It feels as if more studios are beginning to press the reboot button on a lot of movies that have already been made, especially in the horror genre. Okay so most of us may associate the word reboot with a remake, and both words are pretty much one in the same. You’re dealing with a well-known movie property that’s getting spruced up and modernized in some way, shape or form. Sometimes one of those horror remake/reboots will be amazing, completely overshadowing the previous incarnation. Other times you’re cringing in your seat, wondering what the studio folk were smoking when they thought that a remake/reboot for a particular horror film was a good idea. Either way, they’re a permanent part of the horror genre in this day and age. In honor of the Evil Dead remake/reboot that’s coming out this weekend, we would like to point out some of the best and worst in this genre of sorts that have popped up throughout the years.
Top Five Best Horror Reboots/Remakes
5. Dawn of the Dead
When word was spreading that a relative unknown was suddenly in charge of a monstrous undertaking, such as remaking/rebooting George A. Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead, there were a few people that were worried. They should haven’t been anyways because George A. Romero was one of the writers on the picture. Then the day came when Dawn of the Dead was unleashed to the world and it wasn’t bad at all. Actually, it was really good, gory and quite funny during certain moments. Thanks to Dawn of the Dead, Zack Snyder‘s career was set as he went on to make a number of blockbuster movies including the upcoming Warner Bros film Man of Steel. Nice work sir.
4. My Bloody Valentine
Now this is the kind of Valentine’s day movie that horror folks can get behind. My Bloody Valentine was released in the eighties and was a bloody good time to watch. It’s still a favorite among many but it’s popularity arguably faded over time thanks to the sudden surge of popularity involving some of horror’s most successful franchises that popped out during that era. Decades later, Patrick Lussier and company decided to remake/reboot My Bloody Valentine and added a fun gimmicky 3D aspect to it all. What they created may have garnered mix reviews, but it was such a fun slasher movie. It came out during a time where we were being bogged down by lackluster Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes/reboots, so it was perfect timing on the filmmakers’ part.
3. The Hills Have Eyes
Exploitation horror is a sub genre that’s been around for decades, and for good reason. It’s a genre that touches upon dark topics that may make the average movie-goer feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re dealing with horror. So when The Hills Have Eyes rolled around back in the late 70s, dealing with a cannibalistic clan, it scared audiences in just the right way. But there’s no way you can top it, right? If there’s a will then there’s certainly a way. Back in 2006 Alexandre Aja managed to successfully create a solid remake/reboot that was filled with all the violence and blood horror fans could ask for.
2. The Fly
Way back in the 50s, during the midst of the sci-fi craze, Kurt Newmann made The Fly. The movie combined a form of sci-fi and horror that not many films of that age were able to accomplish, and has stood out over time for that. It terrified audiences, but not as much as they would be in 1986 with the remake. Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis play our main characters in the grotesque and heart felt reinterpretation of the 50s sci-fi horror film. The Fly still stands as one of David Cronenberg‘s greatest movies made during the 80s.
1. The Thing
The Thing from Another World is another sci-fi horror movie that was brilliant in it’s time but, in typical fashion, was throw into the remake/reboot blender. Under the careful vision of John Carpenter, he pulled of creating The Thing, a wonderful revamp on the original film starring Kurt Russell. The make-up and special effects are amazing, along with the terrifying story of what would happen if a hostile extraterrestrial were to suddenly invade a group of people deserted from the rest of civilization. The Thing remains one of the most beloved horror reboots/remakes of all time, and that’s for good reason. The effects, story and everything about it still hold up even to this day.
Top Five Worst Horror Reboots/Remakes
5. The Amityville Horror
Nothing is more terrifying than a horror movie based off a true story. It makes you wonder if you could possibly be the next victim to face some sort of unspeakable terror that you think could only exist in the movies. The filmmakers behind the original The Amityville Horror had the right idea, transforming an already scary true story into a horror movie staple in the late 70s. Unfortunately a lot of the terror that resided in the original was nowhere to be found in the shoddy remake starring Ryan Reynolds (who should only stick to comedy from now on). It could’ve been something exciting and thrilling to see as a remake/reboot, but all the essential elements when it came to making a true horror movie were just flat out missing from this version.
4. I Spit On Your Grave
Okay so the fans weren’t as plentiful for the original version of I Spit On Your Grave, only because we’re dealing with an exploitation flick that’s dealing with rape. Our lead character gets horribly raped and goes out seeking revenge against those who violated her. While the remake/reboot of I Spit On Your Grave could have been a solid example of a woman reclaiming power over herself after going through such a traumatizing event, all we got was one way too long rape scene sprinkled in with quick acts of revenge. It went in for the pure exploitation shock factor of it all like the previous one, but our lead character was so stale and one-dimensional that your heart didn’t really go out for her when she went through this horrible crime. Instead all you’re wondering is why you’re watching this awful movie that’s taking forever showing you this rape.
3. Dracula 2000/The Stepfather
Dracula 2000 and The Stepfather deserve to be paired together because, well, they’re both awful and we should acknowledge that. Dracula 2000 suffers from trying to revamp the famous Bram Stoker tale for the Y2K crowd and delivers a movie that nobody wants to remember, just because it was so boring, anything but horrifying in any sense. Then there’s The Stepfather, an 80s film that asks the question as to how well you may really know somebody, even a new family member. The remake/reboot does anything but strike terror into what you may know and delivers a lackluster rendition of what it’s like to have a psychotic stranger into your house that comes off more comical than anything else.
2. A Nightmare On Elm Street
The mere thought of somebody taking the famous horror icon Freddy Krueger, and the entire A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise, and re-imagining it for a new generation was an insane idea. How could you go ahead and try to redo a horror franchise that’s withstood the test of time? It’s still beloved by many horror and non-horror fans alike, why mess up a good thing? Sadly somebody thought it was a smart idea to completely redo the whole terrifying story of Freddy Krueger for a new audience, and boy was it a stinker. It completely warped the whole mythology of the character and just didn’t work as a narrative. It was just plain dull. Thankfully there’s no talks for a sequel to this version of Freddy Krueger, because plenty of us are fine without it.
1. Fright Night
Now don’t get me wrong, the Fright Night remake/reboot isn’t good, but at least the original modernization intention was in the right place. It’s just a shame that the overall execution was wrong on so many levels. The 1985 version written and directed by Tom Holland is a horror masterpiece in itself which not only makes fun of the horror/vampire genre but even touches upon surprising topics like homosexuality. And did we mention that the special effects and the lines, hell the whole movie, is just beautifully made? Because it is. Then one day Fright Night was remade/rebooted, and was it a dark day indeed. All of the magic and horror that resided in the original was completely gone. Charlie Brewster was an unbearable character, and you didn’t even care for much of anybody else after a certain point. You were waiting and hoping that maybe this shark-like version of Jerry Dandrige (played by Colin Farrell) would just kill them all off and fast that way the movie would be done.