Remakes are all the rage in Hollywood. Apparently, the original is never quite good enough, and even if it’s a classic there’s always money to be made by making it again. But what happens when you take a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie like Dial ‘M’ for Murder and modernize it for a contemporary audience? Does it work? Does it resonate the same way as the original?
Yes, it works and works pretty well. A Perfect Murder utilizes the same themes and concepts that were embedded in the 1954 classic, but updates them with 90s-style sensibilities. Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen are fantastic in the lead roles, and while it’s hard to top a classic with a remake, A Perfect Murder does an admirable job at updating the story.
Unlike the shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho, A Perfect Murder takes liberties and creative license where it sees fit. But this only helps add to its ability to connect with a modern audience. While the classics will never die and will always be with us, sometimes it takes a remake to get people intrigued about the original. I’m not saying they’ll go out, rent the original and then write and compare/contrast essay, but they may watch the original and see they like it better of that both satisfy them in the same way.
I love the original and enjoyed the remake. It’s rare for that happen, especially with a Hitchcock movie (almost walked out of the remake of Psycho), but they did a decent job with this one. It’s got some clever moments, and leaves the viewer satisfied at the end.
But what if you’re not happy with the ending of the film? Ah, the special features can help you there with an Alternate Ending that may be more to your liking. The special features also include two audio commentaries with Michael Douglas, Director Andrew Davis, Producer Peter Macgregor-Scott, Screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly, and Others (who are they? Listen and find out!).
If you watch this one first I encourage you to check out the classic original as well. You don’t have to write an essay about your thoughts on each, but you may see that a little effort can make a remake of a classic film an enjoyable and satisfying experience.
A Perfect Murder is available NOW on Blu-ray!