Whether you love them or hate them, see them as proof of Hollywood’s lack of creativity or a natural evolution of storytelling and legend-building, remakes are here to stay. Of course, knee-jerk remake hate has been tempered in recent years, following the impeccable reboot of Evil Dead in 2013 and Andy Muschietti’s IT, certain to be one of the most lauded films of 2017.
And as much as some would loathe to admit it, cinematic history is strewn with examples of remakes surpassing their predecessor, both critically and financially. Yes, many genre fans still avoid them like plague, but remakes are, objectively, safe bets. And with Halloween and The Predator coming in 2018, the trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
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Our friends at Looper have put together a video essay of horror movie remakes that are better than the originals. Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section. If you can’t stream, we’ve listed the remakes below, along with trailers and synopses, as well as the originals for your comparison. Enjoy!
Official Synopsis: At a time when it seems like every movie in history is being considered for a remake or a reboot, the horror genre has found itself particularly ripe for pillaging. Sometimes, it takes more than just one attempt to get it right. For proof, just queue up these horror remakes that actually turned out better than the original films…
The Remake: The Evil Dead (2013, Fede Álvarez)
Official Synopsis: Mia (Jane Levy), a drug addict, is determined to kick the habit. To that end, she asks her brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) and their friends Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) to accompany her to their family’s remote forest cabin to help her through withdrawal. Eric finds a mysterious Book of the Dead at the cabin and reads aloud from it, awakening an ancient demon. All hell breaks loose when the malevolent entity possesses Mia.
The Original: The Evil Dead (1981, Directed by Sam Raimi)
Official Synopsis: Ashley “Ash” Williams (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend and three pals hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun night away. There they find an old book, the Necronomicon, whose text reawakens the dead when it’s read aloud. The friends inadvertently release a flood of evil and must fight for their lives or become one of the evil dead. Ash watches his friends become possessed, and must make a difficult decision before daybreak to save his own life in this, the first of Sam Raimi’s trilogy.
The Remake: The Hills Have Eyes (2006, Alexandre Aja)
Official Synopsis: A family road trip takes a terrifying turn when the travelers become stranded in a barren atomic zone established by the U.S. government. However, the unlucky travelers discover to their horror that the wasteland is far from uninhabited, A band of bloodthirsty mutants prowls the area, and there is nothing they like better than fresh meat.
The Original: The Hills Have Eyes (1977, Directed by Wes Craven)
Official Synopsis: On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.
The Remake: The Crazies (2010, Directed by Breck Eisner)
Official Synopsis: Anarchy reigns when an unknown toxin turns the peaceful citizens of Ogden Marsh into bloodthirsty lunatics. In an effort to contain the spread of the infection, authorities blockade the town and use deadly force to keep anyone from getting in or out. Now trapped among killers, Sheriff Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) and his wife (Radha Mitchell) and two companions must band together to find a way out before madness and death overtake them.
The Original: The Crazies (1973, Directed by George A. Romero)
Official Synopsis: A nurse (Lane Carroll) and her husband (W.G. McMillan) try to get out of their infected town, but the Army has it sealed off.
The Remake: Funny Games (2007, Directed by Michael Haneke)
Official Synopsis: When Ann, husband George and son Georgie arrive at their holiday home they are visited by a pair of polite and seemingly pleasant young men. Armed with deceptively sweet smiles and some golf clubs, they proceed to terrorize and torture the tight-knit clan, giving them until the next day to survive.
The Original: Funny Games (1997, Directed by Michael Haneke)
Official Synopsis: An idyllic lakeside vacation home is terrorized by Paul (Arno Frisch) and Peter (Frank Giering), a pair of deeply disturbed young men. When the fearful Anna (Susanne Lothar) is home alone, the two men drop by for a visit that quickly turns violent and terrifying. Husband Georg (Ulrich Mühe) comes to her rescue, but Paul and Peter take the family hostage and subject them to nightmarish abuse and humiliation. From time to time, Paul talks to the film’s audience, making it complicit in the horror.
The Remake: Silent House (2011, Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau)
Official Synopsis: Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) is working with her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) to renovate an old family home to prepare it for sale. Long vacant, the house has no utilities, forcing the trio to rely on battery-operated lanterns to light their way. Sarah becomes separated from her relatives and soon finds she is trapped inside the cabin, with no contact with the outside world. Panic turns to real terror as the young woman experiences events that become increasingly ominous.
The Original: La casa muda (2010, Directed by Gustavo Hernández)
Official Synopsis: Laura and her father stay in a house overnight, but a mysterious noise makes her very frightened.
The Remake: We Are What We Are (2013, Directed by Jim Mickle)
Official Synopsis: The Parkers, reclusive people who cling to ancient customs, find their secret lives threatened when a torrential downpour and the death of the family matriarch forces daughters Iris and Rose to assume special responsibilities.
The Original: Somos lo que hay (2010, Directed by Jorge Michel Grau)
Official Synopsis: When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals.
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