Horror Remakes That Got It Right!

Horror Remakes have not made a good name for themselves; they often miss the mark and ruin the memory of great films. But once in awhile a horror remake gets it right, here is TheHorroronline’s list of some of the best horror remakes ;

RemakeThe Fly (1986)

Original : The Fly (1958)

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Something very rare happened with the remake of The Fly, the 1986 David Croenberg directed incarnation of The Fly managed to be just as ground breaking and influential as the original. At the time of The Fly’s early development stage, Croenberg was working on an adaptation of Philip K Dick’s story We Can Remember That For You Wholesale (later known of course as Total Recall) so when Mel Brooks came to him, feeling that Croenberg was perfect to helm the remake project with Mel using his production company Brooksfilms to produce, Croenberg was unavailable. Brooks then chose a different director  ; young Brit Robert Bierman who had been making a name for himself with his short films. Bierman was working on preproduction when he suffered a personal tragedy; his daughter was killed in an accident. Preproduction was halted as Bierman dealt with his tragedy and grieved. Several months passed and he informed Brooks that he could not continue with the project. By this time Croenberg was no longer attached to the would be Total Recall and accepted the job as director of The Fly.

The film’s concept then went through several rewrites, one rejected story treatment included a ‘Monkey-Cat’ creature (now that would have been something to see).  Croenberg  did a rewrite overhall on a script by screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue whom he eventually shared the writing credit with, though Pogue’s contribution to the final script was mostly conceptual. (Then) real life couple Jeff Goldberg and Gina Davis were cast was doomed lovers Seth Brundle and Veronica Quaife. Special effects duties were handed to the man behind the Gremlins creatures Chris Walas who with Croenberg broke new ground within the world of on camera  special effects. The final film was a huge success with critics and audiences alike and has since become a cult horror film . The reason that the remake of the classic 1958 The Fly works so well is because it explores themes that were hinted at in the original ; loss of control and body horror, and delves into them fully using all the special effects available at that time (and inventing new ones) to visually portray these fears, creating a terrifying film that is utterly respectful to it’s predecessor. (sidenote : The Fly Special Edition DVD is incredible and well worth buying)

 

Remake Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Original  Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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The Remake of George A Romero’s Zombie classic was anticipated very tentatively, fans of Romero and the Zombie genre alike questioned whether this new version would be a straight gore fest or if it would keep elements of Romero’s sly humor, a collective sigh of relief was released when the film came out, it managed to be brilliantly wacky (remember the Richard Cheese cover of Down with The Sickness, musical mindfuck interlude?) and genuinely terrifying at the same time. James Gunn (he of Slither)  got the ball rolling on this one with his screenplay and was offered greater involvement but he left the project to focus on Scooby Doo 2 : Monsters Unleashed (in fairness he had directed the first one, but it seems as though he used a magic eight ball for that decision.)

Of course something else also occurred at the time of the film’s release; Shaun of The Dead. In some areas, mine included they were released into the cinema at the same time. When I asked for a ticket to Shaun of The Dead from the rather stressed looking cashier she asked me very slowly as though I were a crash victim “ Shaun or Dawn??” and muttered under her breath about how many mix ups they had been dealing with. So 2004 was a time of much love for Romero and his zombie legacy. Dawn of The Dead (2004) was I think such a successful  remake because it didn’t present itself as a remake, there was no retreading only friendly nods to Romero’s classic, in the end it played out like a love letter to the Zombie genre that Romero god fathered. Dawn Of Dead 2004 also has one of the greatest soundtracks of alllll *Kanye* time!!

Remake : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Original :  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

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I may be contested on this one and that is of course welcome, but personally I believe that though it was unneeded, this remake of the 1974  Horror redefining classic, ironed out some of the original’s rough edges (again I am aware that this was unneeded) but put into perspective against  some of the utter Horror remake toss that we have been subjected to over the years, this could have been a huge Horror mistake, but it wasn’t. The original’s extended scenes of Sally’s wild hysteria have been replaced with Jessica Biel’s smart thinking Erin plotting her escape, Leatherface’s family are given a little bit more screen time and we see more of their horrific horror house. The film works as a good companion to the original (rather than a replacement), expanding on it’s moments of terror and making those moments a little bit tighter. The film has been criticized for its use of CGI, an element that it was felt by many was unneeded and unfortunately I can’t side with the film on this one, as I have to say this is a valid point ; the bullet hole viewpoint death of the ‘hitch hiker/crazed victim’ was such trick shot showboating, you would have thought the director did it just to impress a girl. Overall though Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 is a tight, sharp, frightening horror that doesn’t in any way offend the original.

Now let’s have a quick rundown of Horror remakes that got it so very, very WRONG

 

Friday The 13th (2009)

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The Floppy haired one from Supernatural mopes around looking for his sister, while idiot teenagers (who are in their late 20’s) have sex and die. NO. Just, no. A WORLD OF NO!

House of Wax (2005)

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Everyone involved in this film is hopefully currently being haunted by Vincent Price.

 

Halloween (2007)

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There are really no words.*facepalm* It’s just 90 shades of wrong.

Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

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Robert Eglund is damn glad he wasn’t a part of this sorry mess.

The Fog (2005)

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Ba haaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaa haaaa, no but seriously…Ba ha ha haa haaa…haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

TheHorroronline needs food and sleep to survive, so the Remake ‘shit list’ will need to be continued in another post, it’s endless …

 

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