/Answers: Movies That Actually Should Be Remade

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. Tying in with the release of Flatliners, this week's edition asks "What movie, good or bad, classic or not, do you think actually needs to be remade?"

Hoai-Tran Bui: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn's iconic little black dress and tiara grace the wall of every girl's college dorm room, and the memory of her lilting voice singing "Moon River" are burned in our memories. But it's difficult to rewatch Breakfast at Tiffany's now without noticing its many, embarrassing little problems: namely the racist, yellow-face role Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi. Outside of being an insulting caricature, Mr. Yunioshi is an unbearably annoying character who taints the legacy of a well-deserved classic. Yellow face was unfortunately long practiced in Hollywood at the time of Breakfast at Tiffany's release (now that I'm thinking about it, we deserve a Good Earth remake without white actors in Asian makeup), but it still is a shock to the system for modern audiences expecting a warm, nostalgic classic.

Though warm and nostalgic may not be the best words to describe Breakfast at Tiffany's, a surprisingly cutting and melancholic portrait of author Truman Capote's quintessential New York girl. Even so, the film adaptation had to smooth out many of the edges present in his novella: like the fact that Holly Golightly was a call girl, or that his protagonist was a gay man — and likely a gay prostitute as well. Instead, the film is heavily coded with hints at Holly's more disreputable qualities ("$50 for the powder room") and erased George Peppard's Paul's LGBT leanings, turning the story into a classic romantic-comedy.

A modern retelling could turn all that subtext into text, and finally rid a lovely story of its unnecessarily racist qualities. While the recent musical stage adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's attempts to do this, it doesn't quite have the same flair as the film — it takes more than a simple recreation of all of Audrey Hepburn's famous outfits. If a remake could get at the desperate, lonely soul of Breakfast at Tiffany's while bringing it into a new, less racist, less coded era, then my appreciation would be wider than a mile.

Ben Pearson: Dial M For Murder

If you've watched a Hollywood action movie recently, odds are that its plot was needlessly convoluted. Half the time when I walk out of those screenings, I leave thinking about how unnecessary a lot of the film's maneuvering and scheming was and how little emotional or narrative pay-off it had. But I just watched Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film Dial M for Murder for the first time, and was taken aback at how intricate and detailed its plot was. Here's a movie that actually earns its labyrinthine machinations. Give us more movies like this, please.

If we're going to suggest a remake – which, yes, that's exactly what I'm doing here – why don't we switch things up a little while we're at it? Instead of being a story about a man scheming to kill his unfaithful wife, let's gender-swap this thing. Part of the joy of the original is in watching Ray Milland's Tony come up with a whole new plan when his initial idea to murder his wife falls apart, and I'd love to see an updated take on that with an actress like Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslet in that role as she scrambles to come up with a new way to kill her cheating husband.

The original film was based on a cleverly staged play, and it involved a character needing to answer a house phone at a specific time; obviously today's technology will necessitate a modernization of the story, and if a writer could come up with a way to make that same basic story work with cell phones involved, that'd be an impressive feat of screenwriting. But hey, who ever said remaking old classics was going to be easy?

Vanessa Bogart: Doom

My brothers started me on original Doom as soon as I was old enough to sit at the keyboard. In the '90s, it was the game to play. Out of all of the video games that I play, Doom still has my heart. I played on PC, I played on PlayStation, I play it on my phone, and I am currently working my way through the remake on "Nightmare" mode.

The Doom movie came out in 2005, and it is everything that Doom isn't. It is bland, ill planned, and aggressively stupid. The group of Space Marines at its center is a poor man's attempt at mimicking Aliens, which is not only disappointing in its own right, but completely negates the lonely, you-against-the-world quality that makes Doom so damn intense. Add in some unnecessary sexism and subtract almost everything about the story and setting that make Doom Doom, and you have yourself some very pissed off fans and a moviegoing experience that makes hell seem appealing.

I believe the Doom movie needs another go. They may have failed miserably the first time, but the opportunity to blend space action and demon battles is far too juicy to let lie. The revamping of the video game franchise in 2016, as well as audiences' renewed interest in science fiction, horror, and adapting everything in existence has left Doom ripe for a remake. They just need to make it bigger, make it scarier, make it more metal, and dare I say, give us a...'DoomGal?'

It's 2017, all bets are off, and a Doom remake is the perfect avenue for a new Ripley. 'Doomguy' is more of a concept than a person. There is no story to make him gender-specific. Heck, I have been 'Doomguy' since I was a little girl. I want to see a badass chick, the weight of humanity on her shoulders, armed to the teeth, the soul fighter in the vicious Hellscape just going to town on some pink demons with a chainsaw. I want to see the massive cyberdemon stare down at the woman sent to destroy him. I mean, really, it makes the most sense. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, right?

Also, who does a girl have to uppercut to see a cacodemon around here?

Jacob Hall: Race With the Devil

Jack Starrett's original 1975 Race With the Devil is one of the coolest movies I've ever seen. A hybrid of a car chase movie and an occult horror film, it follows two couples road tripping in an RV who find themselves pursued by a Satanic cult after witnessing a terrifying ritual sacrifice. But since this is a movie starring Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, our heroes don't just roll over when things get tough – they take the fight to the evil bastards who come at them, resulting in an intoxicating blend of horror and action, with neither genre diminishing the other. The car chases are as thrilling as the scenes of terror.

So why remake a movie that is already good, still holds up today, and has a strong cult following among genre aficionados? The reason is twofold. First: while Race With the Devil is, in many ways, the ultimate '70s movie, its concept feels readymade for the modern era. Just look at a director like James Wan, who has proven adept as helming giant car chase blockbusters (Furious 7) and crowd-pleasing horror movies (The Conjuring). The chance for fresh talent to smash these two genres together, to terrify and thrill in equal measure, is an exciting thought.

And second...well, let's just say that I find the original film's nihilistic, abrupt ending unsatisfying on just about every level and feel like it's setting up a proper climax rather than serving as one. I think a new version could supply the denouement these characters deserve.

Chris Evangelista: From Hell

Alan Moore's graphic novel From Hell is not just one of the best comics I've ever read – it's one of the best books I've read in general. A brutal, mind-bending journey through the murders of Jack the Ripper, Moore combines royal conspiracies, the occult, and much, much more, all of it rendered starkly by Eddie Campbell's inky black and white drawings. I was very excited when a film adaptation of From Hell was announced, until I finally saw the film when it was released in 2001. Filmmakers have never been able to really get Moore's work right, but in this case, The Hughes Brothers, who directed the film, completely gutted everything that made Moore's book unique. The book makes no mystery of who Jack the Ripper is – in fact, the bulk of it is told from his point of view. The film, in sharp contrast, turns the crimes into a mystery, with Johnny Depp hamming it up as a devoted inspector hot on the Ripper's trail. Even if this weren't an adaptation of Moore's book, it would still stink – there's no real tension here, and Heather Graham turns in a truly dreadful performance, bad Irish accent and all, as one of Jack the Ripper's potential victims. Ideally, I'd love if someone took Moore's book and adapted it more faithfully. There's way too much material in the graphic novel to even it inside a film, so an unflinching miniseries for HBO would probably be the best bet. Make it happen, someone!

Honey I Shrunk the Kids - Movies Leavng Netflix

Ethan Anderton: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

It's surprising that this movie hasn't been remade yet, especially with how obsessed Walt Disney Pictures has been recently about mining their library for remakes of their most beloved titles. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is the kind of family friendly adventure that doesn't get made by Disney as often as the studio used to churn them out. Honestly, the movie still holds up and has some incredible practical effects used to bring it to life. But I think the time is ripe for a more contemporary remake.

Combining the state-of-the-art visual effects today with ample practical effects work would result in quite an action-packed studio tentpole that the whole family can enjoy. There are plenty of changes in our society that might be fun to play with when our characters are shrunken down to a minuscule size. I'm picturing a group of kids trying to operate a smart phone from the surface of the screen, attempting to send a message to their parents, only to end up in a purse or briefcase. Or maybe them activating a Roomba on the floor to get across the now massive surface of their house. The possibilities are endless, and I'd like to see Disney take a crack at updating this one.

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