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Focus on the Frightful: Remakes vs. Originals

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)

Nightmare on Elm Street
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The Fog (2005)

The Fog movie cover
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The Haunting (1999)

Movie poster for The Haunting
Sorry Lilyn!


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)

The Wicker Man movie cover

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.

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The Stepford Wives (2005)

The stepford Wives movie cover

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

where the twist is that it’s really the woman behind it. Not the guy.
It’s a slap in the face to the message of the original.

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The Watchable

The Amityville Horror (2005)

The Amityville Horror 2005 movie cover

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.

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Halloween (2007)

Halloween 2007 movie cover

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.

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The Amazing

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

The Haunting of Hill House movie cover

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?).

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The Thing (1982)

The Thing movie cover

The Thing is a great remake with a real feeling of dread and paranoia. The effects are great, too.

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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!

Published inFocus on the Frightful


  1. Both versions of ‘The Thing’ are fantastic. I cannot pick one over the other.

  2. I definitely agree with you on the Thing, although I haven’t watched some of the new ones you mention, so I can’t comment. The Fly came to mind, but not sure it’s considered horror, sci-fi (?), although I have a soft spot for the 1950s movie as well (I do have a soft-spot for 1950s sci-fi movies).

    • I have a soft spot for the older movies as well. Particularly Vincent Price, lol

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