I think "the magic" was lost, since they changed too many things, and that special 70's feel was not present, obviously.
The original was actually pretty scary, while the remake tries to be too witty. The Marsten house, however was much more impressive on the new version.
Not bad. I prefer the Tobe Hooper version, which has a great, slow-paced creepy mood to it that almost makes up for the many flaws. I still try and watch that one around Halloween every second or third year.
I saw it on tv and then I went and bought it. Though it followed book quite well it missed something that's my opinion. Yes it tried to be scary but didn't quite make it. Rob Lowe was okay but in my mind he was too happy if that's the word we can use.
Still I will recommend it.
Talk about your unnecessary remakes...look, Barlow (although a Nosferatu rip) in the original MFTVM was truly horrifying. I've always liked Hauer, but they really should/could have done something to make him look scarier. Seeing a blandly humanoid version of The Master instead of something that ought to scare the Bejezus out of me was a letdown. On a side note, I'm of the opinion that Sutherland's just as good if not a better actor than James Mason, but Mason's performance was far creepier and more memorable- sometimes the better actor isn't always the right choice (Michael Caine as "Hoagie" in 'Jaws the Revenge', anyone?).