With various remakes hitting cinemas this year, it makes us wonder about all the other films Hollywood has recycled over the years. It’s apparent that Hollywood has some strange obsession with ‘rebooting’ or ‘recreating’ films that are classic in their own right. With good reason many assume that new versions of these movies will disappoint. However as with anything there is always an exception… of course, it is hard to believe that actual good remakes exist out there, let alone ones that essentially enhance and overshadow the original film. Here at Roobla we have rounded up some of the best remakes of the horror genre and some of the worst.
The Fly (1958) Vs The Fly (1986)
The Fly is the story of a deranged scientist with the obsession of destroying and recreating matter in a teleportation device at another location. His life falls apart in the process of perfecting this flawed dream. He is desperate for a test subject for his scientific experiments and after initial successful attempts with inanimate objects and animals he finally decides to test on a human being – himself. Catastrophe follows. After a disastrous endeavour in teleporting himself, the crazed genius begins transforming into a revolting half human/half fly mutation merged together by his teleportation device.
Kurn Neumann’s classic 50’s original is an innovative portrayal of the intended story; it is a combination of anguish, at times tasteless humour, and absurdity. Despite the horrible feeling, this original film somehow still manages to entertain with a well written script and a great cast.
David Cronenberg successfully re-invented the 1950’s original and transformed it into an unbearable tragic tale of romance and destruction. The original seems like a harmless walk in the park compared to the gruesome and gore-filled Cronenberg remake. The ruthless filmmaker altered the story and provided it with a more ominous and spine-chilling atmosphere, the casting of Jeff Goldblum as the tragic scientist only adds to the profound goodness that is The Fly.
The Winner: David Cronenberg’s The Fly undoubtedly gets the prize as the better film; it’s a truly terrifying horror film that urges its audiences to empathise with the characters – good or bad. The Fly is one of the greatest horrors out there – it more or less completely outshines the original in every aspect.
Let the Right One In (2008) Vs Let Me In (2010)
A story about a tormented adolescent boy dealing with the hardships of a neglectful mother, being a target of intimidating tyrants in school and the territory of a new-found, mysterious friendship strewn with young love and loneliness. This unique 12 year old boy meets a young, cryptic girl who shares his unfathomable isolation; they both form an unlikely friendship which results in murder and horror. It is not too long after mysterious deaths begin plaguing the small town that the little boy realises that his new friend is far from human but, despite the immense danger, the friendship flourishes, ultimately taking priority over his anxiety about who she really is – a vampire.
Let the Right One In (2008) This stunningly shot adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist‘s novel of the same name re-invents the vampire genre after the upsurge of dreadful glamour-ridden vampire films that have slightly tainted the field. Let the Right One In is an innovative, love story and horror film encrusted with pragmatism and dark, frightening surrealism. A must see for all avid fans of the vampire genre.
Let Me In (2010) Written and directed by Cloverfield’s Matt Reeves, this remake of the 2008 original was renamed and although it isn’t entirely innovative to the story, it ingeniously fabricated a chillier atmosphere while still retaining most of the original’s ill-fated romance and gloomy theme. While some can say that Let Me In serves no purpose to the genre due to the fact of it being a remake of a self-contained film, it is strenuous to deny the impact that the remake has provided for the story – visually stunning and in itself more openly political, Let Me In scarcely disappoints.
The Winner: Tie! No doubt Let the Right One In victories over innovative story and frightening ideas, Let Me In preserves the originality and provides a slightly diverse exploration of the touching and lonely relationship of the two central characters.
The Wicker Man (1973) Vs The Wicker Man (2006)
The Wicker Man is a tale that centres around a virtuous police officer who arrives at a peculiar, isolated island in order to carry out an investigation about the mysterious disappearance of a local girl. Upon encountering abnormal residents ridden with Pagan beliefs who deny the girl ever existed, the deeply religious values of the rattled constable are confronted with ideas he is unable to comprehend. Despite being warned to leave by the spooky locals, the naïve officer stays fearing that the girl’s disappearance may be linked to the sinister festival of the town. Upon deciding to remain on the creepy island strewn with fanatical locals, the detective discovers a more ominous and sinister intentions of the natives – in turn becoming a sacrifice to a Pagan God they so passionately worship.
The Wicker Man (1973) Robin Hardy’s unsettling, ingenious 70’s classic is a film so sophisticated and so unnerving that it is virtually impossible to top. The nifty filmmaker generates such intense apprehension, building it slowly but surely throughout the horrific atmosphere of the film making it one of the most respected and appreciated films of all time. The Wicker Man cleverly depicts an alternate society strewn with disturbing deep religious beliefs – a morbid look at pure evil through the eyes of a righteous and innocent man.
The Wicker Man (2006) This pitiful endeavour at re-creating the cult classic is a catastrophe from beginning to end – generating none of the original’s ingenuity and chilling, ominous atmosphere. Director Neil LaBute should really be ashamed of himself for even attempting to top the brilliant original with his with tasteless biddings at comedy and incompetent scares. The only plus side to the whole film is Nicholas Cage’s comical efforts at bushing a woman for her bear costume…
The Winner: The Wicker Man (1973) wins hands down. It’s so frightening, inventive and complex that the terrible remake hardly touches it.
The Omen (1976) vs The Omen (2006)
When tragedy strikes a young couple with a stillborn son, a husband and wife lovingly adopt a child whose mother has died. Bliss follows for the ill-fated couple as their little son Damien flourishes. However they get more than they bargained upon the appearance of a sinister nanny determined to protect the growing boy at all costs. Soon, they discover that their adopted son Damien is the spawn of Satan and has been placed on earth to destroy humanity as The Antichrist.
The Omen (1976) A milestone for satanic cinema, David Seltzer’s ominous chiller undoubtedly fetches some thrilling scares and bloody violence through the portrayal of unsettling biblical prophecies. Thirty years on, The Omen remains a truly disturbing, atmospheric classic – one of the 20th century’s authentic greats.
The Omen (2006) Despite the influence of such an ingenious classic, Dan Mcdermott’s stab at reinventing the story is entirely void of any intensity and scarcely even comes close to the original. This miserable remake once again proves the pointlessness of the shot-for-shot style of filmmaking – it serves no purpose and barely ever enhances the impact of its predecessor as most shot-for-shot remakes generally do.
The Winner: The Omen (1976) surely victories over its incompetent remake – the cunning story line invokes a deep fear of genuine and disturbing evil, through the character of Damien.