Why remake "The Spiral Staircase", which is no classic but a good little thriller for TV? Why change around the story in ways which only hurt the production? I'm refering to the move of the events of the story to an island, the subtraction of one pivotal character and the addition of a second, the move of time period from the Victorian era to the modern day (as the original was a period piece you could have just left it there). Having Helen arrive during the story, rather than having her be a well established and beloved member of the household really hurts the story. Taking out her love interest, the doctor, from the original story also muddles up things considerably. Adding on the ridiculous "secret passage through the house" only hurts the film, as does changing the killer's motive from psychosis to money. The original film also had a much better cast, all around. Finally, why is it that so many writers feel that to update a movie, you need to make all of the characters more vulgar and unlikable? Sure, we might swear a bit more now, but I wouldn't say that the porportion of jerks is quite as high as it is in this film.
My advice to anyone contemplating seeing this film is to skip it and seek out the original. You'll get a better acted, directed, lit, scored, and written film.
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