Horror movies are extremely divisive. Among general audiences, of course, horror is divisive. Some love horror, some hate it. But among actual horror movie fans, the divide is even worse. Horror fans can be found on places like Reddit and in the Blood-Disgusting forums and comment sections having spiteful arguments that make Star Wars fans seem laid back.
In recent history, more divisive horror icons have been directors Eli Roth and Rob Zombie. Both tout a dedicated fan base, but both also have swarms of detractors as well. Whether it’s Halloween being, or not being, a better film than A Nightmare On Elm Street, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre being inferior or superior to the starkly different Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, horror movie fans have plenty to fight about.
One subject seemingly bringing horror fans together is the advent of the horror remake. Such remakes are often done as cash grabs by film studios, simply to capitalize on specific trends. Many argue that such a move sullies the sacred name of the original.
There have been remakes with merit. Often forgotten, John Carpenter’s The Thing is technically a remake and is highly regarded as one of the best films in horror history. David Cronenberg’s reimagining of The Fly, starring Jeff Goldblum is considered a masterpiece. Other notably quality horror remakes include The Hills Have Eyes, Dawn of the Dead, and The Blob.
That said, here are the five worst of the worst in terms of horror movie remakes.
5. The Shining
One thing no filmmaker ought to do is touch the work of Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick’s version of The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson, is considered a masterpiece by many. With its eerie score and gorgeous cinematography, it’s easy to see why. While Stephen King took umbrage with the 1980 adaptation of his book, most horror fans adored it. Mick Garris’ made-for-tv adaption of The Shining was more true to the book, yes. But Mick Garris proved not strong enough a filmmaker to be compared against Kubrick. Though to be fair to Mick Garris, many people feel no filmmaker is strong enough to compared to Kubrick and still look good.
4. The Wolfman
The remake of this Universal monster classic starred Benicia Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. With a cast this strong it’s difficult to understand how it ended up being so bad. Alas critics ripped this adaptation to shreds. It currently sits at 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
When the trailer for this 2003 remake came out, horror fans were already shaking their heads. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) completely forgot about the atmosphere of the original when they tried to make this film. The realism and washed out warm colors of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic were traded for extra gore and a generic earth-toned saturation which did little more than help launch the career of actress Jessica Biel. R. Lee Ermey, however, is brilliant as always in this film.
2. Friday The 13th
The strange thing about why this didn’t work is that there was no reason for it not to. A Jason Voorhees movie is kind of like a cheeseburger. It’s difficult to mess up. And yet Jason’s mannerisms and need to hold people hostage is such a poor departure from the original, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to improve upon something which clearly wasn’t broken.
1. A nightmare on elm street
Freddy Krueger doesn’t necessarily have to be played by Robert Englund and Robert Englund only. Once Kevin Bacon was rumored to be in talks, though it never materialized. That could be brilliant. Jackie Earle Haley, for that matter, is a fine actor and did the best he could with what he had. Unfortunately, the filmmakers completely forgot that Freddy’s subtlety and surreal cartoonishness is part of what makes him scary. The remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street (2011) took away everything that made the original unique, replacing it with clean CGI and predictable, flat characters.