The 15 Best Horror Remakes Ever Made

Best Horror Remakes

Recently, I highlighted what I believed to be the worst horror remakes ever made in honor of this week’s release of Flatliners. But enough negativity! Let’s look at some good horror remakes, which do indeed exist! Every once in awhile, a filmmaker will come along, take an original film, and find a creative, exciting way to remake it. Sometimes these remakes even surpass the original films. It’s rare, but it happens, and when it does, that’s worth celebrating. Let’s look at the best horror remakes of all time.

15. Psycho

You might be ready to instantly close the tab once you see I’m starting out with Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, but hear me out! I’ve already made a much, much longer case for the film, but it comes down to this: Van Sant’s experimental shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s flick is fascinating. It’s an experimental work of art turned into a piece of pop entertainment, and I’d rather watch a remake like this – one familiar yet strange – than some pointless junk that tries to improve on greatness. This film will never surpass Hitchcock, but it at least tries to do something interesting with the materials he already provided. This is a slick, strange remake with some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. If you’ve avoided giving this a chance for so long due to poor word of mouth, maybe give it a look now and see what you think.

14. House on Haunted Hill

William Castle’s original House on Haunted Hill is a total hoot, with Vincent Price at his most Vincent Priceless, hamming it up in a house full of skeletons on strings and other things that go bump in the night as a group of people try to survive the night in a haunted house to win prize money. William Malone’s 1999 remake isn’t as classy as the original, but it is still a lot of fun. Some of it hasn’t aged very well – it’s a very 90s movie – but there it’s hard to deny how much fun the film is. It’s also surprisingly creepy, as Malone pulls out all the stops and goes wild, unleashing an effects-heavy second half that throws jittery ghouls and surreal sequences at you left and right. Best of all, it has Geoffrey Rush stepping in for Price, and hamming it up big time. Hammy Geoffrey Rush is the best Geoffrey Rush, and here you get him at the center of a big, silly haunted house flick.

13. House of Wax

This is another choice that might elicit a few WTFs from readers, but let me explain. First, some semantics: the “original” House of Wax, from 1953, about a mad wax sculpture who kills people and turns them into wax statues, was actually a remake itself, of the 1933 from Mystery of the Wax Museum. The 2005 House of Wax, however, is less of a remake of the 1933 or 1953 films, and more of a remake of the under-seen, weirdo horror film Tourist Trap. Confused yet? It’s okay. All you need to know is this film’s premise – a bunch of young people get stranded at a tourist attraction and are systematically killed off by a crazy man and his twin brother – is identical to Tourist Trap and has almost nothing to do with either Wax film. Now that that’s out of the way, let me just say the 2005 film, from The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra, is surprisingly good! Yes, Paris Hilton is in it, and yes, she’s terrible. But the rest of the film is stylish and often surprisingly nasty, with several brutal cringe-inducing moments that other slasher remakes would be afraid to touch.

12. Cat People

Paul Schrader turned the 1942 Cat People into a sexy, even kind of sleazy, thriller with this 1982 remake. The original film is all about subtlety, and what you don’t see. The remake…not so much. But that doesn’t make it bad. It’s just an interesting new take on the story. Nastassia Kinski is a woman whose sexual awakening coincides with her possibly turning into a giant leopard. Yeah, it’s weird. And violent. But ultimately fascinating. Schrader is a filmmaker who seems obsessed with sleaze and unease, and he puts that to great effect here. Also, you can’t beat the film’s soundtrack, which includes a theme song by David Bowie.

11. Willard

I’ll just say it – the original Willard, from 1971, just isn’t very good. You know what is good, though? This 2003 remake from Glenn Morgan, featuring Crispin Glover giving the most amazing performance of his career. Glover is a quiet loser who befriends the world’s biggest rat, and then soon has an entire army of rats to do his bidding. It’s a goofy little film, and the script is slightly uneven, but none of that matters because Crispin Glover is insane here. Glover has always been a strange performer, but this was the first time in a while he was given the opportunity to carry an entire film, and he certainly doesn’t squander it. He rants, he raves, he looks like his head is literally going to explode off his body. It’s a treat.

Continue Reading The 15 Best Horror Remakes of All Time >>

Pages: 1 2 3Next page

Cool Posts From Around the Web: