Top 10 Worst Horror Remakes!
So, who's hung-over? Was it the gravy or the whisky? The biscuits or the beer? All of the above? Well folks, don't fret, we're here for you on this slog of a post-Thanksgiving Friday. We'll digest and regroup as a team! After-all, I'm sure the last thing any of us want to do today is hit the multiplex to see the only real genre flick out this week, Spike Lee's badly received OLDBOY remake. Speaking of, what the hell was Lee thinking? Remakes should be reserved for bad movies the NEED updating, not the other way around. But of course, that logic takes a backseat to earning dollars, and in that regard, we've seen more and more horror remakes come out in the last decade or so...most of them atrocious to say the least. In fact, as you'll see ahead, it was difficult narrowing the selection of worst horror remakes down to ten. But alas, here are our Top 10 Turkeys when it comes to horror remakes!
I'll be honest, I think there are 10 worse remakes out there than that of Marcus Nispel's FRIDAY THE 13TH. But because of the tradition, the history, the legend that is Jason Voorhees and his 3-decade reign as a hall of fame horror villain...the 2009 redo must be lambasted for what it is. A cartoonish best-of! And while I certainly enjoyed how every single loathsome character ended up getting gorily whacked, there's nothing about the flick that shouts remake as it does retread. First off, where's Mommy Voorhees? Secondly, why the hell is Jason taking captives all of a sudden? And for the love of god, when did Voorhees start growing the herb? WTF!
Coming off two promising originals (CORPSES & REJECTS), Rob Zombie took a massive misstep when trying to revitalize a dormant horror legend in Michael Myers. Unfortunate, as many had grand hopes for such a high-profile refashioning. Problem is, Zombie strayed way too far from the original Myers mythos and tried to shade the character in with pseudo-sympathetic back-story, not to mention a completely different visual aesthetic than we're used to seeing. Of course, the film made enough coin at the box-office that it instantly warranted a sequel, which was so abysmal upon completion that the Halloween franchise is now endangered. Good going, Robbie!
Consider this a blanket indictment of the all the insipid Asian-to-American horror translations we've seen the last decade or so. SHUTTER, DARK WATER, THE EYE, etc. - these are all fallow attempts to recreate original international horror for American audiences. They end up as watered down, over-the-top, PG-13 retreads that lose all of the subtleties and nuances that work so well in the story's native tongue. DARK WATER is particularly maddening when you consider director Walter Salles (MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) and star Jennifer Connelly are miles more talented than the final product would suggest. I mean, the other flicks mentioned starred Joshua Jackson and Jessica Alba. 'Nuff said!
Good gravy...I cannot recall a safer, more anodyne, more neutered horror remake than that of PROM NIGHT. Jesus, a teen girl getting her period before the big dance would have been more edgy! Rocking the old PG-13 rating, pretty much every slaying in the film is of the cutaway variety, which means we only see the aftermath, never the actual fatality. So sad. Remember, the original was a sly slasher whodunit starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielson, and though cheaply made in 1980, at least it had a handful of suspenseful sequences. PROM NIGHT '08 felt more like a goddamn week in detention. No fun at all!
Allow us to speak on behalf of the great Eric Red - the writer behind the one and only HITCHER - when we say every copy of the '07 remake should be recalled, soaked with gasoline and torched to the high heavens. Seriously, it's worth the atmospheric pollution. And we can thank the oh-so talented music video director Dave Meyers for every poor decision made regarding the remake - from the miscast leads, to the nonexistent character development, to thinking that a series of music-laced montages make an action-thriller sing. Props to the legendary Rutger Hauer for declining to appear in a cameo role, especially when he cited such decline for artistic reasons. Never-mind a severed finger, that's the real HITCHER telling you your movie eats balls!
This goes double for THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, which was released the same year as THE HAUNTING in 1999. Both are ungodly abominations, even when considering the originals on which they're based were little more than low-budget B-pictures during their time. Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING ('63) is a masterwork in less-is-more terror, while the remake is a master-class on how to make a Z-grade movie with an A-list cast. Wow. Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta, Owen Wilson, Lili Taylor, Bruce Dern, Virginia Madsen and Todd Field? Yeah, leave it to the perennial hack that is Jan De Bont to f*ck that one up so royally. Go back and direct SPEED 3 already Jan!
Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is my all-time favorite horror movie, so of course I'm going to take serious umbrage with any and all so-called remakes. This goes equally for the 2003 redo with Jessica Biel, the 2006 rehash with Jordana Brewster, and most goes double for the most recent iteration, the brainless TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D with Alexandra Daddario. Simply put, no matter how hard they try, how much money they spend, who they cast, who they hire to direct...no one will ever be able to recapture the authentic grit and grime, the abject terror, and the utterly bizarre experience of the original TCM. No one!
"OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH!" Jesus Christ, Nic Cage outdoes himself in jaw-dropping fashion for the remake of THE WICKER MAN - which is at once the most insultingly stupid, yet inexplicably entertaining horror remakes I can recall. Seriously, this shite makes THE HAPPENING look like CITIZEN KANE. And worse - aside from embarrassing the great Ellen Burstyn - who in the hell was calling for a WICKER MAN remake in the first place? The original is a downbeat English cult-classic made 33 years earlier...not exactly a built-in box-office bona fide. I admire the risk, but question the project, and most definitely want to get Nic Cage on a drug program!
What a colossally asinine decision to remake Alfred Hitchcock's seminal slasher joint PSYCHO. I mean, Vince Vaughan as Norman Bates? Please! Anne Heche as Janet Leigh? Hogwash! Come to think of it, is it possible that Gus Van Sant deliberately took the project so he could, in some way, protect the original? In other words, by doing a shot-for-shot remake of Hitch's classic, was he in essence saying, look, if this movie has to be remade, I'm going to do it, no one else, and I'm going to simply mirror every technical choice the master designed back in 1960? I realize that would sort of give Van Sant too much credit for what is ultimately a terrible film, but his work is generally so supreme that the idea of self-sabotage in this case is at least worth entertaining, no?
I f*cking hated the remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Saw it in theaters, came out pissed off, grunting in anger, mainly for the gross miscasting of Jackie Earle Haley. Really good actor, but really wrong for the iconic part of Freddy Krueger. And I blame Michael Bay, Platinum Dunes, and especially music video director Samuel Bayer for the decision. Dude came in, thought he could stir up some dry-ice, throw together some colorful light-gels and rock'n'roll energy, cast a bunch of talentless billboard models and call it a day. Nowhere near good enough. Not for the casual fan, and definitely not for the lifelong Freddy acolyte. Major, major disappointment!