The Crow Is A Masterpiece And Deserves Its Remake

By Robert Scucci | Published

the crow reboot

A hotly debated topic among film enthusiasts is whether The Crow is a good movie or overrated trash. Despite its resounding critical and commercial success, there are those out there who think that the movie only received so much positive attention because of Brandon Lee’s tragic, untimely, and unfortunate death. While there may be some truth behind that sentiment, I’m willing to argue that at face value, The Crow is the perfect revenge story that’s deserving of a proper remake, and it’s so much more than a form of wish-fulfillment for your average disenfranchised Hot Topic goth. 

The Crow Holds Up All These Years Later

the crow

For context, I first saw The Crow when I was six years old, and it blew me away. But to add some validity to my claim, I watch the movie every year around Halloween, and it still holds up because it’s a fun revenge movie with a simple premise. It’s the story’s inherent simplicity that makes it such an effective and entertaining movie. 

Here is the plot to The Crow summed up as briefly as possible: Eric Draven and his fiancé, Shelly Webster, are brutally murdered by a gang of criminals. A year later, Eric’s soul is brought back to the mortal realm by a crow that possesses supernatural powers, making Eric invincible. Eric exacts revenge by killing everybody involved with the murders. 

That’s it. The above paragraph tells you everything you need to know about The Crow. There are, of course, other side stories involving Eric’s mentor-like relationship with a young girl named Sarah, and Sergeant Daryl Albrecht’s (Ernie Hudson) investigation of the murders that drive the story further along. But at the end of the day, the primary focus is on Eric, his grief, and his desire for revenge. 

A Bare-Bones Revenge Story, And That’s A Good Thing

the crow

This lack of subtlety in The Crow allows the viewer to just sit back and bear witness to Eric’s bloody rampage. Not every single movie out there has to tell a thought-provoking story, uncover ulterior motives, deceive the viewer, and take them on a morally ambiguous wild goose chase that has an unexpected reveal at the end. In this context, Eric is the good guy and the people he’s hunting down are so obviously evil that there’s very little room for interpretation or critical analysis.

The Elephant In The Room

the crow

We can’t truly talk about The Crow without addressing its over-the-top goth aesthetic. It’s easy to criticize the movie as being cinematic catnip for goths, but that’s okay with me. Brandon Lee’s Eric Draven looks like he plays rhythm guitar in a Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute band, and I’ll be the first to admit that the then-iconic look has since been done to death. 

But does he pull it off? Absolutely. All you need to do is take one look at James O’Barr’s comic book series that inspired the movie, and it’s clear that this wasn’t a look that was conceived in a focus-room setting because some executive’s adolescent child discovered The Cure and this was their only frame of reference; it’s directly inspired by the source material.

We Deserve A Proper Remake To Make Up For The Sequels

Circling back to Brandon Lee’s death, which I’ll admit adds a lot to The Crow’s lore, we’d be living in a very different world had he survived the film’s production, and a proper sequel was made with him reprising the lead role. Instead, we got three terrible sequels that tarnished the legacy of the original film. Since we’re living in the reboot era, it’s about time that The Crow gets a proper remake. 

The Next John Wick

Whether the upcoming Bill Skarsgard-starring remake will pay proper homage to the original film is up for debate, but I’m here for it because The Crow has potential to be the next violent John Wick-style action franchise that we need in our lives. 

Simply put, The Crow isn’t high-art; it’s mindless entertainment that takes you from point A to point B. If you want to experience more subtlety and nuance, go watch Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. But I’m here to tell you something very important: it’s okay to enjoy both of these things; you can listen to TOOL and also like The Offspring; you can celebrate David Lynch’s filmography and also like Family Guy … it’s okay, you’ll be fine.