Ren McCormack moves to a southern town by the name of Bomont with his mom. Unfortunately tragedy struck in this town a couple of years ago, and five teenagers where killed in car accident while heading home from a party. In order to avoid future incidents, the town council has banned loud music and public dancing without parental supervision. Here, he makes friends with a guy called Willard and another called Woody and starts to fall for a girl who has trouble written all over her: Ariel Moore, the daughter of the town's Reverend. Unfortunately Ariel is already taken by a first class category a-hole by the name of Chuck.
Ren here has to move to Bomont because his mother died of cancer, and his only relatives live here.
In the original version, because it is played in the 80's, the Reverend has an actual fight with his instincts, being a father and being a role model for the citizens. He is asked to judge books that supposedly came from Satan; he has an influential post in the city council, and one of the teenagers killed in that accident was his son, so he is overprotective of Ariel. At a certain point in the movie his wife stands up against him, seeing that he can't understand the bigger picture, being stuck in the past. While in the new version, the conflict is only around him being a father, his character never really develops from one point to the other. In the original he is worried, but understands what is best for his daughter, in the remake he never really seems to come around. It gives you the feeling that they cast Dennis Quaid to bring in fans, but never really wanted him to have any lines... And with that, his wife also has an arc, where at first she stands behind her husband but understands, that he needs a wake up call. In the remake, the dear Andy McDowell* doesn't do anything and at the last minute she stands up to him, for no reason at all. It only gives you the feeling that she wanted to piss him off!
And in this one Ariel is a real rebel. You never question why she hangs out with Chuck, why she keeps getting herself into danger, probably because in the beginning we could see what damage the death of her brother caused in her.
*Andy McDowell, DO SOMETHING!! You are more than a L'Oreal commercial!
And I liked the actors in this a lot more (although, LOL young Sarah Jessica Parker :P). There are no words to define how much I love Kevin Bacon, but no matter how young he was, in the first version you don't feel like any of these people are really in high school, while in the remake you do feel the parents' responsibility to defend these kids, because they are kids! I was also glad that for Ariel's part they have cast a girl who is actually a dancer (and turned out to be an awesome actress as well!), so she actually does DO something in the movie. And I enjoyed that they reused some of the songs that are typically known from this movie! (For example: Bonnie Tyler - I Need a Hero; Deniece Williams - Lets Hear It for the Boy) And as horrible as that may sound, when Chuck hits Ariel, she really pisses him off, while in the original he hits her twice, once for no apparent reason. I'm not saying that being mad justifies his action, not at all, but if I were in his shoes, that would've probably been a normal reaction to Ariel's actions.
And on a final note, nothing more was really added to the script. The dialogue is the same, the pictures, images, colors. They took out character development and added like a 100 layers of pain and sadness, which would've worked if the character development wouldn't have been removed.
So, what was the point of the remake? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Do check out the warehouse scene, it makes the movie worth watching!
A very wise reviewer, by the name of Spoony said in one of his reviews that he prefers re-releases to the cinema instead of remakes. And I completely agree with him. It is really a waste of money if you think about it. I understand that many youngsters won't pay money to see and old movie (while trust me, many would!), but if your intention is to make the same damn movie with different actors, than make the same damn movie! Do not add or take anything away from it! It might be very hard to explain a story that really makes no sense in today's society the way it did 30 some years ago, but hey, give it a try! However, if you want to make a different movie with similarities, couple of changes here and there, then don't, please don't use the same goddamn dialogue as the first one! BE CREATIVE FOR GOD'S SAKES!!
Otherwise pay those couple of dollars for the rights, re-release it to the cinema (like they are doing now with every movie, but in very cheap and lame 3D), and cash in all you get. Fans will surely watch it, and perhaps some, who rather go to the theatre than rent a DVD might go as well. Couldn't hurt to try!
Until the next item on my list!