Why do remakes and “reboots” fail? Hollywood has provided audiences with the opportunity to see their favorite slashers onscreen once again—but to us seem as silly attempts to cash in on the franchises. The Friday the 13th (2009) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) remakes were box office successes but only for the first weekend. Horror audiences, or in this case the only people that want to see these films are the majority of these first weekend audiences. Horror followers have become split, one half goes to support the genre while the other immediately shuns the new film deeming it not worthy. “It won’t be as good as the original so I don’t want to see it” is the mentality. Sure, these reboots are not the masterpieces we expect them to be but this is all thanks to the popular idea that they will never be as good.
Scream 4 had the biggest opportunity to change this. As a sequel, it was meant to reboot the popular slasher franchise of the 90’s but ultimately met low box office gains. With a mere $18 million dollar opening and a domestic total of $38 million — less than Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street — where were the fans? Is it because it wasn’t made into a remake, horror fans didn’t want to give it a chance? Scream 4 had its flaws but was much more entertaining than the reboots as of late. Whether they are a remake or serve to reboot, it seems there is no solution to the stalemate the horror genre has come to. Although Scream 4 was a box office disappointment, studio execs are still hopeful continuing plans for a new trilogy. But the only way to resuscitate the genre is to destroy the old ties and take risks.
Hollywood needs to kill the Sydney Prescotts and the Laurie Strodes to develop these franchise for this age. Horror audiences will never fully accept these films if they go in expecting the old because the films still hold on to the old. With new storylines, we will go in with new expectations and embrace them for their expansions.