This is certainly the decade of the horror re-make, it seems. So what are the worst re-make offenders in the horror genre though? Which have really made you want to gauge your own eyes out, or slash the directors throat? Here’s my top ten of the worst horror re-makes thus far, I’m sure the list will keep growing though, for as long as people keep buying into them.
Gus Van Sant’s ‘Psycho’ (1998)
A literal shot-for-shot re-make of the most famous horror of all time by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Vince Vaughn embarrasses himself by even trying to undertake Anthony Perkins fantastic, child-like performance of Bates in the original. The cast are shockingly bad considering who they are; Anne Heche playing Marion Crane, the role that Janet Leigh made hot is a disaster, and Heche plays the part with as much sexual allure and strength as a paper bag. The only thing Van Sant adds is pointless gratuity, which succeeds in taking away from certain scenes, and the entire thing is utterly and completely pointless.
Rob Zombies ‘Halloween’ (2007)
Rob Zombie should stick to music, and should certainly stay away from classic film. This appalling “re-imagining” of John Carpenter’s original has to be seen to be believed. Telling us that Michael Myers murders people because his mother is a stripper and, his father is an alcoholic, was not only boring, but predictably lame and took the fear away from the character. “It’s a lot scarier when there’s no motive” - says Billy Loomis in Scream, and he’s right. Then add on top the awful acting, the sexism, and the annoying rocker teenagers who look like they need a wash. It’s doubly bad because it gave us his ‘Halloween 2’ which actually is even worse. He still managed to cast his wife in it though (even as a ghost) – does Sheri-Moon Zombie have any self respect?
Platinum Dunes ‘The Hitcher’ (2007)
Platinum Dunes head man; Michael Bay, has his sticky fingers all over this mess of a movie. From the man who re-made ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ because he thought the name sounded cool – it’s in the press kit if you don’t believe me. He takes the truly original and disturbing 1986 original about a deranged hitch-hiker who develops an obsession with a young boy who gives him a ride, and drops faeces’ all over it. Changing it from a solo driver to a couple, spoils it hugely, as we miss the desperation and fear of being alone. We have an attractive couple that can’t act, bad dialogue, pretentious direction, loud music, and Sean Bean at his worst, trying to live up to Rutger Hauer’s performance, but disappearing in his shadow.
The Wicker Man (2006)
This remake of the classic 1973 British thriller about a policeman investigating the disappearance of a young girl in a neo-pagan island community was never one of my favourites, but it was tense, foreboding, and the ending was fantastic. The re-make plays out like a bad joke. Nicolas Cage bests himself in the worst actors department by going under cover in a bear suit, attacking and screaming at children and women, while spouting some of the worst lines ever written. As a horror, it fails completely, but as a comedy it works quite well.
Prom Night (2008)
This was like watching an episode of Goosebumps on Nickelodeon, and I think that must have been the age range it was aimed at. It mostly construes of a girl walking around a large hotel on prom night and screaming for her friends. Another PG-13, it’s nothing like the original which had it’s moments of fear and was definitely a slasher. What makes it worse is that the killer looks like he’s a Calvin Klein model, and is about as scary as one. The original though not great, was fun and had Jamie Lee Curtis.
Platinum Dunes ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ (2010)
Like all PD films, it embodies everything that horror fans hate about re-makes; cute teens that can’t act, a gritty style of filming, terrible dialogue, and a distinct impression that the company didn’t care about this re-make enough to even bother. Again, they aim their films at teenagers who haven’t seen the original. The plot holes throughout are ridiculous, Haley is no Robert Englund (although he tries to be) and plays the same role he did in ‘Watchmen.’ The film can’t hold a candle to the original in dialogue, storyline, suspense, scares, deaths or even special effects, all of which were made much, much better - years earlier in 1984 by Wes Craven.
The Fog (2005)
An embarrassment to John Carpenter’s spooky and tense original. The film is stuffed full of terrible young actors (with one exception in Tom Welling), trite dialogue, no atmosphere, and a twist that is ridiculous and ends with two ghosts making out. Selma Blair is downright terrible in the role that Adrienne Barbeau made famous, and the film is lacking the star quality of Jamie Lee Curtis again! Another example of how PG-13 horror is wrong for a multitude of reasons, as it can’t up the fear levels due to restrictions.
Black Christmas (2006)
The original ‘Black Christmas’ was the first slasher movie, proceeding Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ by four years. It came up with all the original slasher conventions and, was really scary and tense. I watched it for the first time two years ago and was really creeped out by it. So why does the re-make look like a bad cartoon, with the killer glowing bright yellow because he has liver disease and running around like a light bulb? The all female cast don’t really add much to proceedings and, the story is just direly bad. Katie Cassidy (queen of the bad re-makes) tries her best with terrible material, which she must be used to by now.
Platinum Dunes Friday the 13th (2009)
Yes, PD struck again with one of the worst offenders, which if I recall they actually apologised for. This actually made ‘Jason X’ look reasonably good. It’s such a mess of a movie it’s hard to know where to begin; we could begin with the stereotyped characters, the misogyny, the fact that Jason is portrayed as a hick who grows weed in the middle of nowhere and, then murders teens who dare steal it (after they’ve taken their clothes off.) Along with ‘The Wicker Man’ this has to be one of the worst horror films ever made, never mind re-makes. It is nothing like the original however, Jason isn’t even in the original for more than a few seconds, so at least they didn’t take something good and try to re-make it completely as PD usually do.
The Omen: 666 (2006)
It tells the story of U.S ambassador to the U.K, Robert Thorn, who adopts the son of the anti-Christ when his wife looses her child, to hide her from the pain. The re-make isn’t completely terrible, it’s just mostly pointless, and that’s why it makes the list. Like ‘Psycho’ it is practically a shot for shot re-make, but at least these actors can act, all be it for one little tyke; Damian. The original Damien Thorn, played by Harvey Stephens, came across as a sweet boy who became creepier and more vacant as the film progressed, but Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick is like a caricature. His performance undercuts the whole movie, calling into question how so many adults could not see that there is something menacing about the child. The intensity of the original 1976 Richard Donner film isn’t here either, the cast are good, but Liev Schreiberis no Gregory Peck and, Julia Stiles is no Lee Remick. The Oscar winning, iconic score, is another huge thing missing and although the film follows David Seltzer’s original screenplay, it can’t match Richard Donner’s original in too many ways. Not bad, just pointless.
All Of THESE FILMS ONLY SERVICE TO SHOW THE SUPERIOR QUALITY OF THE ORIGINALS