Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The 5 Best Horror Movie Remakes Ever

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again…it’s fucking Halloween time folks! And what does Halloween time mean exactly? Horror movies folks, and if you know me well at all, you know no one loves this time of year and everything included with it more than me. One thing I don’t necessarily like about horror flicks in general however, is that we have horror movies remakes. Just closing my eyes and letting my mind drift, I see flickers of the ridiculously shitty remakes of classic (and even not so classic) horror remakes to have been unleashed upon us in the past decade or so. “The Wickerman” (“NOT THE BEES!!!”), “The Fog”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, Rob Zombie’s abortion that was “Halloween 2”, and so on and so forth. However, every now and then, we get a horror remake that isn’t only surprisingly good, but in some cases even outdoes the original it was based upon. So I’ve listed my top five of the best horror movie remakes to have seen the light of day. You may not agree necessarily, but regardless, these are the best horror remakes available that you could ever hope to see. And here…we…go!

THE THING (1982)
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley

Remade from the classic “The Thing From Another World” and owing more to the story that that film was based upon (“Who Goes There”), John Carpenter’s “The Thing” featured masterful suspense, genuine shocks, and legendary effects makeup that not only still holds up today, but helped revolutionize the makeup special effects world in the process. A group of researchers in Antarctica comes across a crash-landed alien that can assimilate and duplicate other life forms it comes into contact with, resulting in a gore-fest of suspense and the crew playing an increasingly desperate game of cat and mouse trying to figure out who’s human and who isn’t. Everything about “The Thing” is nearly pitch perfect, from the superb acting to the grim and nihilistic conclusion, this remains one of my all time favorite films of any genre, and in my opinion Carpenter’s best film ever. There’s an upcoming remake of this remake (you read that right) that supposedly serves as a prequel, and features a young cast with CGI effects aplenty. I can already guarantee how THAT flick will turn out. No matter what though, you must see “The Thing”, it’s a horror classic.

THE FLY (1986)
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Remade from the Vincent Price classic, David Cronenberg’s “The Fly” is a gory tale of science gone mad. Jeff Goldblum stars as a brilliant scientist that accidentally crosses his genes with that of a fly during a teleportation experiment, and what results is a nightmarish examination of “The Metamorphosis”, with hefty amounts of blood and guts tossed in for good measure. At the heart of the film however is a surprisingly deep and even more surprisingly emotional examination of human nature and subtle metaphors for disease and the transformation one goes through during a relationship; topics that you very rarely see taken on in any remake, 99% of which are done as quick cash-ins. A box-office hit and Oscar winner for makeup special effects, “The Fly” spawned a relatively lame sequel a few years later, but apparently David Cronenberg himself has scripted a purposed sequel to this film that he claims will probably never see the light of day. If said sequel would even only be half as good as this film, it would be a crime were it to never be completed.

Director: Tom Savini
Starring: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles

George Romero produced this remake to his legendary shocker, which was directed by legendary makeup effects guru Tom Savini, and unlike most remakes that change things around in the script for the sake of changing things around, this remake doesn’t come off as being the worse for it. This take on “Night of the Living Dead” transforms Barbara from a terrified, screaming shell of a woman into a tough, hard-nosed survivor as she and a group of others board themselves up in an old farmhouse as ravenous zombies surround them. For what it lacks in gore, the “Night of the Living Dead” remake offers some great acting and inventive takes on the classic shocking scenes of the original. Some fans actually consider this remake better than the original, and while I myself am not in that camp, I can see why they may feel that way. You’ll rarely find a remake as good as this one.

LET ME IN (2010)
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins

An Americanized remake of the modern classic “Let the Right One In”; “Let Me In” is an unexpected treat. When news of the remake first broke, I had a shit-fit and was adamant in the fact that it would be pure and absolute shit and never measure up to the original. Well, I was completely wrong in every regard. “Let Me In” tells the story of a bullied, neglected young boy that learns the girl that just moved in is actually a vampire, and the two develop a bond as everything around them starts to go completely to shit. While “Let Me In” doesn’t quite have the same amount of heart and soul as the beloved original film, it still manages to stand on its own and pay wonderful homage to the original while keeping its spirit and message intact.

THE BLOB (1988)
Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Jeffrey DeMunn

There are plenty of people that didn’t like this film for whatever reasons, but I personally love this remake of “The Blob”. Dated as hell but loaded with some eye-popping effects and deliberately tongue-in-cheek moments, I even prefer this remake over the Steve McQueen-starring classic original in some regards. Mostly because it’s just a fun, over-the-top gorefest that takes no prisoners and makes no apologies for what it is, and that’s the kind of filmmaking you’ve just got to appreciate. Plus, it has Kevin Dillon with a mullet, and that chick from all the “Saw” flicks as a cheerleader; what’s not to love?


“And Soon the Darkness”
“Cape Fear”
“Cat People”
“The Crazies”
“Dawn of the Dead”
“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”
“Funny Games”
“The Hills Have Eyes”
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)
“Piranha 3-D” (fuck you I dug it)
“The Wolfman”

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