It’s almost cliche to hate on English language remakes of foreign films at this point. The reality is that most people - even many of the people who bitch about the remakes - can’t be bothered to see a subtitled movie. And it sounds like spin, but I do believe that English language remakes do drive people to see the originals.
But the English language remakes have to be at least good. I wasn’t a fan of Let Me In, but it wasn’t like the film was a mockery of the original. In fact, it was a little too close to the original to have been able to make a strong argument for its own existence. And whatever problems Let Me In had, it didn’t water down the themes of Let the Right One In.
That will not be the case with the remake of Martyrs, the hardcore French splatter film from Patrick Laugier. The 2008 movie really divided audiences, but it united them in one aspect - it sickened and horrified everybody who saw it. The film was bleak, and audiences would be stunned after watching it. But of course you can’t have that with an American movie. No sir.
And so Daniel Stamm, who brought us the PG-13 hit The Last Exorcism, has signed on to direct the remake and assures his version won’t be so heavy.
“Martyrs is very nihilistic,” he told the LA Times. “The American approach [that I’m looking at] would go through all that darkness but then give a glimmer of hope. You don’t have to shoot yourself when it’s over.”
Besides sort of spoiling the end of the movie, Stamm shows a complete lack of understanding of the point of the entire movie. Giving Martyrs an uplifting ending undercuts everything the film is saying. I don’t even know where you’d find a ray of hope to plant at the end of that particular story, to be honest.
And so it feels like this remake, coming from the producers of Twilight, natch, can now be written off.