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Can We Ever Numb the Pain Caused by These Awful Horror Remakes?

by Jenika Enoch 5 years ago in movie
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Sometimes it's best to just let the originals be the only ones

[Credit: New Line Cinema / Platinum Dunes]

While we could easily start out by discussing which modern horror remakes were surprisingly good, the truth is the bad sometimes outweighs the good. Unfortunately for us, the bad outshines the good most of the time with remakes in general. This seems to be more prevalent, especially when it comes to the modern horror genre, so why not discuss it?

Why are these so bad? Well, for starters it should be a common practice in Hollywood that you don't have to remake everything. A lot of these were adaptations of movies that not only didn't need a remake, but they're films that weren't even that old.

Another reason is, to put it bluntly, they just plain suck. The writing was often badly composed, the plots are convoluted, the casting could have been better, and a lot of the time they come across as more comedic than anything else. Whether the comedy is intentional or not, you can't help but notice it and make them easy targets.

Hollywood is lacking originality and it's obviously an issue that has continued to intensify across Hollywood and the horror genre... so let's get started!

1. 'Friday the 13th' (2009)

When I saw this remake, I was convinced within 10-15min that I had accidentally walked into a porno film. The copious amounts of sex, drugs, nudity, and F-bombs this adaptation starring Jared Padalecki, Aaron Yoo, and Danielle Panabaker was enough to make you think you were watching a parody of the Friday the 13th story rather than a remake.

This movie reiterated my hatred of the modern horror trend of nothing but gratuitous nudity and elaborate deaths. Of course seeing boobs isn't going to kill you, but to have it to the point it does in this remake is just plain unnecessary. This was a definite misstep.

2. 'The Wicker Man' (2006)

Don't even get me started on how unintentionally hilarious The Wicker Man remake is. The adaptation of the 1973 thriller about a policeman entering a neo-Pagan cult to investigate the disappearance of a young girl came across as ridiculous, funny, and convoluted. Although, with it starring Nicholas Cage in the lead role, I don't know what else you would expect.

If you want proof that Cage is most likely genuinely insane go ahead and give this adaptation a shot. You'll get to see him mocking women, punching women, and yelling at women (lots of yelling). Not to mention the overall plot direction that depends on him getting stung by lots and lots of bees.

3. 'The Amityville Horror' (2005)

I'm the first to say the 1979 original was nothing too spectacular either, but this modern adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George was pretty far fetched. The writers for this version of The Amityville Horror decided to skip any potentially scary revision. After all was taid and done, the movie was basically a ridiculous backstory regarding an Indian burial ground and dungeon that is luring the evil ghosts into the house to trap any good ghosts.

In other words, they turned it into a combination of The Haunting and Poltergeist and dumped on the original case that Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated. The only real highlight was Reynolds shirtless with a grizzly beard.

4. 'Psycho' (1998)

I don't even think I can put into words why Psycho is such a horrible remake. Aside from being widely recognized as perhaps the worst adaptation of all time, the shot-for-shot remake suffered from awkward casting and bad direction. Starring Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche, the only thing they were able to do is make a 1960's horror movie look even better than it already was. It also arguably amplified the popularity of the A&E series, Bates Motel, since it honored the Hitchcock original without butchering it more than Crane in the shower.

5. 'One Missed Call' (2008)

Often considered to be the worst Asian to American conversion, One Missed Call managed to miss just about every mark it could have hit. Lacking overall suspense and a decent dialogue, the story about a ghost curse spread through cell phones was more of a snooze than a scare. It also continued the unbelievably dull casting choices and performances led, in this case, by Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns.

6. 'Carrie' (2013)

Carrie could have been great considering the casting choices for certain characters. The 2013 take on the 1976 classic starred Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, and Ansel Elgort, and it came with the lesson that just because a cast that looked good on paper didn't necessarily mean it would translate well on screen. Moretz was all wrong for Carrie White, and it was obvious to any viewer that their attempted "make-under" of her was unsuccessful. It came across as unbelievable and silly that a girl that pretty would be considered plain and teased for her awkward appearance, especially the way Carrie is portrayed in the original novel by Stephen King. Throw in a modern twist involving cell phones, cameras, and plain old high school mean girls, and this take on the classic story was nothing more than a CGI-filled mess that tried way too hard.

The best part was Julianne Moore as Carrie's religiously abusive mother. She wasn't better than how Piper Laurie portrayed the character in the original, but it was enjoyable enough. Unfortunately, Moore's performance wasn't enough to salvage the remake as a whole.

7. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (2010)

This Michael Bay take on the 1984 classic has been widely mocked and ridiculed by both critics and fans for it's portrayal of the story and of the iconic villain, Freddy Krueger. Lead actress Rooney Mara even made it public that the movie was awful and she regrets taking the role of Nancy. Bay's remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street decided to paint Krueger as some sort of kiddie rapist that was was burned alive and cursed to haunt the dreams of children and teenagers. I much preferred when Freddy was just crazy.

8. 'House of Wax' (2005)

Admit it: You only saw House of Wax because you heard Paris Hilton got killed.

House of Wax was a take on the 1953 classic starring Vincent Price and it basically turned a great story into a modern horror cliche. The black guy dies, the kids have sex and drink and die, Paris Hilton gets owned, and you wind up liking the stoner and virgin of the group. I debated not even putting it in this list because of how irrelevant it was, but Hilton's death scene alone is worth the mention.

9. 'The Haunting' (1999)

The modern version of a 1963 horror film of the same name starred Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Lili Taylor and was yet another modern adaptation to slip and fall down a cliff. Centered around a group of people brought into a house for a sleep study when the plot takes a turn for the worst after they discover the house has a ghostly past.

The Haunting is a decent enough story, but this adaptation was full of cheesy dialogue, lackluster performances, and bad CGI. It was bad enough that it even became the central target of satire for the main storyline of Scary Movie 2 in 2001.

10. 'The Last House on the Left' (2009)

This one barely made the list as it's kind of in the middle for me. The 1972 cult classic isn't bad at all, but The Last House on the Left is definitely an acquired taste. The story of parents who seek revenge for their daughter who is raped and murdered by a group of convicts is a story right up the alley for the culture of the late-2000's. However, for me, this adaptation increased the unnecessary gore factor and made it more torture porn than a decent horror story. It could have been worse, but it could have been a whole lot better.

Honorable Mentions

Continuing to explain why these movies are bad gets a bit repetitive because let's face it... it's pretty much the same reasons for each movie. Below I will list some more horror films that were badly remade. If you're interested in seeing these films, I would recommend watching the original and/or foreign counterparts.

  1. The Omen (2006)
  2. Fright Night (2011)
  3. Prom Night (2008)
  4. Silent House (2011)
  5. The Uninvited (2009)
  6. Black Christmas (2006)
  7. Silent Night (2012)
  8. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
  9. The Hitcher (2007)
  10. The House on Haunted Hill (1999)
  11. Shutter (2008)
  12. When a Stranger Calls (2006)
  13. The Wolfman (2010)
  14. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
  15. The Stepfather (2007)
  16. The Eye (2008)
  17. Dark Shadows (2012)
  18. Piranha 3D (2010)

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About the author

Jenika Enoch

I love movies, music, sci-fi, and art. I'm a certified graphic designer and create my own art. Things that fuel me include equality, respect, and anything weird.

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