After Hours (1985)
I checked out the Cape Fear remake on the recommendation of @sewerfight. Being a Scorsese film, I expected it would be worthwhile viewing, but I can definitely say it surpassed my expectations. The climax is incredibly scary and De Niro, while occasionally borderline cartoonish, gives a compelling performance as the psychopathic Max Cady, a hypermasculine bundle of pain, sadism, and rage. While overall, I still prefer the original, this was a great example of what a remake should be– the same story with its own flavor and enough changes to justify redoing the same material.
As is to be expected, the remake is much more graphic than the original– what I did not expect was the moral greying of Sam Bowden. In the original, he is undoubtedly a good man. Here, he’s an adulterer and a bit of an ass to his family. His daughter Danielle is more of a rebellious teen and his wife is angry and vulnerable. I enjoyed these changes because they make it more difficult for the family to work together as Cady’s threat grows over the course of the movie.
This movie is often called Hitchcockian, but it actually seemed more like a Brian De Palma movie. The use of color filters and the lurid violence brought to mind Sisters or Dressed to Kill more than Psycho or even Frenzy. Like some of De Palma’s Hitchcock pastiches, this movie goes quite over the top at times, from wild zoom-ins during dramatic moments to a bombastic use of Bernard Hermann’s original score for the 1962 adaptation (and some selections from his unused Torn Curtain score). I definitely get why this does not appeal to those who love the original, which is more understated and grounded.
Still, I enjoyed how bombastic it was. Scorsese blends the old-school thriller with a more postmodern cynicism, a juxtaposition which especially comes through in the finale, which is very different from the 1962 original.
Shutter Island (2010, Martin Scorsese, USA)
Shutter Island (2010), dir. Martin Scorsese
Happy 62nd, Sharon Stone.
With Martin Scorsese on the set of Casino (1995).