I am not an advocate for horror remakes. For me horror remakes are a clear cut attempt by studios to cash in on our memories and make a quick buck without putting any sort of effort or showing any consideration for die hard horror fans. It should come as no shock why studios do this it’s a quick easy grab at our money and we are stupid enough to keep going and seeing them.
According to BoxOfficeMojo horror remakes have made studios a staggering $1,903,904,949 (that’s right just under $2billion). The concept is easy for horror remakes. Buy a classic film, hire some hot and CHEAP actors, put together a small marketing budget and count on us bloggers to talk about it. Results? Producers laughing all the way to the bank.
Now that I have all of the piss and vinegar about horror remakes out I have to admit that like a lot of you I am part of the problem. I have seen a lot of horror remakes over the years and even worse am willing to admit that there are a few good ones that are worth checking out.
So since normally when I am writing editorials I am bitching about remakes I thought what better then to praise a few. So here are 10 Horror remakes worth watching listed in absolutely no particular order.
The Ring: I am not a big fan of Asian horror films with some small exceptions so I did not see the original but I can tell you that the remake messed with me pretty bad. It did a fantastic job of putting the fear of god into me when it comes to dark haired pale little girls and wells. I was in no big hurry to pop in a vhs tape anytime soon once I watched this movie. A very creepy and fun horror movie!
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The film made almost $80million at the box office and is a prime example that shows that horror remakes make a lot of money. Rated R the film had a budget of just under $10million and combined some good writing with a good cast and some great moments of absolute carnage. Although the remake does not contain the same magic the original did that should not be held against the film.
It is a remake and although it tells the story well it can never live up to the original. Obviously one of the major draws for the male demographic was Jessica Biel and of course for horror fans in general the over the top gore and out right carnage in this R rated remake.
Black Christmas: I only recently saw both the original and the remake. Yes that’s right I did not see Bob Clarks classic horror tale and I have the nerve to write each and every day about our genre. It’s a good thing I am not one of those uppity bloggers that thinks that I am the lifeblood of the genre. If it makes you all feel any better I saw the original first about a year ago and most recently checked out the remake.
Although the premise was quite similar the remake brought in quite a few new twists on the original story. You get to see the killer, it brings in a new ‘family’ element and of course it was a gore fest. The original film had more implied violence but the sequel let it all hang out which made it a fun and gruesome twist on the original. It won’t win any awards in my books but without a doubt the Black Christmas remake was a fun one.
Hills Have Eyes: I was very wary about the remake for Hills Have Eyes but surprisingly I was quite impressed with the outcome. This R rated remake definitely knew how to please the most discerning horror fans with outstanding FX a story that was well written and a cast of outstanding actors.
Made for around $15million this R rated Mutant Festival went on to make over $40million at the box office and generated a lot of buzz with fans.
This is one remake that I felt was far superior to the original with top notch FX, great kills and a budget that was reflected in the film. The sequel which came shortly after although insanely violent and at times quite interesting for me was not near as good as the remake or the original film.
Dawn of the Dead: I am a massive fan of George Romero and Dawn of the Dead. Although Diary of the Dead and Land of the Dead have let me down Dawn of the Dead is one of his best films and is a defining film for the zombie genre. When the remake came along I was very wary but when it finally arrived I was completely blown away. Although not a true remake in my eyes the film was terrifying, action packed and simply put… mind blowing. Lots of action, a cast of new and interesting characters and some of the best zombies I have seen in a movie in a while.
The film differs so much from the original its hardly fair to compare it but without question Dawn of the Dead is one remake which is well worth watching and gave a whole new generation of fans a respect and admiration for zombie movies and George Romero. The fact it starred Ving Rhames an all-around bad ass and Sarah Polley who I have a huge crush on was an added bonus.
The Crazies: I am not a fan of Breck Eisners ( the director ) and I am even less of a fan of the film’s star timothy Olyphant but despite both of these huge drawbacks I will admit that the remake of George Romero’s The Crazies was both action packed and thrilling all in one nice remade bundle.
I liked that the remake was both a story of survival but also focused heavily on the human character and the weakness of man. Telling the story of a town quarantined by the army that goes ‘crazy’ it made $40million at the box office. Not as impressive as some other remakes but it gets bonus points for its R rating and the clear efforts on the script.
Night of the Living Dead: The remake of Night of the Living Dead is one of my favorite zombie films and in fact may be my favorite of them all. The fact that Tom Savini directed the project is an interesting note. Tom Savini did an outstanding job on this film and proved that he is much more than just a talented FX man and actor.
Tom Savini has serious skills behind the camera and with George Romero’s help he managed to modernize a classic while still staying very true to it. Night of the Living Dead (1990) is a MUST see for any fans of horror.
The Thing: The Thing is a classic and one of the greatest sci-fi horror films ever made. Hands down. The remake of the film which starred Kurt Russell is easily one of my all-time favorite films and one I have watched more times than I can count.
John Carpenter’s The Thing is terrifying and features great acting, a top notch story and visual FX that will impress even the most finicky horror fans.
The Uninvited: Worth noting I never saw the original so it’s kind of unfair to list this without me seeing the original but I loved the film so much I could not help but list it here. The Uninvited is a great thriller with one of the best ending I have seen in quite some time.
It’s quite rare for a film to take me for a ride and throw me the kind of curve ball ending that leaves me on the floor naked wondering where my wallet is. Perhaps because I went in with such low expectations for this movie that it made me very easy to please but The Uninvited is definitely one of my favorite horror remakes and Elizabeth Banks who starred in it did a fantastic job!
Rob Zombies Halloween: There were a lot of things that bothered me about Rob Zombies Halloween but there were also a lot of things I liked. I liked how Rob took the time to tell the background of the character and give us an in-depth look at the character bringing a new creepy look to a terrifying classic killer.
HALLOWEEN was dark, gritty, and violent and the definition of what a good horror remake, or re-envisioning can be. Much like Dawn of the Dead it brought a lot of new things and also brought some of the old to make a remake that is tops on my lists for must see horror. The fact the movie made almost $60million speaks for itself.
So now that you have read what I consider are the top horror remakes I would really like to know what you consider to be worthy remakes for horror fans? What horror remakes have you seen and loved? And if you like you can also sound off in the comments with the ones you REALLY hated. (You know like the sequel to Halloween that Rob Zombie just did).