Nothing stirs up controversy among enthusiast film goers like the announcement of a remake; especially when its of a film that's held in high regard, one of the industry's sacred cows so to speak, indicating that nothing is off limits. Psycho, Wicker Man, Martyrs, and the now infamous Ghostbusters all sit as contemporary remakes that have done more to sour audiences on the prospects of such an endeavor, rather than instill any kind of positive outlook for a refreshing take on these beloved films. But it's not always the case that the remixed, re-imagined reboot turns out to be an insulting affair, and in some rare cases, may even *GASP* surpass the original! Below are four films, chosen by our staff, as examples of contemporary horror-film remakes that left us giddy for more!
NOTE - Be sure to click the banner images to watch the original trailer for each film!
Dawn of the Dead (2004) - I'm not a big fan of Snyder's work. Usually I find that his frenetically punchy, high-energy style of filming does more harm than good when applied to the films he's been attached to, and how dare he attempt to remold a veritable classic zombie masterpiece using this same shallow template.
But as it turned out, not only was it a critical and box-office success, it also provided a - what seemed like at the time - tired zombie sub genre, the shot in the arm it desperately needed. 28 Days Later proved that they didn't have to be the walking dead, and with Zach Snyder's debut two years later further cementing that fact, while also keeping the spirit of Romero's original in-tact, Dawn of the Dead proved to be a revitalizing remake done right.
The Last House on the left (2009) - This took me by surprise. It's not as gritty as the original but I found it to be better, harsher film overall. It looks fantastic, and some scenes are incredibly brutal. Fantastic acting, and fantastic cinematography too.
Maniac (2012) - I love the re-use of the killer's POV, the music is notable, and Elijah Wood is brilliant!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - Over the years I've really grown to love the Texas chainsaw massacre remake. When it was first released I scoffed at the idea of recreating what was already a classic film. Looking back and constantly revisiting, I've grown nostalgic for that gritty mean spirited attitude the horror films of the early 2000's had. It had a solid cast, good dialogue (the banter in the van may even top the original in my opinion), and one of the top iterations of Leatherface we have had to date. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel or alienate hardcore fans; it simply retells a timeless horror tale with a fresh coat of paint that suited the state of the genre at that time, perfectly.
You can't go into a remake with the attitude of thinking the director is trying to make a classic film better. You need to have the mindset that he is telling HIS version of a beloved horror story. So despite what film purists say about Marcus Nispel, he did one hell of a job.
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*All images are copyright of their respective owners. Thirteenth Floor does not own any of the media used in our respective picks.