Rebooting classic horror with Hammer

Hammer president Simon Oakes says the UK-based studio is seriously considering rebooting classic horror movies such as Dracula, The Abominable Snowman and The Reptile.

However, Oakes made certain to draw a distinction between rebooting and remaking the films – with a clear emphasis on the former.

“I think Hammer should make a contemporary Dracula and I think if we can find a route in, which we’re looking at right now, then the answer is yes,” he told HeyUGuys.

“The thing is that most of the films are remarkable as such, they’re caught in a time capsule of their own but we should a contemporary Dracula, we should do our version of a Frankenstein film… We’ve done a vampire film, we’ve done a haunted house film, we’re looking at a monster movie right now as Hammer did The Abominable Snowman and The Reptile, so we are looking at them. But more rebooting than remaking.”

According to Oakes, old Hammer films were based on a strong literary background, with an elegiac quality that continues with contemporary movies like Woman in Black. 

As such, the studio isn’t interested in shooting a “down-the-road exploitative horror flick,” but rather, will focus on upcoming projects like the Poltergeist-based Quiet Ones, as “you can achieve a lot with old-fashioned filmmaking.”

Oake also noted that the studio is completely open to shooting sci-fi films as well as horror and has already kicked off its Quatermass project, which he described as “completely contemporary, but rooted in his character.”

“If you look at the BBC’s Sherlock it’s got enough DNA there, so you could bring him forward and say that this is what Bernard Quatermass would be like today,” said Oakes.

 “So he’d still be gruff, an outside, contrary, fighting authority but what would he be doing today? He wouldn’t be doing the Rocket Group because the world has moved on since the 1950s.”