10 Horror Remakes That Don't Suck

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The film world seems gripped with remake fever right now, so here at Shock Xpress we thought we'd look at ten horror remakes that don't wholly disappoint.

The Fly (1986) (Buy) | Words: Sutekh35
The original version of 'The Fly' is great fun. It has effective scenes of horror and an unforgettable camp climax, that is both unsettling and hilarious. Cronenberg's terrific updating of the story may have moved on to the computer age, but there is a real streak of humanity running through the film. The audience cares about both Seth Brundle and Veronica, a feeling helped in no little way by the two terrific central performances from Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. Goldblum in particular is wonderful, even oozing pathos whilst hidden under Chris Walas's gloopy make-up. David Cronenberg may well be the king of body-horror, but this film also proves he's an old romantic at heart, as at the core of The Fly is a tragic love story. It also happens to be a rare case of a remake that surpasses the original.

Friday the 13th (2009) (Buy) | Words: Darrell Buxton
Friday the 13th is an interesting one - it kinda remakes the first four films in the series and then sequelizes them, all in the one handy feature-length package, so rather than being a 'reboot' or whatever the preferred term is these days, it fits quite nicely into the existing series.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006) (Buy) | Words: Darrell Buxton
The Hills Have Eyes remake is notable, mainly for its stunning retro soundtrack, for managing to capture a fair bit of the rawness of the original, and again for adding on a new section at the end that doesn't suck and is in fact rather odd and eerie.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) (Buy) | Words: Just Before Dawn, Graham Watt
Philip Kaufman's remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers takes the same story and applies a completely new subtext. It's very clever, as well as being terrifically well made. The original is great, but the Kaufman remake is even richer in paranoid detail and creepy little off-beat touches.

Let Me In (2010) (Buy) | Words: Karswell
Arguably better than the Swedish original - and certainly vastly more gruesome. Unequivocally a horror picture, I'd say (despite the surprising 15 certificate).
There's a sequence in which Elias Koteas, as a persistent cop, takes a tour of Abby's flat which is just a masterclass in suspense. And underscored with very doom-laden Hammeresque music. It's a triumph all round.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) (Buy) | Words: FranklinMarsh
A Nightmare On Elm Street was universally panned, but I found the downbeat telling of the story, with Freddy much reduced, and the teens being miserable stay-at-homes (because of abuse?) quite different.

Nosferatu (1979) (Buy) | Words: Sataness, Loz
Herzog's Nosferatu remake is as freaky as hell, and the music is fabulous. It's the slightly awkwardness of it all that results in a wonderful dream like quality. Everything I like about this film has nothing to do with Stokers Dracula. The nocturnal rodent appearance of the Vampire is direct from the 1922 version, so i guess this film shouldn't take credit for the portrayal of Nosferatu - who is seen more as a creature scuttling around in the shadows and dark alcoves rather than a gentleman lord - but still, hat's off to this film for expanding on Murnau's/Schreck's original ideas of repulsion and desire.

The Omen (2006) (Buy) | Words: Billy, Darrell Buxton
This remake manages to capture the grandeur and size of the original and offer fantastic casting.
It was a little bit by-the-numbers but added on a terrific Final Destination-like scene at the start, and although some may see this as heresy, I thought Pete Postlethwaite was actually better than Patrick Troughton as the nutty priest, and Thewlis gave David Warner a run for his money as the photographer.

The Wolfman (2010) (Buy) | Words: FranklinMarsh
The remake of The Wolfman - unusually a big budget Hollywood period horror which we probably hadn't seen since Kennth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It was a brave move considering the trend for resurrecting 70s slashers and the success of the 80s contemporary werewolf pictures. The absurd CGI heavy ending nearly scuppers it, but it moves at a fair rate, it's bloody like modern horror (and unlike the golden age - there's something very satisfying about an olden days werewolf tearing off a human arm shown in glorious colour), romantic like old horror and above all, fun.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) (Buy) | Words: Squire Hamilton
Reasonably impressed with Marcus Nispel's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, partly because he had the nerve to make it gruelling, 'R' rated stuff, rather than pandering to the horror-lite PG-13 crowd.


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Anonymous said...

What about The Blob?

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