20 Movie Remakes That Actually Got It Right
Like many of you, I shudder a bit when I hear that an old classic is being “remade.” We cry, “why can’t it just be left alone?!” Because remakes guarantee an audience…that’s why! Most often the remake doesn’t match up to the original, but every so often we are pleasantly surprised. The movie remakes below might not be as good as the originals, but they definitely lived up to the hype.
Just so ya know, my interpretation of a “remake” is a film that uses an earlier film as its main source material or source of inspiration.
20. Let Me In
Why mess with a modern classic? Far from messing with it, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves instead crafts a sensitive companion piece to original Swedish vamp flick Let The Right One In that is as far from a money-grabbing cash-in as it’s possible to get.
Sensitive and elegant, with Let Me In he draws haunting performances from young leads Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a vampire and her new friend, and sets a new standard for fang flicks here on in. Stellar stuff.
19. The Departed
The Academy finally awarded Martin Scorsese a best director trophy for this crime epic in 2007. And though some might argue it’s not the film he should have gotten the award for (Raging Bull, anyone?), there’s no denying The Departed retains its own sucker punch power.
Jack Nicholson throws his weight around as crime boss and all-round meanie Frank Costello, while the dual paths of Leo DiCaprio’s undercover cop Billy and Matt Damon’s undercover cop mobman Colin reap all kinds of white-knuckle rewards. Not least the bloodbath ending. Oh, and it’s a remake of the equally-brilliant Internal Affairs.
18. Twelve Monkeys
Terry Gilliam’s gritty, no-nonsense sci-flick takes its inspiration from French romantic short The Pier (1962), which itself follows post-World War III humans who attempt to invent time travel in order to go back in time for food supplies.
In Gilliam’s version, Bruce Willis is a convict sent back through time from a future that is crippled by disease. His mission? Fight out what went wrong. Annoyingly, he’s banged up in a mental asylum when he gets there… Willis knocks his performance out of the park, while the multiple plot twists corkscrew in genius ways. And no, there aren’t any actual monkeys involved.
17. Dangerous Liaisons
Alright, not technically a remake as much as a fresh adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ debauchery-stuffed novel, but still just one of many such adaps. As tight-bound as any of the numerous corsets on display, Stephen Frears’ version is a luxurious, opulent affair, as Glenn Close and John Malkovich exchange barbs between the fan-flicking.
Of course, Cruel Intentions did it just as wella decade later, swapping tiaras for teen tantrums and pushing the high life sexcapades to the limit…