5 Things

March 9, 2015

The Top Five Best Horror Movie Remakes

The Hollywood horror remake phase has been going on a lot longer than can be remembered. It an be estimated that many would say that this phase of horror remakes mainly started in the 21st Century although this person would beg to differ. The abomination that was the Gus Van Sant remake of Psycho in 1998 possibly inspired the men in suits that they may have created some detestable trend. The next year we had the likes of The Mummy, The Haunting and House on Haunted Hill. And ever since the paying public have been both surprised, but for the most part, more traumatised that their favourite classics were given a redo.

Out of the dozens that have been filmed, let’s try and see if there are a few gems amongst the ruins.

1) Texas Chainsaw Massacre – widely considered to be one of the best horror remakes of the last decade, the updated version still wisely obtained the grittiness of the original while ramping up the amount of blood and gore for the modern audience. Jessica Biel plays the heroine this time around and does an admirable job while we are made to emphathise more with the background characters. Andrew Bryniarski plays the big man with the motorised saw and is a huge menace. Going further than showing chaos and violence, we get to feel the torture and pain of captured victims, causing us to root for them to escape from the disturbing situation they face themselves in. Sadly for director Marcus Nispel and hopeful fans, this would be Nispel’s only favoured movie. Other directed remakes followed but they never touched the skillful cinematography, direction, character development and the overall effectiveness of his first major motion picture.

2) Dawn Of The Dead – This remake, directed by Zack Snyder, still retains the camp feeling of the original, especially when the main characters reach the shopping mall, the setting which was also in the original. The beginning is particularly terrifying and cunning in making the viewer wonder whether one of the stars of the film will make it out of their situation alive. But the movie in general is a roller coaster ride from start to finish, even if it does not exactly reach a satisfactory conclusion, it’s possible intention to leave the film open for a sequel which has never materalised as of writing here in 2014. Ving Rhames does appear in the later made Day Of The Dead but as a totally different character, just in case there is any confusion.

remakes collage edited

3) The Amityville Horror – Ryan Reynolds gets the chance to show his pecs off to the teenage girl crowd numerous times here but thankfully his acting ability outshines that later on in the film when things get really serious in this redo of the 1979 classic. The filmmakers did decide to take some major liberties with the DeFeo case, which really happened shortly before the Lutz family moved in and ran out claiming ghosts were attacking them, spawning a book and movie. It has long been said that one of the children of the Lutz family who moved in after the murders was communicating with a spirit called Jody, said to be in the form of a pig which was echoed in the original film. In the 2005 remake, Jody is now one of the tragic child victims shot by Ronald DeFeo and audiences get to see her spirit manifest numerous times throughout. In the original we were treated to starting glimpses. Nevertheless, there are some decent scare moments here and the acting, especially by rising talent Chloe Moretz, is top notch. It would be best to see this version with the expectation of viewing an almost completely fantasised model of the true events, not that the original should be given any special award for being particularly faithful.

4) Maniac – It has been said that this one has nothing to set itself apart from other seemingly infinite amount of slasher films but maybe those that say that have forgotten the unique approach of telling the entire movie from the killer’s point of view. This form of perspective is an acquired one and will not be favoured by everybody but it has to be acknowledged that it is something that is uniquely different and gives the movie a mild distinction among other remakes. We have seen glimpses of Elijah Wood in a terrifying role in Sin City and maybe that influenced the filmmakers to select him for this paricular part. Any memories of him as Frodo in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy will be scrubbed away in your minds by the time you wrap up your first viewing.

5) Let Me In – Another Hollywood revision of a so called European classic titled Let The Right One InLet Me In casts Chloe Moretz as the vampire child who befriends a boy while trying to maintain some bloody secrets. The Swedish original is considered a masterpiece but, and I know this will be a controversial opinion, the acting came across as pretty careless and without “soul” which resulted in me not feeling any compassion for the characters or their situations at all. The Hollywood version vastly improved that in this area as it managed to evoke all kinds of emotions and thoughts long after the film ends. Paying huge respect to the original film, Let Me In does not take the typical root of boosting levels of blood to tell the story, instead choosing to let the story and characters tell it, as it should.

Do you agree with our top five? We would love to hear your what you consider to be the top five horror movie remakes in the comments section below!

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



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