One of the most dreaded words a fan of horror movies can hear is remake. It sends chills down the spines of eager audiences desperately wanting to get their next horror fix. While the word has become synonymous with trash, there are some remakes that have done it the right way. Here are the best of them.
The Thing (2011)
Although it ended up being more of a sequel than a remake, Matthjs van Heijningen Jr.’s vision of Antarctica’s body snatching alien was fun, inventive, and creepy. Of course, the feel is much different that the Kurt Russell cult classic, but as far as revisits go, this one remained entertaining throughout.
The Ring (2002)
As much as I love Ringu, I can confidently say that I prefer Gore Verbinski’s version. The movie is shot wonderfully and edited to perfection, while Naomi Watts and Brian Cox give fantastic performances. The only negative to The Ring is that it paved the way for a seemingly never-ending stream of Japanese imports thrown together, hoping to cash in on its predecessor’s success.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Everyone knows Romero’s original Dawn of the Dead is a classic, but the combination of a James Gunn screenplay with Zack Snyder directing gave us the most fun experience you’ll ever have with the undead. The cast is as close to perfect as you can get and the soundtrack keeps things from ever getting too terrifying. It’s the best zombie movie of the last 30 years by a mile.
There is no director more polarizing than Rob Zombie. His fans are rabidly devoted, while those who hate him would spit in his face if given the opportunity. His 2007 reimagining of the story of Michael Myers may not be as perfect as the original, but delving into Myers’ past and exploring his childhood is definitely something fans of the franchise should enjoy. If you have a problem with this movie, consider the Halloween installment before this saw Michael Myers being beat up by Busta Rhymes doing karate.
My Bloody Valentine (2009)
The remake is quite similar to the original, in that you aren’t watching it for stellar performances or a riveting plot. It’s a straight forward slasher that feels more like an ‘80s horror film than some actual ‘80s horror films. You have a super-human killer running around a small town killing everyone in sight. Again, it’s not winning any Oscars, but for mindless, horror fun you could do much worse.
The Grudge (2004)
The only other Japanese remake that’s worth watching is The Grudge. It may not pack the punch of the original, but the story of an American nurse being tormented by a ghost in Tokyo scared the pants off of me the first time I saw it. If you haven’t seen it for some reason, definitely check it out, but avoid the sequels at all costs. They’re painfully bad.
Fright Night (2011)
I was so ready to hate this movie. I grew up loving the original and highly doubted the campy fun could be recreated, especially with Colin Farrell in the mix. It’s surprisingly good! There are quite a few genuine scares and quite a few laughs. The movie tanked at the box office, but that doesn’t mean fans of the ‘80s classic shouldn’t take the time to watch it. You’ll be pleasantly satisfied.
Evil Dead (2013)
When rumors of a remake to Sam Raimi’s cult classic began to surface, fans were pessimistically hopeful. Some hoped for the goofball campiness of the original that Bruce Campbell provided, but there’s really no way to recreate that. Instead, director Fede Alvarez presented us with one of the most insane, goriest horror movies ever to slide into an R rating. It’s really like nothing else you’ve ever watched before, and that’s a good thing.
The Crazies (2010)
Timothy Olyphant stars in this remake of the 1973 movie of the same title and this one definitely exceeds the original. The story of a government toxin accidentally being unleashed on a small Iowa town is, not only suspenseful, but downright scary at times. Other film companies should take notice; this is how you do a remake. The end sets up for a sequel but I’m hoping they simply end it with this. No need to mess with a good thing.
Child’s Play: Curse of Chucky (2013)
No franchise had whored itself out for every last penny like Child’s Play. It went from the story of a possessed child’s doll to Chucky trying to impregnate human women while spouting off the worst puns you can imagine. Earlier this year a direct-to-video reboot was announced, and I’m fairly certain I audibly groaned. I could not have been more wrong. This installment strips away all the goofiness and goes straight for the scares, delivering on an impressive level. If you’ve become sickened by the decline of the series, this is the remake for you.
Featured still from "The Thing" via Universal Studios Entertainment