Four Things To Remember When Remaking Asian Horror

2) Ensure your remake remains as scary as the original


This is where The Grudge fell flat. The original, Ju-on, was absolutely terrifying, but the remake was just boring. It’s somehow gone on to become something of a horror classic, even though it’s not actually scary, or fun. When South Korean horror classic A Tale of Two Sisters (2002) was remade as The Uninvited (2009), it went from being one of the scariest films in recent memory to a damp squib, incapable of even the most rudimentary of shocks.

It’s not as easy to retain the scares as one would think. It relies on a series of factors – taking what was scary about the original, and using that in the film’s new context – tying in to rule 1 of this very article. One film that did manage to acheive this was The Ring – although not quite as pant-soilingly jumpy as the original Ringu, it still reached an adequate amount of horrorosity. It localised the story of the haunted videotape to a small American town, and Naomi Watts made her character, Rachel, feel real. It’s probably the most famous of the horror remakes, and with good reason – it’s simply the best of those films. It was followed by Dark Water and a disappointing sequel, The Ring Two (confusingly not based on Ringu 2).

Sure, they succeeded with The Ring by making it scary, but that can’t have been the whole story, right?


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