One of the most popular horror films of the past decade is now in its worst state

One of the most popular horror films of the past decade is now in its worst state ...

Remakes may be unfair, but they are also unavoidable for those who care about movies. While American audiences prefer to read subtitles, and English-language remakes open the film to wider audiences, it's also true that a certain portion of the audience for any remake wants to see what a film has gained or lost in a second translation to the screen.

Remakes lose something in the update process, but horror films suffer more than most. There are exceptions, like Let the Right One In's competent American remake Let Me In. But the reason that one works well only highlights the shortcomings of other remakes.

Sometimes, remakes go horribly wrong. At the extreme end of the spectrum, there is a new poster child for how not to remake a film: Goodnight Mommy in the United States.

After a long festival run across the world, the original Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy was released in 2015, a brazen, unflinching horror film from a country that is well-known for comedy and historical dramas. The film (like the remake) is enough to state that the kids are creepy enough and the ending dark enough to shiver even the most seasoned horror aficionados.

The biggest question loomed when Goodnight Mommy's English-language remake was announced. The new film is unlikely to go as hard and conclude as nihilistically as the original. Not only does the remake have the strength to even approach the original film in terms of terror and on-screen suffering, but it does not really exist as a film in its own right.

Naomi Watts plays the titular Mommy in the latest adaptation of The Ring and Funny Games. She may have seemed like an easy choice for the lead of yet another American remake of a worldwide horror film. The issues arent due to her lack of artistic skill or effort; they are all related to writing and direction.

Elias and Lucas are playing twins who have just been dropped off at their mothers Connecticut farmhouse after she apparently separated from their father. The two boys are both surprised at first but gradually settle in with their new family structure.

Goodnight Mommy completely drops the ball in this moment, and it never picks it back up. Not only does it show its card on the creep factor of Mother almost an hour earlier than the original, but it establishes the fact that these boys will spend the entire film talking constantly, eliminating any sense of tension or ambiguity throughout the film. For fans of the original, the loss of everything is devastating.

Elias and Lucas are just normal kids, or at least normal when they aren't being overly verbose. Twins are a major horror trope, capable of igniting the uncanny and provoking uneasy feelings in films without much explanation. (Look at Stanley Kubrick's The Shining).

There are a slew of unsettling or confusing scenes throughout the film. There are strange, misplaced sexual moments with Mother prying at a mirror while Elias spies on her, and there are cheap jump scares that lead nowhere, including the almost bloodless conclusion, which is both poorly shot and takes as a given that the Ice Bucket Challenge is an exceptional body horror from the original film.

Goodnight Mommy, a 2014 horror film, is one of the finest films of the last decade, but almost every element that contributed to that quality has been ignored or reversed in this terrible remake. Not all remakes are unfavorable, but this one is. The original version is available for free streaming on Vudu and Tubi. The new version isnt worth watching at the same price level.

On September 16, Goodnight Mommy will be available on Prime Video.