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Netflix's new number one movie is a remake of a classic

You may have missed the award-winning original, which is an action classic from 1953

Netflix's new number one movie is a remake of a classic
Andrew Williams
01 April 2024

Netflix has a new number one movie, and it’s a remake of an action classic from the 1950s.

The Wages of Fear has rocketed up the Netflix chart, and has jumped past Irish Wish and Damsel to become the streamer’s most popular movie worldwide according to Flixpatrol.

This one is unusual in a few respects. First, it’s a remake of a 1953 film, one that won the Best Film award at the 8th British Academy Film Awards.

It’s also a French language movie, just like the original.

The Wages of Fear depicts a team that has to drive a truckload (or two) of nitroglycerine across a dangerous desert in order to stop a huge explosion at an oil well, one that threatens to kill the inhabitants of a refugee camp.

This is an all-round interesting week in the Netflix charts, as all top three slots are non-American productions. At number two there’s South African thriller Heart of the Hunter, while No Pressure from Poland sits at number three.

Sure, maybe it’s a slow week for Netflix releases. But maybe it’s also time to broaden those horizons?

The Wages of Fear reviews

The bad news is The Wages of Fear is not getting reviews anywhere near as positive as the original's.

While the 1953 film was a bit of an epic, a 156-minute suspenseful watch directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, reviews of the new version suggest it’s much more prosaic.

Collider sums it up in a distinctly unimpressed review:

“There is never a sense that any of the people in the movie, even when on the edge of death, are anything but actors going through the motions. None of it feels like it has any life to it as it takes the broad narrative structure of a film already made perfectly and strips away all of what made it work.,” it says.

However, Decider gave The Wages of Fear a wary “stream it” thumbs-up, saying “The Wages of Fear is good enough as a professional filmmaking endeavor to warrant a marginal recommendation, faint praise be damned.”

In other words, if you do decide to watch this one, just don’t come in comparing it to the 1950s original.