered since that early look was that it hasn't stayed with me as the original had. Maybe because the original was so ORIGINAL and it left an impacted impression on me. To this day I can still watch Carpenters movie and still be enthralled with it. I don't have the same feelings about Zombies film.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Bill, I completely agree (and I appreciate the Bobby Bittman reference too!). There was no motivation for Sluzier to destroy his own work other than a naked grab for Hollywood credibility, which fortunately/unfortunately didn't work out for him. Like Lee says in the Film Comment article, Van Sant's movie exists on some strange plane of its own, where every weird variable seems to inevitability comment on his choices or his rationale. In that way it belongs, much as Schrader's Cat People does, in the rethink category rather than the remake category. You can debate the merits of either film all day long (and some of us might even think that sounds like fun), but you can't say those movies were sell-outs.

Having only seen the original Austrian version, I will say Haneke's movie seems much more like a project undertaken by a self-serious filmmaker who looks at his movie not as entertainment or even art, but medicine for what ails a sick society. In that regard, I suppose, from his interviews, he feels to change anything for the movie's transition to its intended audience (sick American bastards who like their violence coming at them in great red rivers) would be to dilute its message. I've really liked some of Haneke's movies, but here he seems more like a bored general practitioner with a punishment agenda than an artist.

bill said...

Right. With Van Sant, if nothing else, I have to tip my hat to him just for getting the damn thing made. By that rationale, I should tip my hat to Haneke, also, but his motives are so simplistic, insulting and dubious, while Van Sant's remain mysterious and, because of that, somehow respectable.

And one can never have too many references to Bobby Bittman in one's life.

bill said...

I should quickly add that I don't even generally dislike Haneke as a filmmaker (as person, well...). His "The Seventh Continent" is absolutely terrifying, in the best sense. I actually had to watch the extras on that DVD just to distance myself from what I'd just seen. Based on that film, I'm really looking forward to seeing his other films (I've also seen the original "Funny Games" and "Cache'"). With "Funny Games", though -- the original and the remake -- he has absolutely nothing of substance to say, and he keeps not saying it over and over.

Going over to another thread of this discussion: Driveindude, I agree with you. I'm also drawn to remakes, though I can't really explain why. Maybe because these days most remakes are of horror films, and in that genre I'll see just about anything, even if I end up hating most of it.

However, I can't agree with you about Zombie's "Halloween". I guess it's the best movie he's made so far, but to me that's saying very little.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I'll see The Seventh Continent on your recommend and raise you Code Unknown, a film I thought was a masterpiece.

DID: I'm definitely interested to see what comes of the proposed remake of Child's Play, another refiguring of a horror franchise that remains in the good and capable hands of its original creator, Don Mancini.

bill said...

I've heard the word "masterpiece" applied to "Code Unknown" elsewhere, Dennis. It's in the queue, so I guess I'll have to bump it to the top now. I know nothing about it, other than that Haneke made it and Juliette Binoche is in it. I should probably keep it that way and see the film completely fresh, which I'm rarely able to do these days.

Also, I've never seen a "Child's Play" movie. Not one. And I never had any interest in them before, but then I found your site, and over and over again I see you telling anyone who'll listen that they're actually worthwhile. So, I guess I'm finally going to have to bite the bullet and at least see the first one, if for no other reason than to yell at you for making me waste your time. Although, since you're friends with Don Mancini, I guess I'll have to yell at you politely.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I haven't seen the original Child's Play in many a moon, though I remember thinking at the time that it was odd and original in concept, if not in filmmaking style, and surprisingly scary. I cannot recommend Child's Play 2 or 3. But with the introduction of Jennifer Tilly and the kind of self-referential, satirical tone of Bride of Chucky, things start looking good. Bride never completely transcends its feeling of being a franchise commitment, despite the satiric touches, though it is marvelous to look at-- cinematography by Oscar-winner Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)-- and it's vividly directed by Hong Kong cinema veteran Ronny Yu. In Seed of Chucky, however, the meta-horror and comedy elements synthesize very well. It's a movie that just gets better ever time I see it, and Jennifer Tilly's performance is really something to behold. I really hope the best for Don as a writer-director in terms of future opportunities, because he is genuinely talented and smart.

bill said...

Okay, then. I'll start with the first one, then skip ahead to "Bride". I'll let you know how that goes.

Dan E. said...

Dennis, I don't know how often you read Reverse Shot, but they dedicated their latest issue to Gus Van Sant. There's an interesting article on Van Sant's take on Psycho which I think you might enjoy. As for why Van Sant did it, I think for the same reason I think Michael Mann made Miami Vice or Rob Zombie did Halloween: they were afraid of the product if someone else did it. After all, would we even talk about the remake of Psycho if it hadn't been done in such a unique way? If it had been turned into a generic thriller, it would have faded into the history of bad remakes of classics, like the 80s TV series of Casablanca. Van Sant turned an atrocity into a self-reflexive and very artistic (maybe) atrocity. Is there any possible way a remake of Psycho could have been successful? Don't hate Van Sant. Hate Hollywood for coming up with the idea of remaking Psycho.

driveindude said...

Dennis.... Question!

Do you think your reception of the Child's Play remake could be clouded with your respect and acquaintance with Don Mancini?

I've often thought about this when I've seen directors being interviewed and the schmooze fest that happens between the interviewer and interviewee especially when the interviewer then turns around and slams the film. My thought has always been that the person performing the interview could care less about the director or his film because it's all about the power of his critique.

Now, does that change when the interviewer/critic has formed a friendship? Does that influence his critique? Which made me wonder about your statement. I know you were a fan of Child's Play before you met Don Mancini, but now that you've met and spent some time with him, does it change your future opinion of a proposed remake of his film. A film you really like.

Curious?

What do you think?

aaron said...

"Funny Games is Hostel for the NPR set."

I've been quoting this all week, ever since reading the "Film Comment" piece.

And, speaking of Lee, have you seen this?

http://www.thereeler.com/the_blog/lower_your_voice_nathan_lee.php

A real shame...

Peter said...

I thought Van Sant's version of Psycho brought up interesting points on how to remake a film. We never complain that all to the different films and stagings of Shakespeare use the same text. I would actually like to see more explorations of essentially the same film with different actors just to see what kind of difference that makes in the reading of the lines, the perception of the character, and the other dynamics of the film.

I also liked that Van Sant redid the shot that Hitchock could not use, of Marion Crane draped over the bathtub. I wish the original shot was made available, but when I saw Anne Heche's cute tush, I felt momentarily jealous of Ellen DeGeneres.

Bob Westal said...

I'm a bit too rushed for a link -- and a bit too html challenged, being rushed -- but Noel Vera and, I think, his brother did a really terrific "Psycho" comparison which he reran during the Hitchcock blogathon some time back which likely touches on some of the same points.

I've yet to see the Van Sant, but at the time I really disappointed because I had initially heard he was remaking Joseph Stefano's original screenplay straight. For all the stunts we've seen in filmmaking history as far as remakes are concerned, rarely, if ever, have we seen two directors handle the same exact script with a fresh eye. Remakes are always rewritten.

In a funny way, it's a little like if every theater and film director to take on "Romeo and Juliet" felt the need to rewrite because, well, because in the original there some things Shakespeare didn't quite get. And we wonder why screenwriters don't get any respect.

And, I haven't seen the American remake of "The Vanishing," but I actually thought the original was pretty repelle-dundant. To me, it plays the same game as the watchable but empty "Se7en" -- coming up with the darkest possible ending as if merely being dark made them more thoughtful or intelligent. Strikes me as pretty adolescent, and in a bad way.

Also, I've been trying to work up the nerve/fortitude/interest to see the original "Funny Games," but the way everyone's been talking about it lately, I wonder if it's even neccesary. "Cache" was great -- Haneke is a as much a master of tension and dread in his way as Wes Craven (forced me to speed throught the opening of "Scream"!) -- but it's not like even that was necessarily an experience I'd want to replicate.

Bob Westal said...

Re: the Psycho remake above. I should add, as a point of clarification, that by "with a fresh eye" I mean NOT "shot for shot." I.e., the director takes the previously filmed script and entirely restages it as if he were filming it for the first time and had no idea Hitchcock had ever made it (as if that were possible).

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Dan E: Thanks for the link. I haven't read Reverse Shot in a while, but this Van Sant article definitely sounds like something I'm going to want to take a look at, and something I'm really grateful for since we're having this discussion. One of the most exciting things for me about rehashing all this, an unexpected side tour of the poll, is that I feel like I have an inkling of understanding as to Van Sant's motives for the first time. That doesn't necessarily mean I'll suddenly like his film, but it's a whole lot better being grounded in a sense of where a director is coming from than the utter perplexity that seemed to surround the movie when it was released. That kind of feeling just seems to give way to the kind of reactionary reception the movie got in spades, and I was definitely part of that.

I definitely don't hate Van Sant for doing Psycho, I just couldn't figure out why he'd want to before. Thanks to Lee's article, and the kinds of observations made here, I feel like I could look at his remake/rethink/whatever-you-wanna-call-it with fresh(er) eyes. I was always of a mind before that Van Sant had a perfect opportunity to pull the rug out from under modern audiences by hyping a shot-for-shot remake and then taking the story in a radically different direction just at the point where they expected Marion to get killed. This idea never took into account the scads of fans who, already upset at a remake, would probably be equally pissed if, expecting a remake, they got something different (just like any audience ponying up for retreads of their favorite romantic comedies, westerns, whatever genre). And I guess it never occurred to me that Van Sant, fresh of Good Will Hunting, would be interested in Psycho for something other than reasons relating to plot. All this stirring in my brain must come at great satisfaction to readers like Blaaagh and Editor A, who have been staunch Psycho (1998) supporters since it came out!

Aaron: Thanks for your link. I had not heard about Lee being let go. Does anyone in the traditional press film criticism camp ever point to incidents like these when continuing the debate about film criticism and the new technology? It's as Lee says: how does one go about looking for work in a field where jobs are practically nonexistent? The comments column is pretty interesting too-- Luke Y. Thompson steps in it again and gets deservedly bombed.

Peter: Your points are well taken. There's a certain reference that film inspires because it is set in celluloid and never-changing, whereas past performances of Shakespeare et al are relegated to memory and written account only, if that. That probably accounts for the reactionary stance of many folks when it comes to doing something like Psycho (1998). But that certainly doesn't mean it can't be worth doing, even if it only yields a heretofore unseen peek at Marion Crane's posterior (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Bob: I'm going to have to look up Noel's piece. (Noel, you got a link?!) And I have a lot less of a problem with a remake that comes from a genuine place of inquiry (which is where I suspect Van Sant's motives lie) rather than some hot-shot coming along to show us how he can jack things up and make them more acceptable for an increasingly pre-literate audience.

As for Funny Games, I know you're not much into the cinema as torture thing. And honestly, the movie is such a position paper on Haneke's views about violence in movies, which he has explicated endlessly in interviews at the time of the original and now just before the release of the remake, that you could probably glean all you'd need to from reading those and spare yourself the unpleasantness.

DID: Thanks for raising the question about how my friendship with Don colors my view of his work. This is a subject that he and I have talked about at length in the past. Getting to know him has definitely given me a inroad to his sensibility which not everyone is going to have, and I'm lucky that that sensibility is pretty close to my own. From my initial mostly positive (but not glowing) review of Seed of Chucky, which was written before I knew him, and spanning the past two years, it's always been easy to be honest with Don about what I thought worked in his movies and what didn't because Don turns out to be genuinely interested, again in much the same way I am, in film criticism. He reads it obsessively, and he's very open to the suggestion that things that he's done and been involved with may have problems and flaws, none of which he is the least bit hesitant to talk about.

I have little to say about the second and third Chucky films because I don't think they're very good (he wrote all five of them), but with Bride there is a definite stride being made in terms of what he and the director and stars were willing to do to steer the franchise in a more provocative, satirical direction. I still think Bride has problems, most relating to how it falls into familiar horror film patterns at the end. But again, Don knows I feel this way. And his delight at my coming around to see just how good Seed of Chucky is, how it is so much better than I originally perceived, is surpassed only by my own. He defers to Ronny Yu here, but I insist that his movie is the best-directed of the five overall, which is not to take away any of the visual brilliance that Yu brings to Bride. I just think there's far more of interest going on in Seed, and especially for a first-time director Don juggles it all with incredible flexibility and smarts.

I will say that, yes, I am more inclined to be open to the idea of a Child's Play remake, not necessarily because I crave to see the story retold, but because I crave to see how the original creator of the story will approach it as a screenwriter and a director from 20 years or so down the road. It may turn out to be lousy, and if it does Don will not begrudge my saying so, and I hope he would trust I would do so without feeling the need to use the word "sucks." But if it turns out well, I will say so too. Personally, I wonder if there will be as much juice in the movie for me as there was Seed. That remains to be seen. But I have confidence that Don (who I happen to know has more cards in the deck than just the kings with the Chucky head on 'em) will bring his natural intelligence and filmmaking talent to the table.

I've no doubt that it's difficult for writers to form friendships with filmmakers and be able to separate themselves from the work-- I've heard many writers tell how such relationships have been clouded like that, and some are uncomfortable even talking to people who make films for fear of compromise in any way. So far, Don has made that problem very easy for me in the way he is able to process and understand criticism about his work. I don't know for sure, but I doubt there are too many like him in the movie business, which makes me doubly glad I can call him a friend.

bill said...

Holy crap. So, based on this conversation, I became curious to know what George Sluizer has been up to. He's made a series of forgotten thrillers and small films of other genres outside of the US, but apparently, he's roaring back into Hollywood this year. The title of his new film? "The Chosen One". The star and co-writer? Rob Schneider.

As I said at the top: holy crap.

Robert H. said...

Maybe he'll correct his original mistake when he did his first American film and we'll see Schneider buried alive at the end of the film.

One can always hope...

the bandit said...

Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN rules.

The '78 original is one of my all-time favorites, I've seen it easily 100 times... and yet in its own awesome, sleazy, unpleasant, carny way, I think I might like Zombie's almost as much...

...at least for the first hour. That first hour pretty much IS DEVIL'S REJECTS, or at least brings that same sensibility to the Myers saga. It fits better than you'd expect, creating a genuine sense of doom and depressing sadness on top of the shock moments.

The second half, which is sort of a rushed 45-minute rehash of key moments from the Carpenter original, suffers by comparison. I wish he'd gone off and done something entirely different, but it still works.

I actually like the Nispel TCM. The mix of Biel and Bay (as producer) cannot be denied. Plus the production design and cinematography are incredible.

FUNNY GAMES is the greatest thing ever.

David Lowery said...

I'm sure this is probably brought up in some of the press linked-to in these comments, but I thought it was worth a mention that Van Sant has talked about remaking Psycho shot by shot again, although perhaps in a different milieu this time around. Given the reaction to the first remake, I doubt he'd ever actually manage to do this, but the intent alone casts some light on his reasoning behind doing it the first time around.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Now, that's interesting, David. Given the critical reception of Van Sant's first try (did it do well at the box-office?), I wonder how eager Universal would be to be involved this time around. My guess is, they wouldn't, which brings up questions of budget, casting and how much the milieu, the experiment of redoing the film yet again, would change it. And given that the original Psycho was a low-budget affair itself, created with Hitchcock's television crew, this might align him more with the creative sensibility from which the original sprang, if that's in Van Sant's purvey of interest. I find myself rooting for him to actually do it, simply because I'm interested in what does or does not happen. I had some pretty left-field hopes in 1998 for what he might do in terms of pulling the rug out from underneath an audience whose expectations were primed to expect the dedication to Hitchcock's template-- what if Van Sant's shower scene leapt at us from some different direction, sending us down a rabbit hole similar to the one audiences in 1960 must have felt they were plunging into? I find myself in the strange position of hoping this idea is more than something Van Sant pulls out in interviews simply to annoy people!

Jonathan Lapper said...

I'm still waiting for the much-discussed Van Sant shot-by-shot remake of That Darn Cat!. Please tell me it's coming soon.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh and I find myself in strange positions all the time.

bill said...

Dennis, FYI, I have "Code Unknown" coming tonight from Netflix. I'll let you know what I think (if you're interested, that is).

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Very interested, Bill. I loved that movie, and I'm very interested to see The Seventh Continent and others of his that have escaped me so far. But Code Unknown is, I think, quite brilliant and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks to you and everyone, by the way, for keeping this string lively this week. I've been knocked about by the flu or some damn thing and have been a general good-for-nothin' all week.

bill said...

The other day, Jonathan was talking about how lazy you were being. I said, "Shut up, Jonathan. What if he's got the flu or something?"

I just thought you should know how Jonathan has been behaving.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill said you smelled funny and I was totally like, "Of course he s..." I mean I was totally like, "Shut up Bill you pee-smelling bastard! Dennis smells just fine."

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh and I have The Care Bears Movie coming tonight. I'll let you know what I think of it.

bill said...

You'll probably like it, because you're such a loser.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Whatever smelly-head.

bill said...

I just watched that Youtube video of the shower scenes. Very interesting. What's interesting, of course, are the differences: the longer take of Marion washing herself in Van Sant's version, the shot of her face pressed against the bathroom floor doing a full 180, unlike Hitchcock's, where the camera revolves maybe 90 degrees. Why did Van Sant make these changes (or any of the other small ones he makes in his film)? Something tells me they're key to figuring out why he made the film in the first place, but, again, I'm stumped. I haven't read any of the links about the remake you posted, so maybe some people have some good theories. I guess I could just do some reading...

Liz said...

I still don't understand the attitude that leads to thinking, "hey, this movie is a classic. I'd better make my own version!" It's like people trying to do "their own take" on Shakespeare; it's just weird and lame and doesn't sit well with anyone, fans of the original or not. Rob Zombie had a similar thing going with Halloween.

Steve said...

I still don't understand the attitude that leads to thinking, "hey, this movie is a classic. I'd better make my own version!" It's like people trying to do "their own take" on Shakespeare; it's just weird and lame and doesn't sit well with anyone

Actually, I'd much rather see someone trying to apply their own stamp to remade material than doing it straight. The former leads to things like Zombie's Halloween, which though flawed does possess a unique sensibility and demonstrates that Zombie has a voice and a wya of seeing that has proven fruitful in the past and will do so in the future. The latter leads to things like Shutter.