Any remake is going to have a difficult time justifying its existence. For all of the remakes that are better than the original, there are always going to be twice as many that were dismal and unnecessary. Generally, a remake is unnecessary because it doesn’t add anything to the original. All of the films on this list fall into that category, with the added cinema sin of being nearly identical to the original.
5. “The Parent Trap” (1998)
“The Parent Trap,” from way back in ’98, is the only good movie on this list. The whole idea, of a divorcing couple each taking one of their twins with them to different parts of the world without ever telling the girls that they have a twin, is hackneyed and unrealistic to the extreme. However, the movie is remarkably fun, and Lindsay Lohan does a really good job playing both twins. However, the remake is still completely unnecessary. Some of the plot has been updated, but most of the dialogue is the same as the original movie (which itself is based on a book). Given that the 1961 film isn’t that good, the reverence is peculiar.
4. “The Thing” (2011)
The 2011 version of “The Thing” is a strange one. It’s technically a prequel to the 1982 classic, but so much of what goes down is similar that I can’t help but consider it a remake. The basic premise is the same: scientists trapped in the Arctic with a shape-shifting monster. There’s only so much you can do with that premise, and the 2011 version of “The Thing” follows nearly all of the plot points from John Carpenter’s version. What was supposed to be homage turned into replication, leading it to be number 4 on this list.
3. “Carrie” (2013)
During the production of last year’s “Carrie,” directed by Kimberly Pierce with Chloe Moretz taking over for Sissy Spasek, the producers were constantly justifying the existence of a new “Carrie” movie by saying that it was going to be more like the book than the Brian De Palma version. I’m not sure what script the producers were reading though, because Kimberly Pierce’s version is nearly identical to the 1976 version. The only thing that is updated is the use of cell phones during the scene in the locker room, and there’s a lot less gore. Stephen King said it best himself: “The real question is why, when the original was so good?”
2. “The Omen” (2006)
John Moore’s “The Omen” could also lead a list about shot-for-shot remakes. All of the other films have been included for hewing to close to the original film, but “The Omen” is nearly identical to the earlier, and somehow better, 1976 version with Gregory Peck. Everything from the dialogue to the scene cuts, and the death of specific characters is the same, making this version completely unnecessary. There’s something about horror movie remakes that makes them particularly terrible.
1. “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012)
“The Amazing Spider-Man” isn’t technically a remake of the first “Spider-Man” movie, but it certainly feels like it. The biggest similarity is with The Lizard, who is the big bad of “The Amazing Spider-Man.” The only thing separating him from the Green Goblin is the fact that he’s a lizard. Peter Parker follows almost the exact same emotional journey as the first film, and all of the pre-release hype about his past, and the secret about his parents, is practically non-existent. While the overall story of Spider-Man is essentially cut into stone, the producers had decades of story to draw upon. Why they made their new Spider-Man nearly a carbon copy of the first one is beyond me.