Dash 10s…The Best Horror Remakes

   Listen guys…before you turn your computer off and march over to Hollywood with torches and pitchforks, I just want you to understand something. Yes, there is no point of remaking a horror classic. Hell, there’s no point in remaking any movie of any genre for that matter. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but there really is no need to fix something that wasn’t even broken to begin with. However, the Horror genre is usually the first genre thought of when Hollywood wants to make a quick buck. Most of the time, I find myself repeating the same question…How much money is enough? I agree, the very thought of today’s filmmakers and producers still refusing to take ownership for their mistakes and learn from said mistakes, is much more terrifying than any uninspired, unnecessary, PG-13 rated, jump-scare trash they cook up. At the same time, not EVERY remake of a Horror film is a bad movie. If you ask me, there’s a few remakes that I can even consider to be almost, if not just as good as the original.

   Oh, would you relax?!? Yes, some Horror remakes are actually not trash. Isn’t that amazing? Yeah, I think it is time for me to do Top 10 already. Believe it or not, this list is actually not as hard as you may think. I would also like to clarify that this is all my opinion. I know for a fact that some of you may think differently about what I consider a ‘good’ Horror remake, or even a good standalone film. With all due respect, I am also curious to hear what you guys think. So please feel free to speak you mind. Now, let us begin…

#10- The Crazies(2010)

   I know what you’re thinking…How dare I put a remake of a George A. Romero film from 2010 on the list, even if it is very low on my list? Easy, do you remember the original? Or are you just jumping the bandwagon simply because you hear the words ‘Remake’ and ‘Romero’ in the same sentence? Even though George A. Romero was an Executive Producer for the remake, and it actually was pretty successful when it was released, so…

   What I’m trying to say is that if there’s one thing this version has done right was introduce people to the 1973 original. Personally, when I saw the 2010 version of ‘The Crazies’, I thought it was pretty good. The very idea of an entire town being quarantined after an outbreak from a virus getting leaked into the town’s water supply, putting the townsfolk in a sick and murderous rampage? That’s something that could really hit home for some people, in my opinion. Especially with all the illnesses, violence and government conspiracies we face today. As far as the rest of the movie? The production value was pretty good, the violence was intense and well done, and the acting wasn’t even half bad. Who would’ve thought that the nutcase from ‘Scream 2’ could act?

   The real shame however, is the fact that the remake is kinda suffering the same fate as the original. Whereas the 1973 version of ‘The Crazies’ didn’t do all that well and was sort of forgotten by most moviegoers, some people also seem to forget about the 2010 version which was both financially and critically superior than the original. Perhaps, that’s the reason why this remake is so low on my list. Or, maybe I just wanted this to be the first movie you see on the list so you can watch it and tell everyone about it? You decide!

#9- Friday The 13th(2009)

  Ahh yes, the goalie mask-wearing elephant in the room. I don’t mind one’s opinion being different from mine. What I don’t understand however, is how people give the 2009 reboot of the 80s Slasher classic such a bad reputation yet consider the 2010 ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ to be better. I love Jackie Earle Haley too, but he was the ONLY good thing about that movie and he STILL could never touch the one and only Robert Englund. In other words…

   The way I see it, people forgot what made ‘Friday’ and ‘Nightmare’ so unique and different from one another. The ‘Nightmare’ franchise has smart and likable characters who have to survive night-terror after night-terror thanks to the sins of their own parents, and an iconic villain with a look and a weapon that are as legendary as his kills and his one-liners. The ‘Friday’ franchise however, is not supposed to make you think. Seriously, ‘Friday The 13th’ is not a hard movie to remake if you think about it, and the fact that they fast-forward through Jason’s origin so he can get his iconic mask on was not a problem for me. As a matter of fact, I saw this movie with a group of friends the night it came out. When Jason got his sack mask ripped off and picked up the hockey mask, I started clapping and cheering…which also made everyone else start clapping. How can a “bad” movie start such a joyous uproar like that?

   You just clapped, didn’t you? As I was saying…I don’t really see how you can take a film series about a giant, mute Momma’s boy in a Hockey mask hacking through waves of dumb, drunk and drugged out teenagers with sex drives higher than Miley Cyrus at a Teen’s Choice Awards, and try to make that into something thought-provoking. 

   What’s that? That’s Cassie Cage from the new Mortal Kombat game, not Miley Cy-Shut your mouth and let a man dream…Back to reality, I also friggin’ LOVE the fact that they made Jason faster and smarter in this version. Of course I miss Kane Hodder, but I mean it when I say Derek Mears killed it as Jason! The man is like a machine and I hope that they’d at least get him back, if they decide to do another ‘Friday’ movie that is. Oh, and for all you Fanchesters out there, Jared Padalecki was in the reboot too…so there’s something, I guess.

#8- Dawn Of The Dead(2004)

   Stay with me here, people. I know Zack Snyder directed ‘Sucker Punch’ and ‘Man Of Steel’. Wanna know what else he did? ‘300’, ‘Watchmen’, and this movie…so sit back down! Now, after all’s said and done, Zack Snyder did do an incredible job on this movie. Remember awhile back when everyone WISHED a zombie apocalypse could happen? Stupid, I know. But you see, they want the slow-moving zombies so they think they’d have a chance. After this movie AND ’28 Days Later’, do you really still think you can handle it?

   Zack Snyder’s retelling of the 1978 George A. Romero classic is the prime example of trying something new, all the while staying true to the spirit of the original. I must remind you…the fast zombies were definitely something new. Nothing hardly ever scares me, even as I was growing up. But even I was a little afraid of seeing both ’28 Days Later’ and ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ in theaters because I couldn’t quite grasp the idea of having a horde of monsters that I could out-moonwalk, now being able to out-sprint me. So to all naysayers out there…

#7- Cape Fear(1991)

  Okay good, looks like we’re finally taking a break from the controversy. How about a movie that a lot of people like? Well…go ahead! I dare you! Try and say something bad about Martin Scorsese! No takers? Good. You don’t wanna get Max Cady angry.

   Seriously though, this movie was really messed up. Personally, I blame ‘The Simpsons’. Much like any kid from the 90s, you most likely saw the ‘Cape Feare” episode. Then on TV one night, you found the 1991 remake of ‘Cape Fear’ which that episode of ‘The Simpsons’ was based off of…and you couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. Martin Scorsese basically takes the 1962 thriller, cranks it up to 15, and adds a little dose of another Robert Mitchum classic, 1955’s ‘The Night Of The Hunter’ which all builds into a brutal and visceral ride into madness. You also got the amazing acting from pretty much every actor, especially from Robert DeNiro who proves that he could be so much more than just gangsters and wiseguys. The acting is great, the story is great, and it’s all complimented by Martin Scorsese’s trademark film style which is just perfect for a psychological horror/thriller. Oh, and did I mention Juliette Lewis is in the movie too?

…Just saying.

#6- Rob Zombie’s Halloween(2007)

   Great, we’ve returned to the controversy. Look, I don’t like this movie just because Rob Zombie directed it. Yes, I love the man’s music. As far as his filmography, ‘The Devil’s Rejects’, ‘Lords Of Salem’ and ‘The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto’ are my personal favorites from him. However, I’m not gonna disregard his vision of Michael Myers. I do agree that we don’t need a remake of one of the most important horror films of all time. Especially one that’s directed by one of my favorite directors of all time, John Carpenter. I also believe that the whole thing would’ve failed if it was given to a lesser director. Granted, it may not have been as scary as the original, but it’s definitely just as intense as the original. Maybe even a bit more intense with the brutal death scenes and all. So, Rob Zombie is a man who knows how to make violence look good…mind you, he’s a damn Vegan!

   Shut up, Envy! Back to Rob’s vision…while it’s impossible to replace Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, Scout Taylor-Compton was okay. But, Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis? PERFECT!!! Tyler Mane was also amazing as Michael Myers. Remember what I said before about Derek Mears being like a machine when he played Jason? Well, screw ‘Terminator: Genisys’, I wanna see a ‘Robocop vs. Terminator’ movie starring Derek Mears and Tyler Mane! As for the other cast members, I could never get tired of looking at Sheri Moon Zombie. Then, there’s Daeg Faerch as young Michael. In the immortal words of Will Smith…”Damn!” So yeah, most of the world hates Rob Zombie’s movies for some reason and mostly because he remade a horror movie that was apparently so successful that it got a sequel. If there’s anything else you may not like about Rob Zombie, please direct your attention to the nightmare child below:

#5- The Fly(1986)

   Who could hate Jeff Goldblum? Rhetorical question, but I’d hoped you’d answered anyway so I could redirect your attention back to Daeg Faerch up above. Hehe. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t love David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of the 1958 classic. First off, it’s David Cronenberg! That man knows how to make people scream, cry, laugh and vomit all at same time, doesn’t he?

   See? The Crypt-Goldblum and Stuart Little’s Mom know the drill. Overall, this 80s masterpiece is one hell of a trip. It delves into the downward spiral of a brilliant man who’s only downfall was his own ambitions. A tragic tale that doesn’t hold your hand with it’s clever commentary on the advancements of science, aging and diseases. Did I forget to mention that this movie was released during the ever-growing AIDS epidemic at the time? Not to be that guy, but AIDS is still a thing in this day and age. As well other diseases such as Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis, just to name a few. I think it’s safe to say that as great of a movie as this is, I can’t recommend it to people who are sensitive about what I just discussed. I don’t even want to show you guys anymore clips or photos from the film because it could get pretty graphic, trust me. So here’s a little something to lighten the mood.

Thanks, Jeff!

#4- Invasion Of The Body Snatchers(1978)

   The Goldblum has returned! Now this is what you call a classic. It even went so far as to be considered the 59th scariest film ever made, according to the Chicago Film Critics Association. Not to mention, considered by many as one of the greatest film remakes and one of the greatest films ever made. So why isn’t it #1? No film is perfect(except for Kung Fury), and certainly not this one. To me, some of the dialogue and camera angles seem a little too awkward and hokey at times…Yes! Even for me. But, those are the only complaints that I have for this film. Other than that, this film succeeded in creeping me out a couple of times. Yeah, I know…of course a film about the human race being killed and replaced by emotionless plant-aliens SHOULD creep me out.

Hmm…That could explain a lot. Nah, I’m sure it’s nothing. Next!

#3- The Thing(1982)

   Well now, it’s seems as though all this talk of John Carpenter, David Cronenberg’s film style, and aliens assimilating other life forms has all been building up to this moment. Don’t you just love how things work out all on its own? While my favorite John Carpenter films are ‘Halloween’, ‘They Live’, ‘Big Trouble In Little China’ and ‘Escape From New York’, I’ll always have a soft spot for his 1982 remake. I bet a few of you still don’t even know that it was a remake, did you? The 1951 Howard Hawks film is certainly good it its own right. It certainly left an impression on John Carpenter who not only wanted to put his own spin on the original, but also lifted elements from the 1938 John W. Campbell novella, ‘Who Goes There?’ This is yet another movie that I’m almost afraid to show any clips of…but since there’s no real social commentary backed by amazing practical effects, I’ll just show you guys this.

Poor Husky…

   Anyways, that was just a taste of the AMAZING special effects done by Rob Bottin who unfortunately has been retired from the business since 2002. By the way, you can’t have a John Carpenter film without the John Carpenter regulars. David Keith from ‘They Live’, and The Man, Myth and Living Legend himself…from ‘Big Trouble In Little China’, ‘Escape From New York’ and ‘Escape From L.A.’, Kurt…Friggin’…Russell!

   Nothing else needs to be said. Now go and watch ‘The Thing’, then come back…NOW! Oh, and stay away from the 2011 reboot/prequel. Burn that atrocity with a flamethrower. THEN go watch ‘The Thing’ and come back…NOW!

#2- Night Of The Living Dead(1990)

   Another George A. Romero classic? It must be somebody’s birthday, somewhere! This time, directed by Make-Up Effects Legend, Tom Savini. For those of you who haven’t clicked off and rushed to watch this movie after I mentioned Tom Savini, I’ll continue. George A. Romero’s ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ from 1968 is by far the most important horror film of all time. ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ was a complete game-changer, and I’m not just talking about the fact the film’s protagonist was a black man which was already so unheard of and controversial back in the 1960s. The film remains to this day as a historical and cultural achievement, making “Zombies” one of the most popular and marketable movie monsters since Vampires and Werewolves, as well as inspiring countless films, books, comics, TV shows and even video games like ‘Resident Evil'(back when that series of games were good).

   Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, there are two problems I have with the original. Firstly, the way women were portrayed in the movie is very dated. Secondly, it’s a Public Domain film. What that means is that the film is basically free for anyone to remake, reboot, retool, retell, repackage, ripoff and any other word that starts with the letter ‘R’. Well, I’m hear to tell you that this is one remake that you should NEVER overlook. I actually watched the remake long before I even knew about the original AND I even found the remake to be scarier. Looking back, the 1990 version of ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ fixes any and all problems with the original, all the while taking the elements that worked and evolved them. I will admit that the 1968 version of Ben and Mr. Cooper are superior, but the actor they got for Cooper in the remake was pretty good and Ben was played by none other than ‘Candyman’ himself, Tony Todd. So, there’s that!

   While we’re on the subject of Horror icons, the film also stars Rob Zombie regular, Bill Moseley. Oh, and do you remember what I said before about the women in the original being a product of their time? Well ladies, how about we take the 1968 film’s female lead who was catatonic and useless, and turn her a short-haired BADASS?!?

Gentlemen…I think I’m in love.

   Now, I think I should be honest with you guys. Years ago, I would’ve stopped the list right here. The 1990 remake of ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ holds a very special place in my heart, it introduced me to George A. Romero who would later become one of my favorite directors, and to this day is still tied with the 1968 version whenever I talk about some of my favorite horror films of all time. The only problem with that, is that its just not my all-time favorite horror remake anymore. With that said, you wanna know what knocked ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ down a peg? Do you really wanna know? Are you sure? Okay!

#1- Evil Dead(2013)

   Oh boy…make yourselves comfortable, kids. Have I got a story for you, let me tell you. I was forcing myself to forgive director Sam Raimi for ‘Spiderman 3’ and ‘Drag Me To Hell’, because I knew that we would eventually be getting a new ‘Evil Dead’ movie pretty soon. But, when I heard that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell supposedly weren’t going to work on ‘Evil Dead 4’ anymore and were instead going be focusing on rebooting the franchise, I went into a bloody, destructive, hate-fueled rampage!

  I mean I was roaring with rage and foaming at the mouth! I wanted to boycott this movie, I was calling out anyone who had even the slightest bit of curiosity when it was released and I was even getting into heated arguments with my closest friends when they told me that they not only paid to watch the movie, but LOVED IT! Even when they offered to pay for my movie ticket so I could see it while it was still in theaters, I cold-heartedly refused! I was even calling out Sam Raimi and The Icon himself, Bruce Campbell…Bruce Friggin’ Campbell! I mean it, I was constantly calling them idiots and sell-outs for allowing one of the greatest cult horror films of all time to be tarnished by what I thought was gonna be some cheap, watered-down, CGI-infested crap directed by some talent-less hack and starring a bunch of Twilight-lookalike nobodies! Needless to say, I WANTED, I NEEDED THIS MOVIE TO FAIL just so I could laugh and prove the world that they were all morons and that I WAS RIGHT! But, then it came on TV one night and…Mr. Campbell, I’m still sorry.

   The movie was phenomenal! I mean do I really need to go on? Sure, you could make the argument that Hollywood left me with such a jaded view on certain films over the years, but that doesn’t even cover it. The damage has already been done! Not only was I wrong about this movie, but I admitted I was wrong with pride. I LOVE this movie. I’m a grown man, it takes a lot of effort to scare me. Good…Bad…I’m the guy who could smell a cheap jump-scare a mile away, I could literally countdown whenever a jump-scare happens. ‘Evil Dead’ actually made me jump and cringe a couple of times. Every single scare in this movie was 100% effective. I’m serious, it has been a long time since a new horror film succeeded in scaring me.

Seriously though, don’t be a fool and watch this movie half-asleep at 3 o’clock in the morning like I did. You know what else? It’s also been a long time since I couldn’t tell when certain scenes in a movie were using practical effects or CGI. I love practical effects, which I believe has become something of a dead art in recent years. The practical effects in ‘Evil Dead’ are just beautiful. Speaking of which…

Hear I thought that when they would eventually be replacing Ash in this new movie, of course I thought it was going to be a man. Lo and behold, I was wrong again! Not only do we get a very sympathetic heroine, but we actually get a talented actress to play her. Not only did the character of Mia become one of my new favorite horror heroes, but it also made Jane Levy one of my new favorite actors. I think all the actors were good, actually. Hell, the guy who plays Mia’s brother was in ‘Red Riding Hood’ a.k.a. ‘Twilight Knockoff #3’, and I actually thought he was good in this movie! Let’s see, I loved the actors, the story, the cinematography, the effects, the gore, the scares, the music…anything I’m missing? Oh right!

He’s baaaaaaaaaaack!!! Oh no, trust me. This isn’t just another obligatory Bruce Campbell cameo. This is mearly a sign of the times. I’ve really should’ve just kept my big mouth shut. Because as it turns out, ‘Evil Dead 2013’ was just a test to see if people are still interested in the franchise. Thankfully, it worked. Not only are we FINALLY getting ‘Evil Dead 4’ (now renamed ‘Army Of Darkness 2’) with Bruce Campbell returning as Ash, but we’re also gonna get a sequel to this movie with Jane Levy returning as Mia, a crossover movie with Ash AND Mia, as well as an ‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’ TV series…

I have to say, that is a lot to take in. I could hardly contain myself, and now I am excited to see how this resurgence of ‘The Evil Dead’ franchise all turns out. Until then, I’m going to keep enjoying this movie. I still love the original trilogy, of course. But, as of right now, I am confident in now referring to it as ‘The Evil Dead Quadrilogy’! That’s my time, guys. Hope you all enjoyed my first Top Ten List and I also hoped I opened some of your eyes on some truly excellent films. Until next time, Gotta Dash!

Oh, I almost forgot. I actually do have one complaint about 2013 ‘Evil Dead’, they didn’t have this song play in the movie.

Videos & Photos:

The Crazies(2010) (owned by Overture Films)

Friday The 13th(2009) (owned by New Line Cinema & Platinum Dunes)

Dawn Of The Dead(2004) (owned by Universal Pictures & Strike Entertainment)

Cape Fear(1991) (owned by Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment & Tribeca Productions)

Rob Zombie’s Halloween(owned by Dimension Films, Screen Gems & The Weinstein Company)

The Fly(1986) (owned by 20th Century Fox, Brooksfilms & SLM Production Group)

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers(1978) (owned by United Artists & Allied Artists Pictures)

The Thing(1982) (owned by Universal Pictures)

Night Of The Living Dead(1990) (owned by Columbia Pictures & 21st Century Film Corporation)

Evil Dead(2013) (owned by TriStar Pictures, Ghost House Pictures & FilmDistrict)

Doctor Who(owned by BBC)

Sherlock(owned by BBC Wales & Hartswood Films)

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy(owned by DreamWorks Pictures & Apatow Productions)

WWE Raw(owned by WWE)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back(owned by Disney, 20th Century Fox & LucasFilm)

Friday(owned by New Line Cinema & Cube Vision Productions)

Glee(owned by 20th Century Fox Television, Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision & Ryan Murphy Productions)

Full House(owned by Warner Bros. Television Distribution)

Misfits(owned by E4 and Clerkenwell Films)

Clueless(owned by Paramount Pictures)

Kindergarden Cop(owned by Universal Pictures & Imagine Entertainment)

Scream 2(owned by Dimension Films & Craven-Maddalena Films)

Mortal Kombat X(owned by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, NetherRealm Studios & High Voltage Software)

Supernatural(owned by Warner Bros. Television Distribution & Kripke Enterprises)

Michael Jackson’s Thriller(owned by MJJ Productions & Epic Records)

Natural Born Killers(owned by Warner Bros. Pictures & Regency Enterprises)

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World(owned by Universal Pictures & Big Talk Films)

Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie(owned by Magnet Releasing, 2929 Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions, Funny Or Die Films & Abso Lutely Films)

Twilight(owned by Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill Entertainment, Maverick Films, Imprint Entertainment & DMG Entertainment)

Escape From L.A.(owned by Paramount Pictures)

Resident Evil 6(owned by Capcom)

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn(owned by Paramount Pictures, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group & Renaissance Pictures)

Scanners(owned by Avco-Embassy Pictures & Manson International)

Slayer’s Raining Blood(owned by Slayer & Rick Rubin)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s