Movies such as The Thing (1982), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Fly (1986)...all of these are downright smashingly great, there's no doubt. And even to some extent, films like 2010's Let Me In showed that a re-envisioning of a movie can work, even if it's only a few years since the film has been done.
I do tend to find that sometimes if the film is foreign it's easier to experience as a remake, as Let Me In did, as well as a film from this past year that is ending up on quite a few year-end honors lists, with good reason.
We Are What We Are, directed by Jim Mickle (Stake Land, Mulberry Street), is a prime example of how to do a remake right. I was so impressed with this film from start to finish. It presents a subject so taboo in such a way that we ultimately feel sorry for the family involved, and truly hope it all works out - when in reality we should be locking them up and throwing away the key.
Suffice it to say, daughters Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner) are becoming increasingly more disenchanted with the family's customs and even more so when tragedy befalls their mother as she gathers supplies at the local market. She suffers what appears to be a stroke and meanders outside the store. Meanwhile, a serious rainstorm whips through the small town, causing flash flooding. In her confusion, she slips and falls, hitting her head and lands in a drainage ditch that swiftly fills with water, effectively drowning her in quick order.
Google it, people.
Also thrown in for some relatively important pivotal scenes is Kelly McGillis in a supporting role as a caring neighbor helping the family through their grief.
Definitely one of the best of 2013. Hands down.