In today’s culture of remakes, it is unfortunately inevitable that classic horror films will get the so-called remake treatment. Sometimes the remakes are absolutely terrible, but from time to time they are actually quite good. As an avid Horror Movie Fanatic, herewith my count-down of the top 7 horror film remakes:
7) Halloween (2007)
Rob Zombie, director of Halloween (2007) took the advice from John Carpenter (well-known American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer) to not just do a remake, but to rather make the film his own.
Synopsis: Michael Myers has spent the last 15 years locked away inside a sanatorium under the care of child psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. On October 30, 1978, Myers escapes and makes his way back home to Haddonfield, turning a night of tricks and treats into something much more sinister for three young women. Dr. Loomis is their only hope, but will be finding his shadow-dwelling patient in time?
6) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Considering the amount of sequels in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, it was inevitable that it would eventually get another remake. This film was generally hated by die-hard fans of the series, but considering the sequels we got (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4: The Next Generation and Texas Chainsaw) this isn’t such a bad adaptation of the story. Yes, it doesn’t have the same effect as the original, but rarely does a remake have that ability to surpass the original.
In this rendition, we see a really great performance from R. Lee Ermey (known for being the drill instructor in Stanley Kubrick Full Metal Jacket).
Synopsis: A tale of five 20-somethings whose free spirited road trip becomes a terrifying descent into madness. When they find themselves isolated in a rural Texas community, they fall into the clutches of a monstrous clan of Texas cannibals and find themselves being whittled away by the chainsaw-wielding Leather face.
5) A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
I freely admit I like the new A Nightmare on Elm Street. I feel they captured something in Freddy Krueger that has been lost for a while now in the series – and that is that he is supposed to be scary.
I remember when the producers of this film first announced that Robert England would not be returning as Freddy, tons of the old fans felt that they were betrayed, even though Robert England gave his blessing to Jackie Earle Haley to take the role of Freddie Krueger.
Synopsis: A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 2010 American slasher film, directed by Samuel Bayer and written by Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer as a remake of Wes Craven’s 1984 film of the same name, which revolves around a group of teenagers who are being stalked in their dreams by an enigmatic man named Freddy Krueger.
4) Friday the 13th (2009)
With 11 films in the series it was to be expected that Friday the 13th would get the reboot treatment. With the reboot they went back to Jason’s original roots (as he is still pretty much alive at this point in the reboot) instead of the walking killing zombie machine he is in the other movies. For the remake they got Derek Mears to play Jason. I felt he was a good fit for a modern Jason, granted fans would have preferred if Kane Hodder came back to play Jason. Critics said that the film didn’t add anything new to the series, but then again if you’re making the 12th instalment of a series, it’s pretty hard to add anything new. With rumours of a 13th movie in the works, it would be quite interesting if all the survivors of the previous movies could take Jason on for one last time – but I doubt that’s the direction the movie will go into.
Synopsis: Friday the 13th is a 2009 American slasher film written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, and directed by Marcus Nispel. The film is a reboot of the Friday the 13th film series, which began in 1980, and is the twelfth instalment in the franchise. Friday the 13th follows Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) as he searches for his missing sister, Whitney (Amanda Righetti), who is captured by Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears) while camping in woodland at Crystal Lake.
3) Maniac (2012)
Based on the 1980 classic, Maniac stars Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood as the lead in the remake. Now this is something I will rarely say, but I prefer this remake over the original. Joe Spinell was amazing in the original movie and really did sell the tortured creepy nature of the character, but I feel that Elijah Wood brought something new to the character, Frank. The soundtrack of the remake of Maniac is also one of the great aspects of the film and the modern reimagining of the classic theme is done really well. Fun fact: The song Maniac by Michael Sembello in the movie Flashdance was originally written after he and his writing partner saw the movie Maniac in the 80’s.
Synopsis: Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store. His life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.
2) Evil Dead (2013)
This movie was in development hell for such a long time and to be honest I at one point I wished this film would never see the light of day in fear of it ruining the legacy of the original. However, when I eventually saw the remake, I was impressed. They did everything right in the remake of the Evil Dead. They knew that no one would be able to top Ash, so they went into a different direction and didn’t go with the character Ash for the movie. The tone of the movie was also more straight horror than the comedy type horror feel of the original. With rumours of a sequel in the works for Evil Dead (2013) and The Army of Darkness (1992) things are looking up if you’re a fan of these movies. So in the words of Ash: “Groovy”.
Synopsis: Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival. (Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment)
1) The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s The Thing is probably the best remake of a horror film you can find. Most people don’t know that it’s actually a remake of the classic film ‘The thing from another world (1951)’. There is actually a scene in the movie where you can see some footage from the original in the remake. Even to this day the special effects in The Thing hold up. It was nominated for a Saturn Award for special effects in 1983. There was also a prequel released that was once again, also called The Thing (2011), but sadly it did not live up to the original 1982 version. It’s amazing to think this film was released in 1982 and the special effects still look new and fresh. With Kurt Russell as MacReady this is a horror film to watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
Synopsis: The stage is set for havoc and terror when a 12-man research team finds an alien being that has fallen from the sky and has been buried for over 100,000 years.