‘Rocky Horror’ remake strays from its predecessor

By Madison Blumenauer, Round Table website editor-in-chief

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” premiered on Fox on Oct. 20. After seeing multiple previews for it, I was filled with a lot of excitement, but after seeing it, I was less than impressed. The original “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was an iconic cult classic from 1975 that had the best cast it possibly could. The remake just fell short.

The first issue I had was with the scenery. The scenery of the castle looked too modern and put-together. Due to the plot, the castle seems as though it should be dingy and creepy whereas, in the remake, it looked very thought-out. The elevator lifts leading to the other parts of the castle were certainly something that wouldn’t have frightened me if I was there.

I was also quite disappointed with the costume design. I understand that it’s a remake, so the time period might be updated, but the costumes just looked too plain. In the original, the costumes looked so outlandish that it made the viewer feel as if something wasn’t quite right, whereas, with the remake, I felt as though I was at a costume party with everyone wearing practically normal clothes.

I also didn’t enjoy the fact that the outfit worn by Dr. Frank-N-Furter during the number “Sweet Transvestite” was red instead of black. The black felt iconic and helped build the strangeness of the character, whereas the red made it seem too gaudy. Overall, I did not enjoy Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Tim Curry did amazing in the role, and I don’t feel that anyone can truly fill his shoes. Cox’s attempt of his voice turned into a southern belle version of the original character and it was just off. I also don’t quite see how the part is a transvestite when it is played by a female. Overall, the whole character was dull and boring in comparison.

Also, in the beginning of the 1975 version, the maid and butler make a cameo as a farmer and his wife in the background during the wedding scene. Although I feel it’s unnecessary, it isn’t very noticeable and it doesn’t take away from the main scene at hand. However, in the remake, the maid and butler are carrying around a coffin, which makes even less sense. Not only that, but them walking around, carrying the coffin, takes away from the attention that should be on Brad and Janet singing.

I also felt that the maid did not have as big of a role in the remake as she did in the original. This time around, the maid was lackluster and had very few lines. She did not possess as much craziness as the original maid did, and she seemed very plain and ordinary.

Another part that fell short was Eddie’s musical number. Meat Loaf, who played Eddie in the original, has such an iconic rock-n-roll voice that it’s hard to replace him. I do think Adam Lambert did a great job, but I think he would have done better as Dr. Frank-n-Furter.

Even though I was displeased with the majority of the remake, there were a few things I did enjoy.

The remake did a great job in recasting Janet and the butler, Riff-Raff. Victoria Justice did a phenomenal job as Janet and did a great job of drawing the viewer in. She did as thorough of a job as the original Janet, played by Susan Sarandon.

Reeve Carney also did a wonderful portrayal of Riff-Raff. After he opened the door and said hello, I knew he was going to play the part well. His voice almost identically matched the original Riff-Raff, Richard O’Brien, which made me very happy. Not only had Carney done his research on the character, but he had also succeeded in portraying the role.

But, overall, I was very disappointed in the remake. I had high hopes in the beginning, but it just didn’t compare to the original. I found that, throughout the movie, I was bored and was thinking of the plot so as to figure out how much time was left. I definitely would not recommend watching this remake. It was nowhere as good as the original, nor did it portray the strangeness of the plot.