As you probably know by now, there’s a(nother) horror (horrible?) remake headed our way. Someone has had the temerity to take on Kevin Tenney’s classic frightfest Night of the Demons and update it for modern audiences (you know, for kids). Due to the tone of the previous sentence, I bet you think I’m not happy about this. In fact, I think it’s a very good idea.
Tenney’s Night of the Demons is one of my all-time favorite horror flicks. It’s well-made, a lot of fun and contains a few superb set pieces that have deservedly attained a level of renown all their own. Heck, it even has a few good scares in it. Along with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, it stands apart from most other ‘80s horror. So, why not remake it? I say go ahead—make it bigger and louder for a new generation. What can it hurt? It’s actually a great template for a remake. No one can touch Tenney’s original flick. If nothing else, maybe the remake will gain Tenney some heat and bring his original film (as well as his recent Brain Dead) back into the public consciousness. It’s a good sign he’s on board as producer.
This new version of Night of the Demons (directed by Adam Gierasch and written by Gierasch and Jace Anderson) has been kicking around for a couple of years now. For some reason, its release keeps getting pushed back. This usually occurs because the movie sucks—but not always. Sometimes the reason for the delay is political or financial. So far, the consensus on the new version is mostly positive. Gierasch and Anderson have worked together quite a bit on flicks such as Tobe Hooper’s Toolbox Murders (which I didn’t like) and Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears (which I did like). The cast contains Tiffany Shepis, Monica Keena, Shannon Elizabeth and Linnea Quigley (all of whom I like) and Edward Furlong (whom I do not like), as well as various and sundry people I’ve never heard of. So, predicting the remake’s success (read: quality) by its pedigree is an iffy proposition.
All we have to go on is the recently released trailer. Sadly, I don’t care much for the new trailer, which makes it seem like they definitely made Night of the Demons bigger and louder; however, it appears they also made it dumber. Now, no one will ever accuse the original flick of being intelligent, but it was made intelligently. But, hey, this is just the trailer, right? There was a trailer last year that I did like, so I’m keeping an open mind.
Okay, now that I’ve finished arguing with myself, I thought it might be fun to stage a little battle. Below, you will find two (NSFW) trailers. First, the trailer for Kevin S. Tenney’s original Night of the Demons, followed by the latest trailer for the remake. No judgments—just a little session of “contrast and compare.” Remember, this is not a competition. Please, no wagering.
We’ll have to wait until October 19 for the DVD to hit the streets. Only then will we truly know whether the filmmakers who reimagined, remade, reformed, reworked, recreated, rebooted, remodeled, retooled and/or reshaped this consummate piece of horror history deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. Personally, I have reservations but remain cautiously optimistic. Really.