The Retro Fun of Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers

The Retro Fun of Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers

The Producers 2003 Willard opted to remove “remake” from the film’s marketing vocabulary, but the 2003 Willard The adaptation is irrefutably a remake of the 1971 social outcast furry chiller. At the forefront of 2000s remake trends, glen morgan‘s Willard it features altered themes and a deeper thirst for suspense, going the “darker, grittier” route shown in later studio remakes (including Morgan’s 2006 one). black christmas slicer). by Stephen Gilbert novel Ratman’s Notebooks inspires both images, though neither dares to touch on the subplot about “Ratman Robberies”: the narrator steals money from shopkeepers and neighbors before the whole workplace murder climax. Where’s my movie about a criminal aided by rat accomplices? rat king in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles It will, I guess.

It’s silly to think that 2003 Willard it was hidden as a remake when you see them one after the other, but the general moviegoer wouldn’t notice anything different. That’s not a knock: the teenager Donato didn’t notice. My Bloody Valentine 3D either House of Wax they were remakes. Director daniel mann and writer gilbert ralston sought out psychological animal horrors in the early ’70s, decades earlier. Neither it is Willard common knowledge among weekend movie lovers. Morgan follows all the simple rules for remaking cult horror favorites, with New Line Cinema trying to stifle the pungent aroma of Mann’s earlier adaptation. Like placing Limburger next to an open window.


Focus

Willard (1971)

Willard removes the Technicolor playfulness from Mann’s almost-television version, as the 2000s remakes were so interested in grim reimaginings. Morgan introduces rodent rivalries, turns Willard Stiles (Crispin Glover) less sympathetic and exaggerates the grungy visual obscuring. Ralston’s script isn’t about mercenary mammals doing the bidding of his master, it initially plays with the more mundane normalities of suburbia, a sore point for critics like Leonard Maltin. “[A] heartwarming tale of a boy and his rats captured the public’s imagination at the box office, but [the] the film’s lack of style prevents it from being anything more than a second-rate thriller.”

Morgan dare not waste time with Willard’s gathering of an army of rats or Crispin Glover’s portrayal of a delusional animal whisperer. Willard’s verbally abusive mother is already ill at the beginning of the film and requests that her problem with the rats in the basement be handled with violence. Willard meets the white-haired Socrates after freeing him from a sticky trap, then meets the burly Big Ben later. Socrates is his leader and Ben his strength: it isn’t long before Willard has his rats run miniature military obstacle courses and train his attack squads. Willard is done getting pushed around by Martin-Stiles Manufacturing CEO Frank Martin (R. Lee Ermey), relying on his rats for companionship and backup when they accidentally (or deliberately) kill his mother.

to flood 2003 Willard with dread, Morgan opts for less development and more macabre events. ernesto borgnine he plays a cantankerous, womanizing bastard as Mann’s Mr. Martin, but at least he shows a little more care with Willard before he fires the son of the company’s former owner: R. Lee Ermey does right from the start what his drill sergeant, the ass-chewing bluntness. better (looking like J. Jonah Jameson). bruce davison portrays Willard Stiles as an off-kilter loner doing the best he can with the fractures of a deranged inmate who befriends rats, while Glover becomes the gently erratic, whiny-voiced psychopath next door he was always meant to be. to interpret; however, the script fails infinitely more. By transforming Willard into a horror story with legions of rats pouring out of elevators as Willard poses, grinning like a nightmare villain, Morgan is more concerned with forcing genre rhythms that are neglected despite Glover’s tremendous dialogue with his squeaky co-stars.


Works?

Willard (2003)

On paper, 2003 Willard it turns in the more beastly, tooth-gnashing direction that horror fans want to see. Willard’s gang of pitter-patters don’t crash a fancy buffet party: they gnaw on the thick rubber wheels of Mr. Martin’s new Mercedes-Benz. Ben is quicker to organize lawlessness in Willard’s massive house, chewing up wooden planks to create walkways and placing silver reeds on Willard’s bed as a mob threat. Willard’s relationship with the rats quickly becomes aloof, surpassing total adoration (save for Socrates), unlike Davison’s Willard, who seems more schoolboy about his new clawed friends for much longer. Glover’s rat infestation becomes such an uncontrollable problem that he crashes into chandeliers, breaks through fortified aluminum barriers and disrespectfully bites the foot of his deceased mother.

Glover is the dream casting for Willard Stiles, the mama’s good boy who was left to spiral after her passing allows Mr. Martin to force a financial takeover of Stiles’ house. Davison is kooky but homey and approachable: Glover inspires unease and simmers with luscious death looks. It’s the role Glover was born to play, no disrespect. If there is any reason to choose 2003 Willard about the 1971 creator, is watching Crispin Glover become a murderous piper while negotiating with rats, nearly running his nose in his dead mother’s coffin, and taking advantage of his sanity for a chance to never feel alone again.

Morgan pushes harder where Mann finds himself straddling drama and terror. Coworker Cathryn (Laura Elena Harring) still gives Willard a cuddly kitten when his mother dies, a ridiculous gift on any whim, which turns into a tasty snack after Ben oversees a multi-room chase. Willard also struggles more with Ben’s finishing position, as seas of rats cover the ground to the point where only hairs are moving in all directions. Even Ben gets a gore shot when he bites his foot or hand. saw flair to escape a trap, leading not to an eaten Willard, but an asylum-crazed Willard muttering lines like “quiet as a mouse.” It’s hardly an experience duplicated from Mann’s more in-depth character study, though the significant plot milestones reflect note for note.


The result

Willard remakes Ben

Willard (2003)

There is a hybrid of Mann and Morgan Willard which gives the best results because 2003’s lacks depth beyond adrenaline-pumping untamed horrors. Morgan ups the rat action by casting Ben as a chonkin’ thug twice the size of his counterparts, lending this bossy feel to Willard’s eventual nemesis, though Mann’s Ben the Rat won a PATSY Award for Best Actor. animal in a 1971 feature film with those squinty, devilish eyes. However, there is more darkness to Willard 2.0’s use of rats and more elaborate dangers. The special effects are a massive improvement from Mann’s team (rightfully so) using cheeky dummies whenever a pocket-sized co-star could take damage. Drowning on hungry rats is a fear I never knew I could have until Willard.

That said, there’s a lack of impact to Willard’s story this time around, as the narrative speeds through its sympathetic phase. Glover is not the problem: Glover is usually the solution. Ditto for a sleazy Ermey, whose ruthlessness to corporate profits and his fondness for Internet phone pornography are hilarious notes that fall squarely into the grand scheme. There is no contextual reason for Cathryn to quit her job on Willard’s behalf and show up on her doorstep, whereas Sondra Locke makes you believe Joan’s possible romantic connection. Morgan loses himself in the reinforced horror accents, subtracting developmental angles that make Mann somewhat more narratively interesting.

The ironic moments are not lost, the necessary laughs in a gloomy fantasy already absurd. “Business is a rat race, and I won’t get eaten by all those other rats,” Ermey’s boss yells, dripping with foreboding doom. I’d rather enjoy how Mann’s film shows Martin eating slices of cheese or drops more subtle lines about “crawling” his way home, but the joke isn’t lost when Morgan smacks viewers over the head with rat-inspired dialogue. . Willard it requires a nasty sense of humor to enjoy no matter the year, which Morgan honors. even like 2003 Willard pushes into crazier realms reminiscent of the climactic escape sprint in arachnophobia, except instead of spiders running through each opening, it’s lines of whiskered rats spilling out of the doorways. It’s an avalanche of rats, complete with Glover’s pleas for mercy to a beady-eyed foe.


The lesson

Willard remakes Crispin Glover

Willard (2003)

The 2000s became famous for blackening and souring classic horror movies to the Platinum Dunes formula: Willard falls right in line. Daniel Mann’s 1971 adaptation feels almost nonchalant about the whole rat-pack plot, while Glen Morgan turns the terror dial with regard to seething aggression (the same method he’d use for black christmas). Violence isn’t always the answer even though “torture porn” dictated a whole phase of horror’s popularity in the mid-to-late 2000s, as it becomes easier to ignore the structural underpinnings outside of the cutscenes. . In the second movie performance of him, Willard falls into that trap more than once, albeit with an exceptional cast and brimming with Willard’s tailed housemates.

So what did we learn?

  • The rearrangement of themes following the original model is definitely remake behavior.
  • Tone is everything, and remakes that deviate from the original tones have the right idea.
  • Adaptations get into a murky area for remake talks, except if you can clearly draw parallels like with the Willard movies (again, don’t take the rat burglar’s bait either).
  • “Dark and gritty” is as much a curse on horror remake ideologies as it is a mantra.

I’m surprised to admit that I think ’71’s Willard it beats ’03 despite Crispin Glover as Willard Stiles. As typecast as Glover is, Bruce Davison makes his living as a soft guy with an evil side he’s just waiting to exploit. It tickled me to see Davison respected in Morgan’s update, photographed and painted as Willard’s father only in likeness (no shoehorned sequel connection). There are elements to praise in both, but more is missing from Morgan’s script than emotion from Mann’s biting melodrama. A rare defense, especially for an apologist for a 2000s horror remake.


In revenge of the remakes, columnist Matt Donato takes us on a journey through the world of horror remakes. We all complain about Hollywood’s lack of originality every time studios announce new remakes, reboots, and reinventions, but the reality? There are far more positive examples of classics restored and legacies updated than you’re willing to remember (or admit). The good, the bad, the unnecessary: ​​Matt counts them all.

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