I think the horror community has a love and hate relationship with remakes. While most recent remakes are hated (and some justifiably) you’ll find much of the remakes we got in the 80s or 90s are looked at more fondly. I’ve decided to take a closer look at remakes and I’ve decided to make a personal list of what I think are the 10 greatest remakes of all time. You might find that some could come as a surprise.
10: Friday the 13th (2009)
Some people seem to hate this one right here. My main issue is it’s more of the same we had seen in the other Friday the 13th films. Pretty much squeezing the most important parts of the first three original films together, what came from it wasn’t a classic by any means. But it was what it intended to be and that’s a Friday the 13th movie. You might not love it and I myself don’t loved it, but if you like the franchise you probably at least like this.
09: Quarantine (2008)
Do you know what the biggest sin this film committed was? Being a remake of [rec]. That of course being one of the best horror films to come along in a very long time. And when you break it all down most horror fans hate remakes of foreign films because we can’t understand why people can’t simply read subtitles. When [rec] was remade it got a name change and changed a few details. It was nearly a shot for shot remake as far as everything else went. In an alternative universe where [rec] didn’t exist, I believe more people would love this movie. I still enjoy it and I LOVE the original [rec].
08: I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
While this film wasn’t as shocking as the original was upon it’s release, it’s still a good movie. These days we’ve seen so much in film that it’s really hard to shock anyone. So you can’t go into this one thinking you will see anything that raises any bar like the original did. What we do see is a more modern take on the story with a strong lead and some bad guys that make it easy for you to hate them. I think that’s good enough.
07: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
This movie was really the one that seemed to set off the craze in remakes. That craze is still going today and we probably have this movie to still blame. A lot of people seem to dislike this now days and I really don’t get that. While it’s sequel did suck, I remember enjoying what I saw when I got a chance to see this film upon it’s release. And I also recall it getting pretty strong reviews then as well. While the zillion remakes that came after might have turned people against it, I still think it’s one of best remakes you can find.
06: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
I will be honest, the running zombies is my biggest issue with this one. Not because I’m soo stuck on this sites name that I hate every movie with a running zombie. I just hated the idea of Dawn of the Dead without slow zombies. But I did lighten up about it when I saw this for the first time. I thought it was a well paced film that wasn’t as scary as the original, but it did have it’s moments. And it had enough of those moments to make me want to watch it more than once.
05: Let Me In (2010)
The American version of Let the Right One In got a ton of groans when the news broke of it being made. I was among those that didn’t like the idea at all. Let the Right One In may very well be my number 1 vampire film of all time and it’s a perfect 10 out of 10 to me. But you know what? This movie was very good in it’s own right. It did all those things the original did and it had the very talented Chloë Moretz in the role of our vampire next door. And this movie managed to actually win over many of the people who weren’t happy about it, this guy here included.
04: The Fly (1986)
While it’s probably not that hard to remake a film from 1958 and improve upon it, David Cronenberg didn’t just remake it and make it good, he made a classic. This was a film I grew up on in the 80s and it still holds a dear place with me today. It improved upon the original in about every way you can think of and I don’t think I’ll hear anyone complain about this making the list.
03: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
While the remakes to some of Wes Craven’s films haven’t had a more current history with being that great, the remake of The Hills Have Eyes was superb. Alexandre Aja remade this film and presented it’s plot and content on steroids. More blood, more emotion, and way more entertaining than the original ever was. And while the sequel to this remake would have the same fate as the one for the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this film on it’s on is easily one of the best of the first ten years of the 2000s.
02: The Thing (1982)
If you’ve seen Halloween then you probably had a good idea that John Carpenter was a fan of The Thing From Another World. So in 1982 he actually went as far as to remake it and give it the more simple title, The Thing. This movie would go on to not only give us a great character played by Kurt Russell. It topped the original in such a strong way that most people have no clue it’s even a remake. How many movies on this list can say that?
01: Night of the Living Dead (1990)
No, this film never made the impact on horror like the much more popular original. But as I said in a recent podcast, it does everything a remake should do. It gives us the overall same story, but it changes just enough to keep you on your toes. This keeps you pulled in and makes it so that you really aren’t sure where it’s all going to go in the end. And you can not deny the great effect from Tom Savini here. I’ve said it a zillion times now, not only is it a great remake but it’s the second best film of the entire 1990s.