Road to Halloween: Top 5 Horror Remakes

Written by Mitchell B October 23, 2012

The horror genre is definitely a tricky one. It’s difficult to make something terrifying, entertaining, and original all at the same time. Remakes have the benefit of working from successful originals, but they often have it more difficult because they have to equal or surpass the original. I, however, believe remakes should be judged on their own merits and not on how well they compare to the original. This list includes five films that are scary, highly entertaining, and just happen to be remakes.

5. “The Hills Have Eyes” (Alexandre Aja, 2006)

“The Hills Have Eyes” is a remake of the 1977 flick of the same name, directed by Wes Craven. The story revolves around a family who end up stuck in the desert and become harassed by a group of “hill people”, a clan of freaks mutated as a result of nuclear testing. It sounds like a fairly cliched horror film, but the film works both as a creepy horror flick and as a revenge film. The hill people are creepy, their actions are even more disgusting, and nothing feels better than seeing despicable characters receive their comeuppance. It’s a creepy, sometimes shocking, and incredibly satisfying horror flick.

4. “The Ring” (Gore Verbinski, 2002)

2002’s “The Ring” helped kick-start the trend of remaking successful Japanese horror flicks. Many have been made to date, but “The Ring” is the definite standout among them. The film centers on a mysterious videotape, that, seven days after watching it, somehow manages to kill its viewers. The film isn’t as silly as the premise sounds, and it’s led by the always-great Naomi Watts as a journalist attempting to decipher the secret behind the tape. “The Ring” has its share of scares, but what makes “The Ring” so successful is its story and how the mystery of the tape unravels. In a time when horror films focus more on gore than plot details, it’s nice to see a film with a well developed and interesting story.

3. “The Fly” (David Cronenberg, 1986)

“The Fly” is one great film in a catalogue of many by the great Canadian director David Cronenberg. In “The Fly” we see Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist who has recently invented a teleportation device. While using the device, Brundle’s DNA gets mixed with that of a fly, and he slowly begins to notice changes happening to his body. It’s a fascinating sci-fi flick that not only delivers some supremely creepy moments, but also takes a look at some interesting psychological issues that arise from Brundle’s transformation. It’s based on a 1958 film of the same name, but as far as most people are concerned, “The Fly” stands alone as one of the great sci-fi flicks of all time.

2. “Dawn of the Dead” (Zack Snyder, 2004)

Remaking a film by the master of the zombie genre, George A Romero, is a bold move. It’s a particularly bold move because Romero is still making zombie flicks to this day (though not to the same acclaim). Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake is, simply put, an awesome movie. Zombie fans get their fair share of wicked zombie kills, horror fans get plenty of scares, and movie fans get an incredibly entertaining flick that can be watched over and over again. Plus, Ving Rhames is a badass.

1. “The Thing” (John Carpenter, 1982)

“The Thing” is one of those films that every movie or horror buff should see. The 2011 remake of this remake was complete garbage, and should in no way influence your decision on whether or not to see John Carpenter’s 1982 version. The film revolves around scientists in the Antarctic who are confronted by a shape-shifting alien, one that assumes the appearance of its victims. It’s a great premise that allows for a lot of mystery, and thus, a lot of incredibly tense moments. The special effects are a little dated, but for the most part they still hold up and contribute to the film’s success. So if you haven’t seen “The Thing”, you’re missing out on one of the greats.

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