Aw, the elusive horror remake. If there is one topic that gets the proverbial guts flying the most, it's the horror remake. Most people hate them, a few love them, I find myself standing right in the middle ground. I don't see a problem, necessarily, with remakes. Some of them I love; for instance, I find 2004's The Hills Have Eyes to be a superior film to Wes Craven's original, if only because I found the original to be rather boring. However, I definitely see the hatred that remakes garner, and I can empathize with it. If a remake was announced for The Exorcist or The Shining, I'm pretty sure most possessions in my house would be broken in a violent rampage.
Now, I've been meaning to venture into the list article format that so many blogs and publications these days seem to be crazy about so since I already have my favorite remakes listed in my header, I decided to compile my list of the 5 worst remakes of all time:
5. House of Wax (2005)
What more can be said other than the fact that Paris Hilton stars in this shotty remake of the 1953 classic starring Vincent Price? It has become more and more common place for major studios to take lesser well known classics, dumb them down with a cast of Abercrombie models to appeal to a young audience and pump them out like hot cakes. This is just one example. As awesome as Hilton's death scene in the film is, a horror film should never be watched in anticipation of character deaths.
Boasting a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 25% Jaume Collet-Serra's House of Wax makes the list at number 5.
4. The Amityville Horror (2005)
Being that the original, released in 1979, was far from a great movie it should have been relatively easy to take the source material and craft a superior film. This was not the case with Andrew Douglas's take on The Amityville Horror. Starring Ryan Reynolds (huh?) as a shirtless George Lutz for pretty much the entirety of the film, it suffers from the same constraints House of Wax did in the sense that it was a shotty attempt at bringing an old story into a new age. Featuring an entirely new third act, the film failed to deliver the scares and often times left me wondering, “Why?”.
The Rotten Tomatoes score comes in at a whopping 23%
3. Halloween 2 (2009)
Normally I won't comment on a film like this, as I stood up and walked out of the room halfway through, but I suppose that should be a testament as to how I felt about the film. I am a fan of Zombie's work, and while I wasn't crazy about his rendition of Halloween, I thought it was a solid effort at taking on such an iconic film. Halloween II, however, was just a big ol' pile of crap as far as I was concerned. It seemed completely contrived, as if Zombie threw it together as quickly as possible to get the studio off his back, and it's just sad. I still haven't seen the ending to it, and I doubt I ever will. I'm still trying to forget act one, to be honest.
Rotten Tomatoes says: 20%
2. Psycho (1998)
I think that if Horror was a physical governing body, one of the gravest crimes one could commit would be remaking certain films or directors, one of the top being Alfred Hitchcock. Zombie had some pretty massive balls to be willing to get in the ring with Halloween, but they compare in no way to the basketballs Gus Van Sant must be lugging around for even daring to touch Psycho. From the laughable decision to cast Vince Vaughn to fill Anthony Perkins' shoes, to the horrible performance by A-list stars, the film seems like a sad portrait of the original. While it's not as bad as the others, I'm putting it so close to number one simply because it's fucking Psycho.
Rotten Tomatoes gives it 37%, the highest score out of any film on the list.
1. The Omen (2006)
There are a few films in my book that are absolutely untouchable. As I mentioned earlier, The Shining and The Exorcist are a couple, but so is The Omen and I don't think I've ever walked out of a theater more angry and upset than I did on June 6, 2006. The Omen is a classic for many reasons, but the things that it did to move the horror genre forward are , innumerable. Seriously, watch a making-of of The Omen, it'll blow your mind. From the soundtrack, to the subject matter, to the death scenes; Richard Donner put so much thought and care into every aspect of this film that it is truly perfect in it's original format. What we received in 2006 was more along the lines of Final Destination than what the original was. Another horror film remade and stripped of any substance in an effort to fill seats and sell popcorn, and considering the originals legacy in the genre, this is why I put it at number one.
Rotten Tomatoes gives it 27%, and honestly I was surprised it rated that highly. I think that it's one of the darkest marks on horrors permanent record, and I can only hope that it will collectively be forgotten in the coming years.
So there you have it, my personal list of the worst horror remakes in recent years. Now I have to ask, what are yours? Sound off in the comments, and in case you didn't know, you can find me on Twitter now (@rglovecraft)!
Til' next time!
Keep it spooky,