10 Horror Remakes That Are Better Than You Might Think

Halloween: Rob Zombie certainly didn’t nail a reimagining of John Carpenter’s Halloween in pitch-perfect fashion. There is an abundance of negative factors that come into play when studying this highly anticipated reboot. The pacing is horrendous, the casting is borderline embarrassing and the “Halloween” vibe earns serious neglect. That said, there aren’t many who could have made this one a certified masterpiece. John Carpenter did that quite well in 1978, and he may well be the only man capable of pulling off such a feat.

However, Rob’s attempt to bring Michael’s origin to the surface of things – something we hadn’t seen in previous installments – is noteworthy. Unlike countless filmmakers, Rob was driven to paint a more complex origin of the infamous Michael Myers, and whether you can support Rob’s first film as whole, it’s hard to deny the effort he put into the mythos of Michael Myers. The backstory makes for a completely new angle. It’s almost like watching a film from a completely different camera POV and catching a load of minor details you may have previously missed.

The casting could have been elevated quite a bit (sorry, Scout, but you fail), but at least we get a chance to see Brad Dourif in one of his greatest roles. This dude was born to play Sheriff Brackett.

Thir13en Ghosts: I won’t lie to you: The script for Steve Beck’s rendition of Thir13en Ghosts is a bit on the safe side. That said, it doesn’t really need to be overly intricate. William Castle’s original film is dreadful at best so virtually any director with a pulse could turn this one into a markedly improved product, even with a flat screenplay.

And that’s what we get from this reboot. The story isn’t spectacular, plot intricacies are nearly nonexistent, but what this flick has going for it is powerful visuals. The ghostly apparitions are quite jarring, and the breakneck pace of the film puts the original to complete shame. Hell, the introductory shot alone puts the original to shame. Is this remake amazing? No. But it’s a notably stronger effort than that offered by William Castle in 1960, and it’s profoundly more enjoyable than critics were eager to admit.

MORE Not-Bad Horror Remakes on the NEXT page!



nonserviam03's picture

I'd agree with Fright Night, Thir13en Ghosts, Friday the 13th, and The Thing. Black Christmas I aaaaalmost like, but the third act and dumb incest subplot just ruins it for me. House of Wax is also kind of ok. Nothing I particularly want to revisit, but not the worst thing ever, either.

However, I fucking HATE Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Halloween was two like watching a prequel that stopped short, explained nothing and just turned into a super rushed shot for shot retelling of the original at the last minute. As for Nightmare, it just KILLS me that it was such a wasted opportunity. With the advances in technology they could really have done some fun inventive things with the dream world sequences, but instead decided to just have every character get slashed in a boiler room. There was almost no thought or effort put in.

Submitted by nonserviam03 on Fri, 03/28/2014 - 8:38pm.

Again, just want to say I appreciate the input. And, this is certainly no bait piece. The thing is, DC is a massive site - the traffic I bring in, in the rand scheme of things, is pretty much irrelevant. That said, I want to cover topics that force people to think and discuss. Obviously, this piece has got some people talking.

I know for a fact that these films aren't fantastic, but in my HONEST opinion, there are a few strengths in these films that a lot of people may not see, or choose to overlook due to the poor quality of the rest of the pics.

Understandable stuff.

But again, I'm not here to troll anyone, and truth is DC doesn't need the traffic I'll bring in - in the slightest. I write the stuff that I think people want to talk about. And if anyone has any other ideas for somewhat controversial topics, let me know - I've got the cods to speak my mind on anything.

Again, thansk for reading everyone!!

Submitted by Matt Molgaard on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 5:00am.

Matt here (cant get my login under my official name to work for some damn reason)

First, this is no bait piece. These are genuine opinions. The idea of the article was to perhaps fuel viewers to give certain films a second chance.

I have no other agenda. I'm just a genre freak trying o see the best in every flick we get. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Regardless, I appreciate your insight, even if you disagree with me. That's the beauty of opinions - we've all got one, and none can be proven wrong, irrefutably.

Keep reading guys!

Submitted by whorrorific on Sat, 02/08/2014 - 6:15pm.

Newp, these are all fucking terrible movies any way you slice it. Even stuff like NOES is objectively bad from a filmmaking standpoint.

Submitted by Chernobyl Kinsman on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 7:15am.
Rob's picture

Everyone here's more or less stated my thoughts on this article. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly Rooney Mara is a 'despicable human being'. That comment sounds like a personal attack, and kind of unprofessional.

Submitted by Rob on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 11:22pm.
Cinemascribe's picture

I just want to chime in and say that I'm familiar with Matt's work from the Horror Novel Reviews website he not only runs, but authors insane numbers of articles for. His opinion may not match any of yours, but it is HIS opinion and I can tell you from having interacted with him many times that he would never create a bait and click article. The guy has integrity and he gives 100% with everything he does.

I think this took guts, Matt. Good for you on being honest, man.

Submitted by Cinemascribe on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:51pm.
Terminal's picture

No argument can be made for any movie on this click bait list. Especially NOES and The Thing which were lazy ass moronic retreads targeted toward people with a bias against any movie over ten years old. The Thing couldn't decide if it was a remake or a prequel half the fucking time.

"Technically, The Thing wasn’t a remake. Except it kind of was a remake... of a remake."


"However – and this is where it gets tricky – Jackie Earle Haley is a pitch-perfect, astoundingly terrifying Freddy Krueger. Significantly more unsettling than Robert Englund, dare I say."

This comment was so meticulously crafted to arouse the anger of horror fans, it's disgusting. Dread Central is SOOOO much better than this. Haley mumbled through his whole role, and the new Freddy looked like they slapped silly putty on his face and filmed it from there. The only reason why Haley got the role was because he killed it as Rorschach.

I can think of a lot of remakes lambasted that should have been on the list. Hell, I could even agree to Dawn of the Dead 2004 being included on this list, and that movie has more holes than the ozone layer.

I miss Dr. Gash.

Submitted by Terminal on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:28pm.
moderator This is NOT a click bait
Steve Barton's picture

This is NOT a click bait article. We don't do that. When Matt came to me with this idea he knew full well he was gonna catch heat for it, but it's something he wanted to do. These are his opinions. You can either agree or disagree, but his intentions are nothing but good.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 11:09pm.
Terminal's picture

I'm by no means insinuating you're a sell out or whatever arguments have been rallied in the past, but click baits don't always have to be for revenue or to sell something. The article is clearly here to raise the hackles of readers, and it's working well.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 6:30am.
moderator The funny thing which I've
Steve Barton's picture

The funny thing which I've always found humorous in my ten years of doing this is that I could write 7000 stories a day that people will agree with and they're lucky to get one comment if that. Something like this goes up and boom 3 pages of comments in less than 12 hours.

It's almost disheartening!

Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 5:47pm.

I wouldn't fret too much, from my experience, people tend not to post comment unless they disagree with something. Only passionate people bother posting and anger/hate/disgust is a powerful passion! If you agree with something you are more likely to nod and smile and move on.

Basically, if you get little comment you are probably doing something right, if you get ahuge outpouring of negativity at times you are as well - as that indicates you have a fanbase to begin with, they are just normally satisfied.

In otherwords, rare outpourings of negativity are a good thing, they show you have both people who read the site and people who are passionate about the subject.

Submitted by Chernobyl Kinsman on Sat, 02/08/2014 - 4:06am.

Well, to be fair, "click bait" also refers to an article that makes you click through several pages to read the whole thing, essentially giving you 5 clicks (read: ad views) for one piece. So yes, it IS indeed click bait.

Submitted by bitterman23 on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 3:01am.
Steve Barton's picture

Umm... Nobody's making you do anything.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 3:45am.
Gus Bjork's picture

If it was a click bait article it would be titled "Michelle Bachman's Top 10 Horror Remakes That Are Better Than You Think".

Should I bother hitting save? Is it worth the trouble? Hmmm.

Yeah, fuck it.

Submitted by Gus Bjork on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 11:54pm.
Terminal's picture

No that's Buzzfeed Upworthy crap. Click bait comes in all forms, especially intentionally controversial stuff. Every bit of this article is tailored to annoy readers and inspire clicks. Every site does it.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 6:32am.
Matt Serafini's picture

But these movies would not exist without the originals, so what's the purpose of an argument that says, hey, maybe people would have liked the forgettable Dylan Walsh Stepfather if it stood on its own?

It doesn't, so there's absolutely no way of knowing.

Nor do I buy for one second that any of these movies would have their own value if they were forged from originality.

We'll never know for sure, but just look at how people took to original Platinum Dunes productions like The Unborn and Horsemen. Those were trashed too, and no one's sitting around making a case for them being "better than we think."

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 9:54pm.
Terminal's picture

The argument on whether these movies would be good on their own without original films is just a lame cop out to lend merit to these terrible movies. They're awful with or without originals. Without the original Nightmare 2010 would be a lame revenge movie, Black Xmas would be a dumb vehicle for a bunch of young actresses, and The Stepfather would be a terrible pseudo thriller.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 6:37am.
kiddcapone's picture

I'm in the camp of folks who just don't get the point of this list. The movies listed in here are not just bad when compared to the original, they are just bad period.

I expected to see fun things like Piranha, My Bloody Valentine, or Toolbox Murders...

Submitted by kiddcapone on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 9:37pm.
aliensharkboy's picture

While I actually agree on the above listed being predominantly bad films, you mustn't forget Piranha 3D WAS a success, and the two latter listed films actually received okay critical reception.
An article reminding us of the films we already know are good won't spark further conversation than a few comments that agree with it.
What fun is that?

Almost all of these films are lame and derivative. However - I hope I'm not alone in saying this - I actually enjoy seeing individuals trying to justify their admiration for shitty remakes/bad films in general - I find myself more captivated in reading those kinds of articles.
I also find this function of stirring up discussions to be tons more fun (so long as people have good arguments and don't simply contradict one another).

That all said, I haven't seen every single film on this list, but I know I love the Fright Night remake (for David Tennant alone) an unreasonable amount. And The Thing (2011), while a disrespectful cash grab "prequel", did entertain me as a one time watch.

Submitted by aliensharkboy on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 12:45pm.
Screamz's picture

Fright Night, Friday the 13th, House on Haunted Hill, Thir13en Ghosts and The Thing, I have to agree with. They're all at least half-way decent. However, the Nightmare on Elm Street and Stepfather remakes are just plain awful, remakes or not. There are no redeeming value to either of those two. At least Halloween had - as stated - Brad Dourif.

Anyway, another great article. Looking forward to more of these lists. I love 'em...

Submitted by Screamz on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 9:22pm.
Foywonder's picture

And here I thought I was going out on a limb when I gave The Gingerdead Man and Sharknado rave reviews.

Submitted by Foywonder on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 6:35pm.
MonsterMash's picture

Wow. That's a whack list. I know everybody has their own opinion, but shit. Be a little more fuckin selective. Sure, RZ's Halloween had a few inspired moments, so did Fright Night, and I kinda liked the Thing prequel at times, really, this is a lot of nonsense. I know it's not a list of good remakes, and it's hard to find any that fall under the "not bad" category, but this list has no reason to exist, especially with this lineup. If this is the not bad list, I'd love to see the shitty remake list.

Submitted by MonsterMash on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 5:34pm.
Sirand's picture

Why not do some digging and have overlooked remakes like Willard or Cat People or Toolbox Murders...(hell, even Psycho for it's objective and experimental approach if you wanna be provocative). This just reads like a list of bad shit people recalled from the multiplex. I'm surprised The Fog and Sorority Row weren't mentioned.

Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 7:22pm.
Terminal's picture

I'd include Psycho, Dawn of the Dead, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Toolbox Murders, and the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remakes. Maybe even Night of the Living Dead 1990.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 6:35am.
MonsterMash's picture

Well... I shouldn't have to. It's not my job to write DC articles, and like I said, it's a rather pointless list idea-celebrating the mediocre and the like. If you want to, go for it. Regardless, off the top of my head, The My Bloody Valentine remake was decent slasher fodder, and I'll probably catch heat for saying this, but Cronenberg's the Fly I would add as well. Sure, it's better than your average remake, but even as a standalone film it's vastly overrated, far too slow, and the creature f/x don't impress me, and the gimmicky gross-out gags are lame when, besides Goldblum, its all the film has to offer. Maybe the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, if only for Lee Ermey. Maybe the Dawn of the Dead remake too....

Submitted by MonsterMash on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 8:32pm.
Jinx's picture

Err, I think Kasch was just agreeing with you. Not suggesting that you yourself should have come up with that article.

All that said - I personally enjoyed Thirteen Ghosts and House of Wax. Fun time-wasters, each.

Submitted by Jinx on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:37pm.
moderator Im thinking you missed the
Steve Barton's picture

Im thinking you missed the point of the article. He wasn't talking about decent remakes that were overlooked. He's talking about remakes that were lambasted (and rightly so), and would they still have been as ill received as they were if the source material didn't exist. It's an interesting query, truth be told. That being said... The Stepfather is just shit, remake or not. Still... it's an opinion piece.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 8:14pm.

I liked the latest version of The Thing, Friday the 13th and Fright Night.

To compare them to others in their franchises than The Thing is the weakest of the films, Friday is average and Fright was the worst until that new sequel turned up.

But the rest are still bad films regardless if they were original or not.

And I saw the remakes of 13 Ghosts and Wax (or should that be Tourist Trap?) before I saw the originals (yep never saw Tourist Trap until last year).

Submitted by will graham on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 4:17pm.
Gus Bjork's picture

Congratulations for having giant balls Matt! I think that's a Joe Biden quote. I like lists that get people agitated. I don't think that's trolling at all. Provoking maybe but there's sound reasoning and room for thought and discussion.

To be fair I haven't seen a good half of the remakes on the list so I can't comment. I do agree with the Thir13een Ghosts remake. I've always found it very enjoyable. I didn't care at all for House of Wax, but then I always thought the original was incredibly overrated as well. And I just can't get past the CGI in the Thing.

Submitted by Gus Bjork on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 3:52pm.
James Coker's picture

I can understand the reasoning behind this list. Certain films I am able to enjoy without comparing to the original like the Black Christmas Remake and the House on Haunted Hill Remakes. Other remakes like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th remakes I just cannot and I find them to be unwatchable rancid shit. Am Weird like that

Submitted by James Coker on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 3:02pm.

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