The 15 Best Horror Remakes Ever Made

10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Let me preface this pick by saying Tobe Hooper’s original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is in a class all its own. It’s impossible to replicate, and there absolutely shouldn’t have been a remake of it. That said, the remake we got, 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is surprisingly good, and surprisingly well made. While it has none of the gritty, grimy documentary feel of Hooper’s original, which felt like a snuff film that accidentally got released into theaters, this film is still quite brutal and unrelenting for a studio remake. Overall, it’s a genuinely unnerving, if a bit over-polished, horror film, with R. Lee Ermey giving perhaps his best performance since Full Metal Jacket. 

9. Maniac

William Lustig’s sleazy, creepy 1980 serial killer thriller got a neon-drenched re-do in in 2012. Elijah Wood is the eponymous maniac, prowling the night looking for victims to scalp. This plot on its own might’ve just been another forgettable serial killer film, but what makes the 2012 Maniac so interesting is its style  – director Franck Khalfoun shoots almost the entire film through Wood’s eyes, as if we’re trapped inside his troubled head and seeing the world the way he sees it. It sounds gimmicky, but it actually works really well, making for an unnerving experience. Added into the mix is an incredible synth-based score courtesy of Robin Coudert.

8. Dawn of the Dead

Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a Dawn of the Dead remake probably never should have happened. I distinctly remember the lead-up to this 2004 remake being filled with dread and anger from fans. How dare someone remake George Romero’s zombie classic? And how dare they make the zombies run? But you know what, it turned out surprisingly well. This may in fact be Zack Snyder‘s best film. It helps that Snyder was working with a script from future Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. While Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead is not as intelligent as Romero’s, it’s a fun, often scary film that unfolds at a rapid pace while taking the time to develop its cast of characters.

7. Night of the Living Dead

Make-up effects guru Tom Savini stepped behind the camera to helm this 1990 remake of George Romero’s zombie classic. While not as groundbreaking as Romero’s film (how could it be?), Savini’s remake is much better than it gets credit for being. For one thing, the zombies that pop-up in this film are much more disturbing looking than the pale faced ghouls in Romero’s film. For another, the character of Barbara, played here by Patricia Tallman, is actually given something to do and able to grow into a strong, ass-kicking heroine, while the Barbara in Romero’s film spends almost the entire runtime in a semi-catatonic state. The only disappointment with this film is its ending, which takes a shocking, depressing moment from the original film and sanitizes it ever so slightly, with less impactful results.

6. The Blob

Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of the 1958 horror flick of the same name is funny, inventive, creepy and surprising. In fact, I’ll just say it: it’s better than the original. The blob effects from the first film leave something to be desired, whereas here they’re an absolute blast. It’s an icky, gooey good time as a sentient mass of purple goo arrives in a California town via meteorite and starts melting the hell out of people. One of the things I love most about this movie is the way it keeps faking out the audience, setting up characters you assume will end up being heroes only to have them quickly dispatched via blob.

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