Audition

Horror fans, prepare to have your sensibilities insulted by yet another unnecessary remake. While it’s true that a handful of do-overs have produced worthwhile results (The Thing, The Fly, Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead), the vast majority of remakes only serve to tarnish the reputation of the original film or franchise, with many younger viewers not even bothering to check out the classic rendition of the story.

Next in line on the list of horror movies to get remade is the infamously hard to watch 1999 Takashi Miike film Audition. For those who’ve yet to see the film, it centers on Shigeharu, a lonely widower who stages a fake casting call in order to audition his next significant other. He soon becomes entranced with the beautiful young Asami, only to learn that he has made a terrible, terrible mistake. The torturous tribulations Asami inflicts on Shigeharu quickly became the stuff of legend, launching Miike’s career to heretofore unseen levels of fame, and earning him a legion of western fans.

In Hollywood’s never ending quest to spare Americans the pain of reading subtitles, producer Mario Kassar (The Terminator, Basic Instinct) is shepherding the development of an English-language remake of Audition, with plans to begin principal photography this fall. Australian filmmaker Richard Gray (The Lookalike) is set to both write and direct the project.

Technically, Audition is not an original work. The film was based on a 1997 novel of the same name by Japanese author Ryu Murakami. So, it could be logically argued that Gray and Kassar’s remake is simply a new adaptation of the source material. However, many remakes of book-based horror films have promised to deliver a more faithful or substantively different take on the source, only to end up blatantly ripping off the prior film adaptation. The recent remake of Carrie stands as a perfect example of this, initially marketing itself as a re-telling of Stephen King’s novel, but spending most of its running time imitating Brian DePalma’s 1976 film.

Does this mean you should completely write-off this new take on Audition? No, of course not. Still, it would be wise to keep expectations low.

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