Horror movies receive a lot of remakes. Here writer Billy Russell presents his case for the 5 best horror movie remakes of all time…
Dawn of the Dead
Back in 2004, when this was newly announced, I don’t think anyone didn’t wring their hands in nervous anticipation, expecting the very worst. The original…what made it so cool was that it was this ultra-violent survival fantasy that was also an extremely smart and funny commentary on American consumerist culture and it was all shot with such a low budget and it just sort of exemplified rebellion. Nothing is uncooler than taking that and commissioning a remake with a pretty damn sizable budget and “Hollywood-izing” it. It didn’t help matters that if you looked at the writer, James Gunn’s credits prior to Dawn of the Dead it’d be easy to miss that he got his start with Troma and that he’d written the awful Scooby-Doo. Zoinks!
Alas, the Dawn of the Dead remake is completely awesome and uncompromising and that opening title sequence is going down in history as one of the all-time best movie openings. And, who wouldn’t want to play the celebrity spotting sniper game?
I think I might have said something here and there about how much I love The Thing. Well, I’ll say it again: I love The Thing. I love it. Kurt Russell is at his most cool, on a par with Wyatt Earp and Snake Plissken and Jack “What The Hell Is Going On?” Burton. That hat would have made anyone else look like a damn fool, but it makes Kurt Russell look like the greatest silly hat endorser of our time.
The very best scene is the horrifying transformation that takes place in the dog kennel. It’s horrifying and sad in equal measure. It’s pure poetry, a perfect blend of special effects and performances.
There are two types of people in this world. 1) People who see Jeff Goldblum’s name and sigh and roll their eyes, and 2) People who find his, ah… his ah, sort of ah… ha, ha… manner of speaking, ah, endearing. Jeff Goldblum is at his Goldblumiest, here.
It amazes me to no end that The Fly was a huge hit. The 80’s were an awesome time. It’s such an icky, feel bad movie that’s so morally ambiguous and it has all those disgusting Cronenberg trademarks thrown in. The result is… man, I love it, but I wouldn’t expect it to be nearly as successful as it was.
You ever seen a grown woman get sucked down a teeny, tiny sink drain? Well, sir! You need to rent the 1980’s remake of The Blob, which is honestly a ton of fun and reminds us why the drive-in flicks of the 1950’s were so fun in the first place. Chuck Russell, who also directed my favorite of the Elm Street sequels is clearly having a ball with this movie and the special effects are really amazing to watch.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been remade remade thrice, once in the 70’s, again in the 90’s and finally in 2007. The 1970’s version, starring Donald Sutherland is the best version. It has a surprising amount of nudity for being rated PG, too.
The ending of this movie is the classic kind of stuff that is simultaneously thrilling and heartbreaking. This is the kind of bleak movie you end up accidentally seeing as a kid because of its MPAA-friendly rating for all audiences and you’re subjected to this outrageously scary outing. It’s amazing.
Also, check out our Best Horror Movies of 2013!