Since the last post I did covered such a controversial topic (which you can read here), I decided I’d stir the pot a bit more and tackle another sensitive subject in the horror community: Remakes.
Personally, I love remakes. I love seeing other people’s interpretations of classic films. I love when they’re similar to the original, and I also love when they differ. I treat them as different films entirely, borrowing influences, themes, and characters. If you can do that, remakes won’t hurt so bad to watch. And anyway, they shouldn’t. Even if you hate the remake, the original will always be there! It’s been happening through centuries with literature and folklore, so remakes in cinema really are not that unique and should not be seen as so appalling.
I’m going to take this opportunity to defend some remakes that I love. This a list of 8 horror remakes that absolutely kick ass, despite bad receptions from viewers and critics. Before reading this, take a deep breath; I’m bound to unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings with this one. But be forewarned; I don’t apologize for any of this, and if I make you mad, then shove it.
…Ok but really if I make you mad or upset with this list I’m sorry and I love you, please don’t break up with me
Friday the 13th (2009) [youtube id=”fpKdXnXl93s” align=”right”]
As I said before, a lot of the films on this list are bound to get me yelled at, so I’m just going to get this one over with. The 2009 Friday the 13th remake. I liked it. No, I loved it; so much so, that I’m going to kick off this list with it. Derek Mears did a great job at portraying Jason, and I’ll stand by that. I don’t believe this movie reinvents the wheel or really does anything unbelievable that no other film has ever done, I just think it’s a good continuation of the franchise. It’s a fun movie, and Jason looks stunning here.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) [youtube id=”janre4HxsX4″ align=”right”]
Is anyone really going to ever make another movie as gritty and compelling as the original TCM? No, I personally don’t think so. However, this film did it justice. It’s gory, it’s suspenseful, and once again they make great use out of a big lumbering psychopath. I really enjoyed how they recycled some of the original sound effects from the original Tobe Hooper film, and I also really enjoyed Jessica Biel’s stunning beauty. Critics have accused this movie of being nothing but a display or despair and violence, with no redeemable qualities. To them, I respond with a smile: “Those are the redeemable qualities!”
Halloween (2007) [youtube id=”IeQiSdznHGo” align=”right”]
Rob Zombie’s version of Halloween is what happens when you take a classic creepy movie and drown it in gore and vile language. While I will admit that I’m with the critics in saying that Mr. Zombie could tone down on the language at times, it does add to the grittiness that he was trying to achieve with his remake. A lot of people have a problem with Michael Myers’ childhood being shown, but I feel it adds to the film. It makes him seem a bit more human, and I liked getting a little behind the scenes info about what could have possibly influenced Big Mike later in life.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006) [youtube id=”C6f9ooGR9iU” align=”right”]
At this point in the list, if you haven’t agreed with me thus far, hopefully you’ve begun to see some of my points. The movies above are good remakes, but this is a really good remakes. A lot of the films on this list in their original forms had many limitations put on them in terms of what they could and couldn’t show. Often times, the films suffered from said limitations. I believe that The Hills Have Eyes is a prime example of that. The effects to create a horrifying atmosphere have improved so much with time, that oftentimes the new techniques can be used to achieve a much more realistic looking film.
Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) [youtube id=”S1Rachk7ipI” align=”right”]
This movie always ends up on my lists. It’s just so good. Director Werner Herzog believed the original to be the best German film ever made and tried his damnedest to make a good representation of Murnau’s original film. Herzog’s version is incredible. It’s beautiful, serene, and haunting. Klaus Kinski, who plays the eponymous character in the movie, looks almost as scary as Max Schreck in the original. Notice how I said almost. Long live Werner Herzog.
Evil Dead (2013) [youtube id=”lWG_w5w8ZLs” align=”right”]
This movie took Sam Raimi’s original film and put it on steroids. It is an absolutely bone-chilling piece of gory cinema that needs to be seen more than once, but only if you can stomach it. The filmmakers pulled out all the stops in the gore department for this one and damn, it’s disgusting, in only the best of ways. A lot of remakes suffer from over-usage of CGI. In this film, the director Fede Alvarez claims that there was none used whatsoever. Rejoice, haters of CGI, rejoice and praise Evil Dead!
The Thing (1982) [youtube id=”p35JDJLa9ec” align=”right”]
I’m going to take this example to further my point in saying that remakes should not be as feared as they are. John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece was, in fact, a remake! Don’t believe me? Click here. The Thing has gone on to be praised decades after its release and is almost universally loved among fans of horror and science-fiction. So take that, you remake naysayers! Ha! IN! YOUR! FACE!
My Bloody Valentine 3-D (2009) [youtube id=”bsRbqpiqkKU” align=”right”]
I’m putting this film at number one because I believe not only is it a good remake, but it’s actually a better film overall the original. What the hell? Did he just say that!? Yes, yes I did. The Modern My Bloody Valentine is a no-holds-barred gorefest with awesome special effects. The original was good, I won’t deny that. But sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due, and that’s exactly what I am doing here. Plus, I may or may not have a man crush on Jensen Ackles. Come on- that name is just so cool.
I know I’m going to get heat for this list, but that’s okay with me. I think these movies are awesome, and as a fan, it’s my duty to defend them. Maybe this can encourage you to give some of these films a second watch with a different perspective.