Title: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Runtime: 104 minutes
Director: Scott Derrickson

I guess I should’ve waited a few months before watching this remake of the 1950s classic. Maybe I would’ve forgotten how incredible the original was (unlikely), and then this may not have seemed so pedestrian (even less likely). Unfortunately, I didn’t wait, and I really disliked this remake.

First off, for those out there that say it isn’t fair to judge a remake against the original, and that I should just critique it based on its own merits, I disagree. If a studio is taking the easy route of remaking a film, then, by all means, I should be allowed to compare it to its source inspiration. That said, this remake is terrible compared to the original.

What I dislike most about the film is that the relationship between the boy and the alien is thrown out the window. What made the original so great was that special relationship the two had, and how it brought out the humanistic side of the alien. Here, where that human side is even more important, the filmmakers decided to toss in an obnoxious, annoying little boy, and have him hate the lifeless alien. It makes the end of the film even weaker, which is saying something.

This remake is a weak film that makes little sense. It takes virtually everything the original did and tries to “improve” upon it by adding more CGI, explosions, and more death, but it successfully rips out the heart that made the original so incredible.

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn't until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor's and master's degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.