Remakes are as rampant and numerous as ever in this day and age of Hollywood. Most of the time I’m against the idea but every once in awhile I think there’s a completely logical reason to remake a film. You can improve upon technical aspects or expand upon certain ideas but it’s not something that should be taken carelessly, which unfortunately it often is. So I thought it might be good for a laugh to do a list of the five best and worst remakes along with five freaky flicks that I believe should be remade.
Five Best Horror Remakes
5. The Ring (2003)
I’ve never seen the original Japanese version but I’ve always enjoyed it’s overseas counterpart. From it’s gloomy Washington setting to some good scares all wrapped up in a good story, The Ring is probably the only good horror movie from that brief period where the U.S. became obsessed with remaking Japanese horror films.
4. Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979)
A film that doesn’t stray to far from the original idea, Werner Herzog’s late seventies homage to F.W. Murnau is creepy, atmospheric and well acted thanks to the legendary eccentric actor Klaus Kinski. Interestingly enough the characters here now have the same names as the character’s from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. You see F.W. Murnau couldn’t obtain the rights back in the 20s but by the 70s Dracula had entered the public domain, neat stuff.
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The original is a sci-fi/horror classic but I think this is one of those rare cases where I like the remake even more. Where the original came out during the peak of cold ward paranoia this version reflects the zeitgeist of the 70s. Moving the setting from a suburban California town to a bustling San Francisco this film is very well made and quite disturbing. Plus, how can you go wrong when you have Donal Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy all in the same film?
2. The Fly (1986)
Aside from the premise this gory 80s re-visioning is an entirely different film. David Cronenberg takes “body horror” to new heights as Jeff Goldblum gradually mutates from man to fly after an experiment. Disgusting makeup effects by Chris Walas and clever visual effects make this creature feature one to be reckoned with.
1. The Thing (1982)
A more faithful adaptation of John W. Campbell’s short story, The Thing is radically different from The Thing From Another World. Yes it still keeps the chilling arctic setting and the themes of isolation and paranoia but visually it truly breaks the mold. Rob Bottin’s nightmarish special effects are stunning and still hold up battling a talented cast of characters. Ennio Morricone’s score is simple yet chilling and only adds to the film’s bleak nature… But god I hope they don’t remake this again.
Five Worst Horror Remakes
There’s been a lot but really I can only discuss the one’s I’ve seen. Luckily, it was enough to fill this out.
4. House on Haunted Hill (1999)
No more than a loose re-imagining of the original. It’s like they just took the title and made up some incredibly bad and cliche ghost story to go along with it. Oh yeah and it’s got Chris Kattan, nuff said.
3. The Omen (2006)
One of the worst effects a remake can have is tainting the legacy of the original film. This one really pisses me off as it seems every time I mention “The Omen” everyone thinks I’m talking about this piece of shit. Where the original was a dark, gruesome and well acted delving into the “christploitation” genre, this film was no more than a cheap cash in. Very few changes are made but that’s just a highlight of it’s lack of inventiveness… I banish this film to burn in hell.
2. House of Wax (2005)
I haven’t seen all of it but I think I’ve seen enough to declare this god awful. Did anyone really think that a movie that starred Chad Michael Murray and Paris Hilton would be good? Aside from the fact that there’s a bunch of dead people in wax this has absolutely nothing to do with the original version.
Five Horror Movies I’d Like to See Remade
4. Salem’s Lot (1979)
Tobe Hooper’s 70s miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s classic is fine but I’d love to see this spooky vampire story updated. Plus I think you could get a better star than the guy who played Hutch on the original Starsky and Hutch.
3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
I have no beef with silent film’s being remade and I think this today could be a real trip. Maybe expand upon the idea and add some great new effects. Sounds like a good Tim Burton project… Or maybe a bad one. He’s real hit or miss these days.
2. London After Midnight (1927)
Directed by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney, London After Midnight is perhaps the most infamous lost film ever made. It sounds like a lot of people know the basic story behind this eerie murder story, so why doesn’t someone take a crack at it? I’ve always felt like I’m missing out (seeing as the last copy of the film was destroyed in a fire in 1965) so maybe this would ease the pain.
1. The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Aside from the great creature design, I’ve never really been a fan of the film but have always loved the idea. I’ve heard this has been attempted many times (though no more than a few screenplays floating around) so hopefully this monster/adventure film will get a reboot someday.