Thursday, October 13, 2011

Horror movie Remakes: My Best and Worst


Horror movie remakes are becoming more and more frequent in the 2000’s and it’s only gotten more and more tiring. Most of them are uninspired and unoriginal, but to be fair there are some remakes that stand out as classics in their own right. To qualify as a good remake, it doesn’t have to be better than the original, just good on its own terms. For this post I’ll be counting down my five favorite Horror Remakes as well as my five least favorite. It’s a mix of best and worst today, and I’ll start from the ground up with the worst followed by the best. 

My Top 5 Worst Horror Remakes

#5 The Hitcher (2007) 

While you could easily right a film of this sort off as just pointless, it’s honestly worse when a horror remake almost works and fails. 2007’s remake of “The Hitcher” actually had some potential going, especially with Sean Bean giving his all with his portrayal of the titular villain. Unfortunately, rather than explore both the motive and even emotion of the villain, the filmmakers were far too caught up in exploitive content and cheap shocks.     

#4 The Wicker Man (2006) 

Okay, so this movie is bad, in fact it’s downright cringe worthy when compared to the original, but this one almost works on a so bad it’s good level. There’s something genuinely amusing about a film aiming for scares that result in unintentional comedy, in fact if this movie marketed itself as a spoof it might have done better. Also this film features one of Nicolas Cages most unforgettable “bad” performances, which alone might just make this terrible film worthwhile.

#3 House of Wax (2005) 

Here’s a strange case in which a remake bares very little resemblance to the original and really could have just been its own thing. It’s a remake that takes all the charm, sophistication and atmosphere of its predecessor and turns it into your basic teen slasher flick with nothing special to offer. I don’t even understand why a wax museum is present in the film when it's predecessor was all about a mystery slowly being unraveled, and this is just a strait forward premise revolving around two killers and a group of interchangeable victims.

#2 The Haunting (1999) 

Oh boy, most bad horror movies can just be burred and forgotten, but this one was just so offensive when compared to the original classic that it’s hard to ignore. While the original Haunting was a big influences on the haunted house genera, it didn’t actually feature any ghosts and was as much a study of one’s psychology as well as whether or not a building could be cursed. This remake throws all that out the window for strait forward ghost attacks, bland characters and especially laughable special effects.   

#1 Psycho (1998) 

What’s worse than a pointless remake of a timeless classic ... how about a film that’s a blatant shot by shot remake of the original with absolutely nothing new or improved. Yeah, Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Hitchcock’s immortal classic has quiet the reputation as one of the worst remakes of all time and for good reason. Not only is this a waist of film, but the equally iconic characters are all miscast, the atmosphere is lacking and it just begs the question ... what’s the point of this?

So those are what I consider the five worst horror remakes, but now let’s switch gears to my personal five favorites ... not better mind you but good on their own.  

My Top 5 Best Horror Remakes

5. The Thing (1982) 

John Carpenter’s Brilliant remake of the 50’s Sci-Fi classic will always stand as a benchmark in the history books of iconic remakes. This remake has in-fact become a classic in its own right, thanks to sharp performances and amazing gross out special effects.  

4. Fright Night (2011) 

It’s the story of a suburban kid who lives next to a mysterious neighbor who just happens to be a vampire. Was it necessary to remake one of the most beloved cult classic of all time ... no, but they sure did a good job, giving this modern remake lots of fun style, a few laughs, and a well-rounded cast that’s clearly having a blast with their roles.  

3. The Fly (1986) 

The original “Fly” from 1958 was a smart and classy flick that warned us of the dangers of science, then the remake takes all that good stuff and goes the extra mile. Instead of an accident transforming our lead character immediately, this film depicts the transformation happening gradually. This allows more drama to be felt between characters and it leads to some impressive makeup, and awesome special effects with a gross out factor on max.  

2. The Mummy (1999) 

Most of the classic Universal monsters have been remade over the years, and the 1999 rendition of “The Mummy” is a rare case in which the remake is more popular that the original. Purists will always prefer the 1932 original starring Boris Karloff or the 1959 remake starring Christopher Lee, but common audiences will probably be more aware of the 1999 version. It’s my favorite example of perfect popcorn entertainment, giving the Mummy a new look and feel while still keeping a few horror elements of the original source material alive.   

1. House of Wax (1953)

This is another great example of a remake becoming more of a classic than the original. Vincent Price’s performance as the creepy museum owner is still just as bone chilling as ever, the look and tone of the film is very colorful while still feeling very eerie and haunting. It’s just a perfect horror classic, with lots of mystery, suspense and memorable characters.

The End

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