Guest Essay: A response to the horrified horror fan

Sept. 16, 2009 | 10:12 p.m.

Gina McIntyre, the pop music editor at the Los Angeles Times, wrote a sharp guest essay for Hero Complex taking Hollywood to task for its current stab-first-and-ask-questions-later approach to remaking horror films. She was especially distressed to hear that “Mother’s Day” was getting another whack at the American moviegoers. Now, here’s a response by Shara Kay, co-producer of the upcoming film:

Gina, I appreciated your essay, “Horror Remakes” and the strong points you made, but as a woman and co-producer on Darren Lynn Bousman’sMother’s Day,” I feel obliged to respond.

I share your passion for the genre, as do many women; in fact women now make up 52% of the overall audience for horror films. That said, the new “Mother’s Day” is very different from — and only loosely inspired by — the 1980 film directed by Charles Kaufman.

Ours is, at its core, a battle of wits between two female heroes (Rebecca De Mornay and Jaime King). The details of the plot have to be kept under wraps, but I can tell you that it revolves around strong female characters and the lengths to which they will go to protect what is dearest to them.

Again, I appreciate your interest in the film and only ask that you reserve judgment until you’ve seen it.  I think you’ll agree Darren’s approach is not what you expected.

— Shara Kay



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4 Responses to Guest Essay: A response to the horrified horror fan

  1. stonecypher says:

    Great response, Shana! I think that an independently produced labour of love like Mother's Day should be praised, and not lumped in with the vast majority of horror remakes which do, to be fair, suck. The reason they suck is because they're passionless, cynical films which are out to make money. While I'm naturally going to reserve judgement of the film until I've seen it, I have so much more faith in Darren Bousman and the people he's working with to do something interesting with their 'remake' than the majority of remakes out there.

  2. ClipOnGirl says:

    So glad to see this response receive equal time. First of all, how can Ms. McIntyre possibly discuss/deride a film she hasn't even seen yet and knows next to nothing about (since Bousman is being very tight-lipped about it, even to the genre websites and his fans)? And secondly, there's something I'll never understand about one particular criticism that is so often directed at horror: that it debases women. Why is violence against men basically fine, but as soon as a woman is involved, then it becomes about nothing but shock value and titillation? As a woman myself, it disturbs me to see another woman play the victim card, especially since in so many horror films, particularly nowadays, it's a woman who usually triumphs over the person doling out the evil.
    Yes, we fans are just sick of the parade of remakes as you are, Ms. McIntyre, but most of us are willing to give every project a chance at least before writing it off as nothing more than "violent pornography" sight unseen.

  3. Melissa says:

    What I want to know is if all these remakes are always "different from — and only loosely inspired by — insert original film here", why don't they just title it something else instead of raping someone else's coattails?
    The Last House on the Left was "loosely inspired" by The Virgin Spring. Wes Craven didn't end up with a remake, he ended up with a legendary movie in his own right. Why can't new directors just get it?

  4. DemenTED says:

    First off "Melissa" Hollywood isn't very interested in specs or original productions anymore. They want name brand. That's the reality of the business in most circles. Don't like it? Don't watch it. Send a message. But the truth is, remakes have been around since the start of cinema. So stop your bitching. Second of all, why the hell does anyone care what a third rate music critic thinks about horror ? Her opinion, just as this no-name co-producer Shara, has no cred when it comes to horror.

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