C. Thomas Howell Friends and Fans - Facebook

Remakes can be Hollywood's way of saying, "This worked once, let's do it again." Beats taking chances, right? I guess.

As a person who has listed Red Dawn from 1984 as one of my all time favorites, I was excited about the remake. Movie technology has advanced. Editing can do unbelievable things. It would have to be better now than then, right?

WRONG! I was sorely disappointed in the new Red Dawn, so much so that I rented the old one to see if I was just letting my 'I grew up with this so it is better' bias get the best of me.

1984 Red Dawn = gritty, dirty, raw, real.

They were covered in dirt. They were going to starve. They really cried.

2012 Red Dawn = Models.

Beautiful people in super cute outfits who, though they are living outside, stay clean, shiny lipped and more attractive than any renegade soldier that ever lived.

Red Dawn - Facebook
1984 Red Dawn = More believable.

When Patrick Swayze handed C. Thomas Howell a cup of deer blood, his hand was covered in blood and guts, and it was a spiritual moment.

2012 Red Dawn = Lack of attention to detail.

Chris Hemsworth somehow kept his hands squeaky clean while milking deer blood from its dying heart.

When it comes down to it, even though both casts were filled with amazing looking people, the 2012 Red Dawn looked like a bunch of models challenging the North Koreans. Though it was supposed to be based in modern times, no one checked a cell phone for the first hour or so of the film. Come on, now. We run to our cell phones when there is no breaking news. I think someone may have checked the old digital ticker as soon as they saw paratroopers coming out of the sky.

Overall, 2012 Red Dawn lacked the grit, reality (even though suspension of disbelief is necessary in both) and authenticity that existed, and still exists in 1984 Red Dawn.