In the film industry as a whole, remakes are exceptionally common. When they go right, they can resurrect source material and bring it to a brand new audience. But when they go wrong, they go REALLY wrong. The horror genre is not exempt to remakes and over the years, we’ve seen the good, the bad and the very ugly. Take a look at 12 of the best and worst horror remakes of all time in the gallery below, then let us know your top (or bottom) remake in the comments section on social media.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (2010)
The original 1984 “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is one of the most celebrated horror movies of all time and remaking it was a questionable choice. While the original was packed with exciting twists and turns, the remake fell flat and didn’t have the cast audiences fell in love with those many years ago. The makeup and special effects felt off, plus you just can’t do “A Nightmare on Elm Street” film without the involvement of Robert Englund or Wes Craven.
“Cabin Fever” (2016)
2002’s “Cabin Fever” was a surprise hit from first-time director Eli Roth and a fresh approach to the horror genre. The remake was a poor attempt and lacked the substance that the original gave audiences. And while this remake was written by Eli Roth, it didn’t stand a chance of rising to the level of his original.
“House of Wax” (2005)
It says something when the most memorable performance from a film comes from Paris Hilton. The 1953 original is a timeless classic and considering the source material, this remake had a lot to work with. But, instead of leaning into what made the original film so great, this film came off like a cheap teen slasher with clichés we’ve seen executed better a hundred times over. The only thing this movie has going for it is a nostalgic soundtrack.
While this movie was technically a box office success, it definitely didn’t fair well with critics. The original 1982 film, while cheesy and ridiculous, is an undeniable horror classic. Although this movie isn’t completely terrible, it did nothing to enhance the source material and was a pretty useless remake.
1960’s “Psycho” is one of the most beloved and influential horror movies of all time. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you know it’s many iconic scenes that continue to make an impression on popular culture. The 1998 remake, however, does a poor job of living up to Hitchcock’s legacy. Although it features an impressive cast of talented actors, the remake fails to bring anything new or substantial to the table. This film is pretty much a shot-for-shot remake and if you’re in the mood for some Norman Bates, just watch the original.
“One Missed Call” (2008)
2003’s “One Missed Call,” is a Japanese horror film that showcases the creativity the genre is known for. The 2008 American remake, however, is one of the worst horror movies of all time. This film is the worst reviewed film of 2008 and has an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yikes.
“Evil Dead” 2013
The 1981 original perfectly captures everything that we loved about ’80s horror. The 2013 remake takes the story and brings it into the 21st century in the best possible way. This remake doesn’t try to be the original, instead focusing on scaring the pants off audiences with gore and scares. It’s the kind of film that will please existing fans of the “Evil Dead” franchise, but also bring new people to the party.
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)
The original 1956 film is regarded as a highlight of sci-fi horror of the time period. This remake elevated the original concept and executed it in a very successful way. For this reason, it’s often regarded as one of the best remakes of all time and is a staple for most horror fans.
“Let Me In” (2010)
The 2008 Swedish original, “Let the Right One In” set the bar high, but we’d like to think that 2010’s “Let Me In” rose to the challenge. The film had many similarities to the original film, but the changes made were tactful and let the remake stand on it’s own. Plus the performances by the young cast were incredibly impressive and left made tough critics pleasantly surprised.
“The Ring” (2002)
We’ve seen remakes of J-horror films go horribly wrong, but sometimes, American remakes do it oh so right. “The Ring” is a remake of 1998’s “Ring” and introduced American audiences to the best parts of J-horror. This film is hauntingly stylized and the performance by lead actor Naomi Watts is undeniably memorable. Although many criticize the 2000’s for it’s horror movies, this film is definitely one of the best of the decade.
“The Thing” (1982)
When I think of “The Thing,” all I can think of is the 1982 remake. Although 1982’s “The Thing” technically just goes by the same source material of the novella “Who Goes There?” it technically belongs in the remake category as “The Thing from Another World” came first in 1951. This remake followed in the success of director John Carpenter’s earlier horror movies, “Halloween” and “The Fog,” and is now regarded as a cult classic.
“The Wicker Man” (2006)
OK, here me out. Yes, the original is much better in pretty much every possible way except one— the remake has Nicolas Cage. Enough said, am I right?