Despite the claims of perpetually dissatisfied fanboys who will argue that horror movie remakes are a universal cinematic poison, serving only to corrupt the legacy of an already perfect film, the fact of the matter is, some stories benefit from a second telling. With The Fly, David Cronenberg took a campy B-movie concept and transformed it into a tragic allegory for illness and aging. Similarly, John Carpenter’s The Thing imbued the original concept of an alien being terrorizing an Antarctic research base with a pervasive sense of paranoia.
For various reasons, certain movies ought to be remade. Here are ten horror films that we think qualify.
Philippe Mora’s 1989 adaptation of Whitley Strieber’s allegedly “true” account of abduction by aliens teeters on the edge between psycho-drama, sci-fi, and horror, but anyone who remembers that shot of a small being peering behind a closing bedroom door knows full well what genre this flick belongs in.
Suffering from an inexperienced director and poor production values, this is a story which could become a classic in the hands of a filmmaker who can balance special effects, creepy atmosphere, and sensitive character work.
9. Altered States
Although the imagery in this film may have been relatively impressive for its time, by today’s standards, it is laughably dated.
William Hurt’s hallucinogenic trip backwards through evolution explores several interesting philosophical issues in the context of a thriller, and if a remake could maintain this element while updating the visual effects, today’s audiences could be reminded that not all horror is mindless gore some of them are thoughtfully brilliant!
This is one case where more money could make a great film.
A remake for this film has long been in development, and it’s about time we got one!
Based on a powerful novella, the original film may have created an iconic villain, but the effects are inconsistent, ranging from shockingly effective to shockingly ridiculous, and some of the performances are unconvincing.
7. The Dunwich Horror
Hailed as one of the greatest authors in the horror genre, it seems strange that H.P. Lovecraft’s stories have rarely been adapted into quality films. The Dunwich Horror may be something of a cult classic, but it fails to capture the sense of cosmic menace that made Lovecraft’s work so memorable.
A proper remake would honor the significance of the setting in the original story, resulting in a very haunting and memorable period film. And don’t go near that TV version that was released in 2009.
6. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Ever since The Sixth Sense threw viewers a curveball in its final scene, the “twist ending” has had a new lease on life, with mixed results.
On rare occasions, filmmakers can still surprise an audience, but for the most part, the endings to the more recent horror movies can be seen from miles away.
As such, it seems appropriate to bring back on of cinema’s defining classics, a film which features a shock that is truly blindsiding.
Some say that the Japanese are willing to go places in their films that Hollywood is too squeamish for, and maybe there is some truth to that.
Still, too many American filmgoers are averse to subtitles, and as a result, they are missing out on some of the most groundbreaking work in the horror genre.
Perhaps a remake of Audition could not only do the original justice, but lead viewers to seek it out.
While on the subject of foreign horror, we should take a look at a classic “giallo” film that, although perfect as is, could use a remake simply to introduce American audiences since no one seems to know what it is.
It is one of one of the most significant films of its subgenres in horror history and deserves a chance to scare America’s all over the US!
3. Children of the Corn
The story from which the original film was adapted is one of Stephen King’s best, displaying his ability to tell a classic Gothic tale.
Unfortunately, the movie and its string of unnecessary sequels falls flat, expanding too much on a story better left ambiguous.
Bill Paxton, who directed the excellent Frailty, could restore King’s work to its former glory, directing a film which honors its place in American literature.
2. The Sentinel
Clearly made as an attempt to cash in on the success of The Exorcist, The Sentinel is the epitome of a missed opportunity.
The storyline feels simultaneously unique and timeless, but, although there are some great scares in here, the film itself is more or less uneven.
The important element to keep in mind is the fact that what is essentially a mundane location (an apartment building) is transformed into the Gates to Hell, and if a director with a talent for telling realistic, dramatic stories were on board, a remake could be fantastically scary.
Finally, a good old-fashioned monster movie to top it all off!
In the age of massive oil spills and climate change, what could be more timely than a movie about pollution and nature’s wrath? And I’m not talking about an action-thriller like 2012 warning you about what’s to come, but a horror film scaring you about it!
Good remakes come along because a story is relevant, and, campy as it may be, Prophecy makes sense these days.