The Good, The Decent, and The Horrible In Remakes

Remakes, Reboots, it’s all the same isn’t it? And over the past decade we’ve seen a zillion of them. While some very rarely top the original and some don’t even come close, we also have a middle ground with remakes that aren’t right up to par with the originals but nowhere near bad either..

Today, I’ll just name a few of each..

The Good

Night of the Living Dead (1990)
My very first memory of a remake came at the ripe old age of 7 when on the day it was released on VHS my family rented Tom Savini’s version of Night of the Living Dead. A very risky movie to do due to the following of the original but I fully believe Tom knocked it out of the park. Was it better than the old school one? Well I might not go THAT far but it’s a very good movie none the less.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Is THIS the movie that sparked all the horror remakes from the first decade of the 2000’s? I believe so and with very good reason. While it didn’t top the original in creepy it was a scary movie in it’s own right, adding new stuff to the mix and staying true to the formula in a fashion none of the sequels to the original class was able to do. 

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
To me The Hills Have Eyes is THE best remake there has been yet. Behind the camera of Alexandre Aja, The Hills Have Eyes took what the first movie had to a whole other level, even topping it. There’s tons of blood, it can really get to you at times, and it just looks really good when watching it. To me this movie wasn’t just a good remake but one of the better films of the past decade. 

Dawn of the Dead (2004) 
It’s complicated to me when it comes to this movie. I really enjoyed it over all but it just seemed weird to me calling it Dawn of the Dead when the format isn’t true to the old school format of zombies not running. Not looking at that, then what you have left is a fast paced panic stricken movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat and is highly enjoyable. 

The Decent

The Last House on the Left (2009)
Remaking a film like The Last House on the Left is surely a difficult process because things have changed a lot since the 70’s and when your aiming for a theatrical release you can’t be as hardcore as the original was. However what you get in the remake might not make you feel as uneasy as the original but it does creep you out enough to nod your cap to it.

Halloween (2007)
Now I know what some of you may be thinking but hear me out, while Rob Zombie went a little too over board with H2, the remake of Halloween wasn’t half bad. It was a super charged version of the original, and while it did have some dumb aspects to it, it holds up pretty well all things considered. 

My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
Oh the movie that started the 3D gimmick we are stuck in the middle of today! While some may loath it for that fact alone you can’t argue that it may even top the original in forms of quality. That being said the best way to have viewed this movie was in theaters, the sizzle does seem to fade when watching at home.

Friday the 13th (2009)
While writing this I had no trouble placing movies in the spot I wanted to put them in but this one made me think. While I was greatly disappointed with the finished product the movie wasn’t any worse than any of the originals which I gladly love to spite their quality. And when compared to the other remakes I’m about to name this one is fairly watchable.  

The Horrible

Day of the Dead (2008)
If on one end of the horror remakes you find Dawn of the Dead then Day of the Dead would be on the other as this movie fails to capture any of the things that made the original great. The Zombies run, but besides that the major thing is the characters suck. What they do with Bub is horrible and I hate everything about it.

A Stranger Calls (2006)

Wasn’t this a rather boring movie to try to watch? I had this DVD given to me way back in 2006 and have only watched it once and there’s a reason for that…it sucks. It’s also boring and just feels too mellow, after all it is PG-13. 

Black Christmas (2006)
What a drop from the original this one is huh? Sure the movie looks good, and has girls in it that are very easy for a man to look at, but it just doesn’t have the spark that the old school Black Christmas has.  Too many changed to the story that make things way to silly, topped off with just bad writing drags this one down.

House of Wax (2005)
How could a remake of such an old film still suck so bad?? Well having all your promotion for it be focused on seeing Paris Hilton die should tell you a lot. It’s so bad I’d bet the really really dated one will be more enjoyable to many of you over this one.

This of course just scratches the top of the giant pile of remakes, perhaps one day soon I’ll talk about this again.