Hello, my Fearlings! So. Remakes. We have had a huge influx of remakes in the past several years and it doesn’t seem to e slowing down anytime soon. As are the ‘reimaginings’ and ‘reboots’. It doesn’t matter what you call it. A remake is a remake and you’re not fooling anyone, Hollywood.
Remakes: Good or Bad
So what do you guys think about remakes? I always go into them hoping for the best but I have often been disappointed. I have a few movies that top my list of horrid remakes. There might be some people that like them so I’m not trying to drag anyone’s taste but these movies. These movies. I think they were bad and didn’t even try to stay close to the source material. Apologies in advance for listing a favorite. *cough*Lilyn*cough*
Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The Fog (2005)
The Haunting (1999)
Now, some of these movies are objectively bad (A Nightmare on Elm Street) but would the other movies get so much hate just because we are coming at it having seen and loved the original. I actually do like The Haunting but objectively it’s not a very good remake. It doesn’t adhere to the original structure of the first movie.
But would it face just as much critique if someone were to watch it cold. No book, no prior movie. I believe that s good movie is a good movie. It can transcend the weight of a previous movie. So, let me introduce you to some bad remakes to give you a taste for the good ones. I’d just like to say that I’m not the arbiter of all that is good. I’m not going to go off if you guys disagree. in fact, I’m looking forward to discussing them in the comments with you! That being said, let’s get right in!
The Really, Really Bad
The Wicker Man (2006)
I don’t have to say much about this since it’s notoriously bad. Buuut, I will anyways. In the commentary for the original, awesome Wicker Man, Christopher Lee says he was approached to play Lord Summerisle again. He turned it down. Wise choice, Mr. Lee. Wise choice.
The Stepford Wives (2005)
Without the undercurrent of real world issues The Stepford Wives falls flat. Some of the jokes are a bit funny but the plot makes zero sense in how they and the ending
The Amityville Horror (2005)
I’m not sure if this is a widely liked remake but I thought it was a good horror movie. It wasn’t anything deep. It’s just a fun watch.
Despite some missteps (the character of Laurie Strode, for one) I thought Rob Zombie’s take on Halloween was fairly good. I liked that it went into Michael’s shitty home life a bit. It made at least a bit more sense than Bam! Michael’s a psycho.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
It was one of the rare occasions where the movie strayed from its source material but made it amazing. Despite my issues with the end I still loved it and it was simply a great movie (series?).
The Thing (1982)
The Thing is a great remake with a real feeling of dread and paranoia. The effects are great, too.
Another one that I loved much more than the original was The Shining. I know, I know, it’s not a popular opinion but The Shining (1997) stayed much closer to the book and its original themes. I also was impressed by Steven Weber. I’d only seen him in goofy comedies up until then and I was unsure if he could even be scary. I also loved Rebecca de Mornay as Wendy so much better than Shelley Duvall. So much better.
So, there’s my list of remakes that I love and hate. I’d love to hear yours!
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.