Worst Horror Film RemakesBy MortimerTGraves for Movies
Worst Horror Film Remakes
Very few things written for others is every a true joy. This article is going to be like Christmas, my birthday, and winning the lotto rolled into one. I get to release my venem into some movies I really wanted to enjoy, but the end product either by the director, story, or acting was a total letdown. Buckle up kids, the chainsaw is gassed up, my boomstick is loaded, and I just ran out of bubblegum.
The word “Remake” is almost considered a vulgar word in the horror community. But lets face it, great movies will always be updated to modern times. It is the nature of film. The first remake was made in 1904. So it is a practice that has been going on since the very beginning of cinima.
Yes I know your favorite movies are almost sacred to you, but they may not be to other people. Even the most hard core purists have to admit there has been some great remakes. This list, however doesn’t look at those movies, we are going into the opposite direction with the worst God-awful horror remakes to ever been put to film. We will be looking at films that are so bad they make the originals shine even brighter. Every single one of these movies are perfect examples of why remakes are the bane of civilization.
Of course this list is in no shape or form in any order. So lets strap on our muck boots and go looking in the sewers of cinima for the worst of the worst.
The Fog 2005
The two main reasons why the Fog failed is this. The original had a strong cast that included Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, and Tom Atkins portraying characters you felt immediately invested in. The cast in the remake, which included Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, and Selma Blair, were so dull it became completely uninteresting. To top it all off, it featured some god awful CGI that replaced Carpenter’s practical effects. Bad move.
So we got a bunch of flat characters that caused nothing but confusion. Things were happening, events were taking place and the characters seemed oblivious. There’s no atmosphere and I felt like my life wasting away as I watched it. You know you failed as a director when the audience is cheering for the Fog to kill everyone.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010
I have never came out of a movie and wished kidney stones on the director till I watched this. How can you make Freddy into a unlikable character? Make him a pedophile at a preschool that didn’t kill anyone. WTF is wrong with you Samuel Bayer. Molestation has never sold ever. Molestation makes the viewer hope the molester gets raped by a rabid moose with herpes.
Yes Freddy is a killer, yes he is the villain. But he is likeable. He is funny. He has a sympathetic backstory. Our Freddy never finger little kids in the closet you sick freak. Wes Craven knew if he did, he would never be able to sell the idea. You see people with more than three braincells know pedophiles are the ultimate boogeyman. They tried that in Freddy vs Jason with a single line of dialogue. It was the one thing universally hated by horror fans about the whole movie. So why in the world would you think making Freddy (the one thing every normal person hates the most) a baby rapist was a good idea? Also the CGI was crap. Did I mention that Freddy had a burnt cat face?
I was one of the few who was looking forward to this film. I am a Jackie Earle Haley fan. But they screwed that up royally. This is the one movie of Haley I won’t watch again.
Friday The 13th 2009
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The Friday The 13th films, they were never really all that outstanding to begin with. Well except for Goes to Hell, that one sucked. But we all have watched them a thousand times. Why? They are instrumental in the proliferation of the '80s slasher genre, almost every entry in the long running series was critically panned upon release. Audiences, on the other hand, kept flocking back for more of the franchise's trademark mixture of sex, gore, and stupid teenagers, which would lead to the franchise's cult classic status.
But then someone though; I have a great idea, lets remake em. It seems like such a basic mixture would be hard to get wrong, though somehow, the reboot managed to miss the target entirely. Instead of the campy, self-aware horror that made the franchise iconic, the remake played it straight, trying to make Jason a deep, sympathetic character. Add in a handful of unlikeable teenage stereotypes and some gratuitous sex, and the reboot became a tonal mish-mash, unable to pull any of its various elements into a semblance of entertaining slasher horror.
The impact of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho can not be overstated. It shocked audiences, and it's credited by many as being the originator of the slasher genre. It's a masterpiece of horror that still holds up today due to its impeccable direction and strong storytelling. So did it really surprise anyone that a remake couldn't reach the heights of the original.
Updating a classic is almost never a good idea. Updating Hitchcock is just ignorant. With so many things that can go wrong, from the casting, to the direction, it’s almost impossible to catch the same spirit of the original. I knew this was a bad idea when I heard the news. I was blown away when they started giving details about it(not the good blown away). Who though comedian Vince Vaughn(I like Vaughn) would be a good Norman Bates. Then it is going to be a modern setting, which I was fine with. But then it will be a shot for shot remake. Why? If you are going to remake it, then give us something new. If I wanted to watch the original, I would.
It ended up being a confusing mess of a film. If you are going to modernize it, then do so.
House of Wax 2005
Unless you can create a masterpiece, don’t try to remake a Vincent Price movie. If you didn’t realize, I’m a huge Price fan. So at best I was hoping for a entertaining remake, but they crapped all over it.
With shoddy casting and an inept script, House of Wax was a grating slasher affair that turned a 1950s horror hit into a generic slasher film(did they even watch the original?). While there are a few nice kills and special effects, it wasn’t enough to redeem the overabundance of mediocrity onscreen. Starring Paris Hilton(Repo is the only good movie she has ever been in and she is unrecognizable), Chad Michael Murray, and Elisha Cuthbert, all miscast as various teenage clichés. Of course, Paris Hilton's typical hot girl, who came complete with a striptease. When she died, people in the theatre clapped and cheered. Plodding, annoying, and generic, it's a prime example of how not to remake an old horror film.
Rob Zombie's Halloween 2007
I’m going to have fun with this one. Psycho inspired the slasher genre, but Carpenter's Halloween was the film that turned it into a phenomenon. With subtle storytelling and an iconic score, 1978's Halloween scared audiences everywhere and introduced us to Michael Myers. A truly iconic villain, Myers' scare factor was entirely predicated on the fact that he was a faceless murder machine that couldn't be understood or stopped.
Any subtlety in the original was completely undone with Zombie's reboot. The one movie he should have copied, he didn’t. Feeling the need to completely explain why Michael became the serial killer we know him as, Zombie spent the first 45 minutes of the film showing his childhood, and then trying to shove the original film into the last half. What audiences were left with was two totally different films crammed into one, and neither were interesting. The whole point of Michael Myers in Carpenter’s original was that he was the ultimate evil – a seemingly normal boy from a normal suburban family who was none the less a cold blooded killer.
Also on full display was Zombie's signature filmmaking style. Brutal, crass, and pervasively dark, it lacked any of the elegance or subtlety of Carpenter's original vision. Everything in Rob Zombie's Halloween is needlessly violent or perverse, for no other reason than for the sake of cheap shock value. Even main character Laurie Strode is turned into a horny, foul-mouthed teenage stereotype. It's hard to root for characters to survive when the audience hates them so much. Ever notice all the characters he creates behave like inbred low brow white trash. It is the only thing he can create.
When you compare Carpenter to Zombie, it is real simple. Carpenter is like aged bobrun or scotch, while Zombie is like jailhouse hooch made in a toilet. Carpenter will give you a warm sensation in your belly, while Zombie will probably cause your stomach to bleed and your kidneys to shut down.
Texas Chainsaw 3D 2013
I hate remakes of sequels, just make a new installment. Apparently they just sat around for decades doing nothing? Anyway TC3D is suppose to be a direct sequel to the 1978 classic. Forget the rest of the films(I agree with The Next Generation. I still don't know what the hell is going on with that film. I think it's about the new world order and aliens. I have never achieved that level of drunkenness to understand it). The remake has no interest at all for the kind of meticulous filmmaking that made the franchise a horror mainstay. It is just a piece of generic teen slasher filler. Texas Chainsaw berates the audience with a parade of telegraphed jump scares and senseless gore. While it doesn't fall into the typical remake trap of simply rewriting a classic film to fit in modern times, it commits a far worse sin: it turns the villain into somewhat of a hero.
The story centered around a long-lost cousin of Leatherface, who inherited family property after the owner died. She then decides to bring a group of her friends to go check out the place. Surprise, Leatherface has been living in the cellar since 1978. As stupid as that premise already is, the really mind-numbing insipid elements of the story don't come in until the end where the main character and Leatherface team up(please hit me in the head with a hammer). Apparently bound by the power of family or insanity, or something, they become house mates. It's a ridiculous twist which turns the iconic franchise villain into little more than an attack dog for the heroine/new villain/new caregiver(she is all 3 in different parts of this film). And that kids was a huge disappointment for longtime fans.
Day of the Dead 2008
I am so tired of ghouls, sorry I mean “zombies”. Not the concept, the concept is as old and as original as ghost stories. I am tired of the zombie movies. These movies tell the tale of the end of mankind. This effects billions of people, yet we see the same 10 or 15 characters types in a dozen locations. I’m serious, go count them. Then when we actually get a new location or group of people(like on a train. Good movie), we then have to be subjected to a dozen movies copying the idea. The zombie movie could be exciting and original, but the big studios are afraid to explore. Throwing money at it will not make a more compelling story that we have already seen a dozen times.
Anyway this film fell victim to the big three. Really bad effects, acting, and plot holes that you can drive an anti-zombie tactical bus through. Ving Rhames even decided to help in this film in hopes to spark interest, but that couldn’t save it. The film had an $18,000,000 budget and it couldn’t even crack $1,000,000 before being sent to video. The best part about this movie was the poster art.
House On Haunted Hill 1999
Did we not already go over this. You do not remake Vincent Price films. You especially do not remake one of the best Vincent Price films. Lets talk about the original because the remake is horrible. When you combine a haunted murder mansion that people are locked in overnight, a fantastic cast, and the right story, it is magic. When you headline the cast with the legendary horror icon Vincent Price, you have everything. I can’t say enough about this movie. It’s interesting, compelling and draws you into the lives of the characters. It takes turns in the plot you really don’t see coming. It’s creepy and classic and just fun enough without being silly. Did I mention it has Vincent Price?
This remake makes me want to pour lemon juice into my eyes, then bash my head repeatedly into the seat in front of me until I pass out. First is the actors. You don’t care about anyone in the cast, there’s a kind of a creepy leader in the story like Price, Geoffrey Rush does do a ok job . The acting is flat. They rely on tired, and cheap jump scares. Then to cover up the lack of acting and story; they pour a bucket of blood over it in senseless gore. Did I also mention the house use to be a lunatic asylum. One of those awful 1930s ones where patients are treated like animals and subject to horrific experiments, doctors don’t use anesthetic, nurses don’t wear bras and the patients are insane but not so insane that they can’t band together to form a mob and riot, killing everyone in the place, and burning it to the ground.
If you are going to try remake a classic, at the very least get actors that don’t preform like its 2 A.M. and they are ordering off the dollar menu after a night of drinking, drugs, and questionable decisions.