Everyone loves a good horror film, and whether you’re sitting in the first row at the theater or hiding behind your fingers, we all can appreciate a well-executed plot. The horror genre, in particular, holds a special place in the hearts of movie buffs everywhere. So, when a remake comes into play, it’s no surprise that everyone’s a critic. I mean, why fix what isn’t broken, right?
Luckily, there are a few horror flicks out there that have done their originals some justice one way or another. Although horror film reboots are revamped with modern technology and bigger budgets, they don’t always deserve the harsh criticism. The following 16 horror remakes are some prime examples of films that have lived up to their originals.
1. Evil Dead (2013)
Warning: if the sight of blood makes you squeamish, then this remake isn’t for you! Directed by Fede Álvarez, this reboot of the 1981 horror cult-classic The Evil Dead stars Jane Levy as a young twenty-something with a drug addiction. In order to kick the habit, she invites her brother and a few friends to join her up at her family’s cabin in the woods. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Many were surprised to see a female lead replace Bruce Campbell’s beloved Ash. Fortunately, not only was her acting completely phenom, but the music, special effects and makeup used to deliver each incredibly gory scene captured the eerie and disturbing nature of the OG film. Although the drug addiction and female lead bring a more modern twist, the film still features all the demon action you could hope for. And don’t worry, the tree branches still make their appearance.
2. It (2017)
Easily one of the most anticipated films of 2017, It, directed by Andy Muschietti, is a remake of the 1990 horror-thriller based off of Stephen King’s famed 1986 novel. Both movies feature a misfit gang of preteens, “The Losers’ Club.” The group of kids is tormented by a demon that’s taken form as a sadistic killer clown, and yes, it’s your worst nightmare. Although nothing can really match the brilliance of Tim Curry’s original portrayal of Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård offers a respectable performance that’s almost as disturbing as Curry’s. I’m still not over that street gutter scene, tbh.
3. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
My Bloody Valentine 3D is a reboot of the 1981 slasher film of the same name. While some of the similarities include Harry Warden’s storyline and it being Valentine’s Day, the modern remake includes more scandalous slasher fun that incorporates a 3D element. While there are a few noticeable differences between the two, the reboot wasn’t attempting to outshine the original. It’s an effective remake as it still keeps the old-school slashings but adds modern technology.
4. Carrie (2013)
Chloë Grace Moretz delivers a chilling performance in Carrie, the remake of the 1976 horror film based on Stephen King’s novel. The film provides a fun mixture of high school drama and horror, and of course, a whack-job mother. Although Moretz’s appearance doesn’t exactly paint her as an outcast like Sissy Spacek’s did, the prom scene featuring the bucket of pig’s blood did the original film justice.
5. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
This film is a remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 original. Directed by Alexandre Aja, the plot includes bloodthirsty mutants who terrorize a family on a road trip. Of course, with almost any modern remake, you can expect that this one features more gore to satisfy all your horror needs – but that’s not to say the OG wasn’t scary as hell. In fact, it earned an X rating. FYI: The 2006 version was originally rated NC-17, but then it got edited for an R rating.
6. Piranha 3D (2010)
Clearly a ridiculous plotline and film overall, but it’s all in good fun. This loose remake of the 1978 horror film Piranha features all the laughs, gore and bikinis you could hope for. Also directed by Alexandre Aja, this film and the original don’t take themselves too seriously and that’s what we like. We are talking about flesh-eating piranhas here, after all.
7. House of Wax (2005)
Many were skeptical of this film considering that it featured the questionable acting of Paris Hilton, and WB stars Jared Padalecki and Chad Michael Murray. But Jaume Collet-Serra’s remake of the 1953 film delivers. Offering excessive violence, gore and a plot that’ll make your skin crawl, it’s just as demented as the original. Sure the 1953 version has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the 2005’s 25%, but you can appreciate both in different ways.
8. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
This film offers the ultimate revenge story that’s not for the faint of heart. Steven R. Monroe’s remake of a 1978 horror film tells the story of a woman who’s been gang-raped and is out for blood. Seeking vengeance by inflicting incredible pain and suffering on her attackers, neither the original or modern heroine show any mercy. Considering the brutal nature of the conflict at hand, both films are quite difficult to watch but genuinely enthralling.
9. Friday the 13th (2009)
Director Marcus Nispel took a stab at the iconic original franchise, and with good results. The film is not a direct remake of the original Friday the 13th, but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing! This modern version brought Jason back to our screens hockey mask and all, revamping the iconic masked killer who was established in the original.
10. The Last House on the Left (2009)
Directed by Dennis Iliadis, this remake of Wes Craven’s 1972 film has actually been referred to as the tamer version of the two, surprisingly enough! But have no fear. While the original was very controversial and graphic for its time, this remake still delivers a disturbing and gory experience that original fans will approve of.
11. Sorority Row (2009)
Sorority Row sees stars such as Leah Pipes and Rumer Willis snagged to help remake the 1983 film House on Sorority Row. It’s an entertaining and gory film featuring a not-unheard-of plot, both stemming from a prank gone horribly wrong. That said, campy horror movie fans will be thoroughly intrigued.
12. Silent House (2011)
This film quickly followed its 2010 original La casa muda. Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Silent House follows the story of a girl helping her father and uncle fix-up a family home. Things take a dark turn when strange, ominius noises from the outside begin to occur. The fact that La casa muda was based on true events makes this film just as unnerving.
13. Night of the Living Dead (1990)
If you’ve ever seen George Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead, you’ll know that it doesn’t phase modern horror junkies. However, you just can’t bash the classics, especially the one that established zombies as we know and love them today. Modernizing the original script and adding the magic of special effects, Romero set out to remake his own film. Directed by Tom Savini, this 1990 remake basically follows each shot of the original, with the addition of color and updated effects.
14. Halloween (2007)
This remake of the 1978 slasher film was written, directed and produced by Rob Zombie. Although Zombie’s film is considered more of a reimagining than an actual remake, it still features the basic plot. Considering the number of films in the Halloween franchise before Zombie came along (eight), we don’t blame him! Zombie attempts to go deeper behind Michael Myers’s motive for killing, as the original slasher didn’t have a clear reason. While not everyone may agree on their love of this film, it certainly captures the spirit of the original.
15. Let Me In (2010)
Let Me In is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film adapted from a novel called Let The Right One In. This movie was released only two years after the original and features virtually the same plot. The only big differences include the naming of the characters and the setting. With such a similar and eerie feel, it’s difficult for this film to do wrong to the original.
16. Fright Night (2011)
Starring Anton Yelchin as Charley Brewster, this 21st century recreation of the original 1985 Fright Night keeps all the scares and humor you loved about the original. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the story of the creepy-vampire-next-door received positive reviews and praise from viewers particularly for its humor and cast performances.