Squeezing every last bit of nostalgia juice out of something seems to be the name of the game in Hollywood as almost everything releasing feels like a rehashing of something from the past. Every major studio, network, and streaming giant are attempting to get their hands on as many oldies they can remix for the modern day in an attempt to recapture that entertainment glory that came with the original. While some of these new versions resonate well with audiences, there are a few that are straight duds and prove some things cant be redone, or at least shouldn’t be.
The world of scary movies has seen a good chunk of its classic titles get a brand new version to make mainstream audiences absolutely scared out of their minds. Trying to craft the same scares twice has proven to be easier said than done and many of these alternate versions feel like their possessed by unholy demons. Of all the remakes Hollywood tries to churn out, these horror remakes were terrifyingly terrible. Here are ten titles that filmmakers should not have attempted to bring back from the dead.
Amityville Horror (2005)
The event at Amityville is one of the most popular paranormal events in history and was made into a successful feature film adaptation in 1979. The 2005 Amityville horror remake produced by Michael Bay is a great example of a horror remake that completely misses the mark established by its predecessor and proves that some titles should not get a remix. The film neglects to pick a lane when it comes to George Lutz. The movie can’t decide if good old George is being driven crazy by the house itself or are his strange actions the result of him being actually possessed by an evil demon.
The original wasn’t trying to set up a franchise, even though by the number of sequels that followed the first movie, one would think that was exactly the plan. Instead of just relying on the book based on the real-life families stories it attempts to do the opposite. This retelling of a horror classic creates its own villains like a Freddy Krueger or Jason. The casting leaves a lot to be desired as some individuals see Ryan Reynolds as box office glory but it seems that works in every genre but the one threat contains scary movies. All in all, this reboot of a classic feels like a poor attempt at best and really was.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Remakes are tough for a lot of reasons. One main reason is the decision on what parts of the story to take liberties with and which parts need to remain true to the original. The reboot of Friday the 13th might as well be a lesson in what not to do in both these areas. This film did a lot of things wrong. It is pretty apparent the direction it took was a poor choice and the story was lacking, which is saying something for what is supposed to be a basic slasher flick. One of the strange choices was to basically cram the entire first film into the opening credits. A bold move that did not pay off as Jason Voorhees, who is not the killer in the first one, was here front and center, hockey mask and machete in hand, killing teenagers.
The cast, headlined by the guy from Supernatural, isn’t great, the final death is a pretty lackluster affair, and Mr. Voorhees is a kidnapper for some reason instead of a monster who takes no prisoners. So there is that going on now for some reason. They also did something to the famous character that he is not known for doing. Jason Voorhees moved at a quicker pace than walking. That’s right, the machete-wielding killing machine ran and that is something every horror fan should do when this movie comes on. Run like Jason is coming.
Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
One nightmare most moviegoers want to forget is the terrible attempt to revamp the Elm Street franchise that features the one and only dream crushing machine. The man with the hat, sweater, and knife fingers, who has little girls jumping rope announce his entrance, was due for a comeback. For this momentous occasion the powers that be decided to create a backstory for the infamous killer involving child sexual abuse. This came off as creepy and in poor taste.
This didn’t help the character and the rest of the film feels like it was put together to be a quick cash grab instead of a serious revamping. It was all style and no substance. Even the original Krueger himself believes this one just isn’t Freddy. The opening scene is a bust and it was all downhill from their claims the iconic actor who once ripped teenagers open from inside their dreams (Link 4). Bringing this franchise back to life seems like a nightmarish endeavor that should be forgotten in the same way the kids on Elm Street could stop remembering Krueger.
I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
Some remakes go too far trying to push the boundaries the original was looked at as innovative for somewhat doing, even if it wasn’t for the most pleasant reasons. To say the least, the first version of the I Spit on Your Grave film is what some would consider being very despicable, and the revamp endeavor outshines its predecessor in this department, way too much. The original story has a young woman being brutally raped and left for dead. When she survives she gets her revenge by violently killing the men that used her like a dog.
The remix of the 1978 film focuses more on the rape foreplay and psychological torment than the event itself, which makes audiences feel uneasy. After she survives the awful atrocities laid on her by the cliche evil redneck rapists, she goes medieval on these evildoers. Her methods can only be described as bizarre and cruel. All in all, this film lacks the simplistic premise of the original that was simply a revenge flick. This is one part brutal sex and one part brutal violent crime. This crime horror thriller is considered by Roger Ebert himself as a loathsome film.
The shot-for-shot remake has always been a puzzling practice within the world of cinema. It is basically taking someone else’s work in its entirety and doing the same exact thing with newer people, sets, technology, etc. Why any red-blooded individual would want to see some carbon copy of another great work is bewildering, to say the least. So when Academy Award-winning movie director Gus Van Sant announced he was making one of these cinematic clones, it was a very intriguing concept. The title he was taking on is what some would argue is the greatest horror film and some even believe it is one of the best films of all time.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho would be redone with Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. Vaughn had not yet been established as the Wedding Crasher’s type of guy. His interesting performance aside, this film fails to even come close to what the original did. Because of the fact that this motion picture is identical in every way to the 1960 classic, down to the very same shot composition, the element of surprise is completely gone. This proves the point that this one completely misses what made Hitchcock’s thriller a classic that still holds up to this day, something the remake does not. The whole color aspect doesn’t do much and fans that like the first Psycho miss the monochrome feel. Some of the story aspects that made sense in the ‘60s don’t really make sense today. The only good thing to come from this terrifyingly terrible remake is that it single-handedly ended the bizarre shot-for-shot tradition.
Black Christmas (2006)
Some remakes go too over the top and run out of gas halfway through the film’s runtime. The remake of the 1974 holiday slasher flick Black Christmas falls flat on its face in its attempts to recapture any of what made the first one a stand out title. Both as a revamped version of the original and as a standalone horror flick, Black Christmas does not offer much to audiences in the realms of depth or substance. The 2006 version lacks the uniqueness and soul that made the first one what some would call an enduring classic.
The story revolves around two crazy people killing gorgeous coed after gorgeous coed. Bags thrown over people’s heads and eye plucking gets so overused that its apparent the good idea tree ran out of leaves early on in this on’s development. Also, too much backstory eclipses the shrouded mystery that made Bob Clark’s first Black Christmas so much better. So in the end, the remake went too big in its attempts to recreate a solid slasher and viewers are left with a dismal yuletide memory that they can’t return after the season is over.
My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
In 2009 Patrick Lussier took a stab at making his own version of the 1981 classic My Bloody Valentine. This remake attempted to take advantage of the 3D fad that had been a thing at the time. 3D slowly faded out and did nothing for this new spin on the ‘80s horror hit. Like many other failed revamps, this one takes too many liberties with its story and focuses on cheap thrills instead of substance. It ultimately comes off as a graceless outing that lacks the tension-filled pacing that made the original so cringeworthy.
With the exception of a few tense movements, the movie stumbles throughout its absurd plot and none of the characters are able to resonate with audiences. This feels less like a detailed theatrical worthy film and comes off more like a made for television movie. Besides the 3D element and some decent sex scenes, this one feels like the biggest waste of time and missing out on this one, doesn’t really feel like missing out on anything at all. The bloody truth is no one wants to receive this Valentine in the third dimension or any other dimension for that matter.
Poltergeist is an iconic piece of horror cinema that really doesn’t need to be revisited. But low and behold, the powers that be in Hollywood deemed it necessary to be paraded in front of audiences during the nostalgic obsessed rage the entertainment industry was milking for whatever it was worth in 2015. So the Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg poorly rekindled masterpiece was shoveled out in what can only be described as a disappointing paint by numbers attempt at a horror film designed to be a pure cash grab.
This obvious piece of box office bait trash was undoubtedly designed to make a quick buck banking on the fact that the name recognition would be enough to rank in enough cash to make this foolish endeavor worth it. If this reboot attempt was taken seriously it would have had had bigger names attached as we as a hefty budget. But instead, fans are left with a bland story and less than believable scares. This film failed on an epic scale to achieve the greatness its predecessor did and is a shining example in favor if the argument that certain films cannot be remade successfully.
Sorority Row (2009)
The 2009 horror comedy film known as Sorority Row is based on the Seven Sisters screenplay and the 1983 cult classic The House on Sorority Row. it follows five members of the Sorority Theta Pi who cause the tragic death of Megan, one of their sorority sisters. This happens as the result of a prank gone wrong. The body gets dumped and when everyone thinks they’ve gotten away with it, a hooded figure with a tire iron shows up. This dark figure starts a massacre with those involved in the cover-up. This is a pretty common horror trope that has been used so many times and feels very dull throughout this film’s runtime.
This movie can’t decide which lane it is in. Its attempts at humor pull the viewer out of whatever tension that may or may not be there. The characters feel like cardboard cutouts of people audiences have seen in better movies, making them just want to watch those instead of continuing with this generic piece of repetitive trash. If eye candy and camp value are what viewers are going for this is a hall of fame level contender, but if one is looking for actual terrifying experience, this flick will leave a person feeling like they’ve been struck over the head by a tire iron.
The Haunting (1999)
Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House is a great read that will definitely send a shiver up anyone’s spine who dares to read it alone in a dark room. The 1963 adaptation of the book is a black and white haunt fest that became an instant classic with horror fans and casual moviegoers alike. So naturally, the entertainment industry would try to replicate that greatness with a reboot several decades later. The result isn’t great and this failure definitely haunts the streets of Tinseltown to this day.
The 1999 remake with the same name as the ’63 adaptation has some serious star power going for it and contains some pretty nice set pieces that are both beautiful and creepy. The film never finds its feet and stumbles all the way to the finish line. The lackluster performances by the cast are scary considering how good their other performances in different films are. Some critics call this scary movie absolutely awful that is afraid of its own audience. The old horror convention fails to generate the scares they had hoped for and this just feels like a dud the whole way through. The Haunting proves just because it was good once, doesn’t mean a new paint job will make it any better.