Remakes often disappoint, but not this one. It still didn’t scare me – the original didn’t either – simply because I can’t accept the premise of killer plants, but I recall with sadistic glee how the original film scared my big brother witless.
For ages after watching it, he gave our mum’s cactus a very wide berth, and just for a laugh, I bought him a Venus flytrap one year for Christmas, knowing he’d be too polite to chuck it out and would daily be frightened by it.
And sure enough, he was. It was worth every penny.
But last night’s BBC remake was skillfully done, if still not scary. The stellar cast certainly helped with the credibility factor, as did the much improved special effects at the disposal of filmmakers these days. And writer Patrick Harbinson didn’t hack to death Wyndham’s original in order to put his own mark on it, which made a refreshing change.
He did tinker with it of course, changing the raison d’être of the plants somewhat to bring them into the 21st century – and lob in a very topical global warming issue – but the story didn’t suffer for that.
Dougray Scott was gorgeous as the doctor and the addition of two the Redgrave dynasty – in the form of Vanessa and Joely Richardson – added a quality of acting that made this remake especially good. Brian Cox and Eddie Izzard, though unexpected cast members, also did a fantastic job. I especially enjoyed Izzard’s villainous exploits; he does give good villain does Eddie.
I did feel though that making it into two 90 minute long episodes was rather stretching it out too much. I think the one would’ve sufficed, but that said, we’ve yet to discover tonight’s delights, so I’ll suspend judgement until I’ve seen it.
And let’s face it, it’s worth tuning in just to watch Dougray Scott being masterful and brilliant all over the place!