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10 Horror Movie Remakes That Totally Butchered The Original

28 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Rosely Bolio

Either the entertainment industry is running dry on material, or there is certain thrill to remaking a film. Remaking is like gambling; you could lose big or hit the jackpot. The chances of the latter are slim at best. However, because of the existence of a previous film, a certain amount of ticket sales and publicity are guaranteed. That’s most likely why remakes continue to be made.

Horror is a particularly vulnerable genre, ready to be taken apart into tiny pieces and remade to death. With special effects and technological advances, horror films are also the perfect target. Filmmakers are convinced that by amping up the gore and the body count, the actual plot becomes a secondary element.

In other cases, films are changed in such dramatic ways that the essence of what once was a decent horror movie is now a hollow two-hour series of bloody images. Here are ten examples of the worst horror remakes ever made.


1. Dawn of Dead (2004)

Dawn of the Dead

The remake of Dawn of the Dead has created its own group of followers, and it’s rated above average for a horror flick. There is no denying that this movie is solid in many aspects, and it provides the right amount of gore and zombies to satisfy the fans, but it fails to faithfully convey Romero’s original theme: consumerism.

The new Dawn of the Dead takes place in a mall, but it doesn’t take full advantage of its location. There is a campy montage of the survivors indulging in the metropolis pleasures while the outside world falls to pieces, but this sequence feels out of place. It serves no purpose, and it feels like it had to be there to somewhat resemble the original.

Romero’s film also creates a tense atmosphere without relying on fast, enraged zombies, which is ultimately what makes it so great. A group of smart, abled adults are trapped in a shopping mall filled with slow, brainless creatures. One zombie in Romero’s film is not dangerous; it’s the herd that characters must fear. The remake completely missed the point there.


2. Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

For everyone who grew up with the fear of going to sleep and not waking up, or for those who still experience a mild panic attack upon the sight of red and green clothing, the new Nightmare on Elm Street will be a total disappointment.

Wes Craven’s Nightmare keeps the number of characters to a minimum because its intention was not a high body count, but psychological horror. The new Nightmare introduces a number of disposable and undeveloped characters for the mere purpose of giving Freddy more bodies to rip apart.

The first 30 minutes are complete fluff. While the need to have a death in the opening scene has become almost mandatory for horror films, Freddy’s first victim (whatever his name was) is forgettable and completely takes away the mystery of the original. Are these just dreams? Can Freddy actually hurt me? The blurred line between dreams and reality doesn’t exist in the new Nightmare. It all gets too real too soon.


3. Quarantine (2008)


Remakes on foreign horror films never turn out well. Although Quarantine is almost a shot by shot copy of the original, it fails to grab the audience and deliver genuine scares in the same way. Quarantine is a Hollywood remake, and just like any other, it feels more staged; it also attempts to improve upon the quality of visual effects, actor looks, and just the overall feel of the film.

However a movie that aims to be found footage doesn’t need such improvement; it needs realism, a combination of dark shots, shaky camera effects and authentic delivery from the actors. REC succeeds at these. Quarantine does not.


4. Psycho (1998)

If you’re going to attempt to remake one of Hitchock’s masterpieces, you’d better realize it’s just a bad idea and not even try it. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho tries to be faithful to the original from a camera and soundtrack perspective. However, all the elements on the screen don’t click.

The soundtrack makes you feel uneasy but not the type of uneasiness a horror movie should trigger, but rather an uncomfortable feeling caused by witnessing someone make a fool of himself. It’s hard to take the film seriously, especially with the weak acting.

Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche’s performances are overdone. They try to imitate the original tone of the film, which makes their characters feel cartoon-like. It’s almost as if the film forgets that it’s set in 1998 and not in the 60’s. Psycho set the foundation for the modern slasher genre. It has been referenced and paid homage to by many filmmakers. Some have succeeded, some not so much, but they all respectfully kept their distance.


5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)


The main problem with the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre is its dependability on gore and torture porn techniques to instill fear in the audience.

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is disturbing not because of the amount of blood shed on screen or the realism used to show a chainsaw cut through muscle and bones, but because it takes its time to develop a deranged group of villains; the most infamous of all being leatherface, who in the original version seems as disturbed by the presence of intruders as his victims are by his weapon of choice.

The remake portrays leatherface as a psychotic killer who enjoys mutilating teenagers for a living; the film fails to give depth to its villain and instead tries to compensate by exponentially raising the gore level.



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  • Igor Leoni

    Interesting list and I agree with most of it, except IMO the Last House on The Left remake surpassed the original big time and my main problem with the casting of Chloe Moretz as Carrie WAS her dull acting not her looks (Sissy Spacek was way prettier back in the 70’s when she played the role). I’m not a fan of the remake but in Stephen King’s book Carrie knows how to control her powers and the prom sequence is more of a payback than her powers getting out of control, so it didn’t change the essence of the character, it stayed true to it.

    • Special_One

      “Sissy Spacek was way prettier back in the 70’s when she played the role”
      I don’t think there’s anyone in the whole world Sissy Spacek has ever been way prettier than.

    • Terek Brajan

      Carrie can control her powers in the original film prom scene…..Watch it again !

      • Igor Leoni

        I know that. The writer of this article who wrote she shouldn’t be able to. Read it again!

        • Terek Brajan

          Sorry, my bad….I didn’t know you were refering to the article…..

  • fantail31

    Evil Dead!

    • Nelsonoca Galvis

      That was a good remake, really funny

  • Alexander

    And 92.57% of all remakes ever!

  • sailor monsoon

    Dawn of the dead is easily one of the best horror remakes of all time

    • Alexander Dinamarca

      Wouldn’t call it “one of the best”, but it is a very effective and quite fun remake that tries to do new things with the concept. I seriously don’t mind the fast zombies there, because if the remake is the exact same thing as before, then what’s the point in remaking it. It would be like complaining that Carpenter’s The Thing doesn’t have a lumbering carrot man as the alien monster.

      • sailor monsoon

        Unfortunately the great remake well runs shallow
        The thing
        The fly
        Invasion of the body snatchers
        The blob
        The crazies
        And then I’d say dawn of the dead
        Yes, it loses the social commentary but it knows exactly what it is and it delivers
        It’s better than half of romero’s dead series

    • It is so super overrated(ala DEADPOOL,MARTYRS,JOHN WICK,THE FINAL GIRLS,and HOUSE Of 1000 CORPSES).

  • SupernaturalCat

    Slightly disagree with Quarantine, which is a fairly effective remake, and Jennifer Carpenter (Exorcism of Emily Rose) is one helluva physical actor for genre roles!

    Very much so disagree with the author re the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing being “butchered” …the supposed “duty”(?) of the film makers was to–per their own words–make the film only if they were allowed to do it as a prequel, with their story beginning within the same time frame as Carpenter’s own reworking of the Who Goes There? novella.

    Whether or not the film makers succeeded in establishing “value”(?) is akin to arguing about taste or preference. Believe me, upon initially hearing a prequel was in the works, I was skeptical, scoffed at the idea, and went into it the first time fully prepared to unload on a lackluster film. Well, turns out I was wrong. Sure, overall it’s not as taut and claustrophobic as Carpenter’s grim tale, but is nonetheless suspenseful even if treading the familiar. Definitely not a hack job. And having Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the voice of reason and unlikely take-charge person in a crises situation plays very well. After getting the blu ray, and checking out the supplementals and commentary, it was clear this was a labor of love produced by people who were longtime fans of Carpenter’s film, and who wanted to do the prequel justice.

    I’m not fond of remakes in general. Most of ’em suck on toast (as Mary Jo, from MST3K would put it …incidentally, a term that doesn’t mean, to suck on toast, but rather, like, poached eggs, on toast..or, raspberry jam, on toast…so the saying means, have some “sucks,” on toast, ha) …but anyway …remakes. In my estimation, remakes are similar to “classic rock” radio stations in their societal function, which is to keep us existentially tethered to this comforting, perpetually recurring pop culture conveyor belt as a means of keep us docile and passive via a sense of nostalgic familiarity. A distracted public mind isn’t as likely to cause any “crises of democracy,” as elites refer to real, actual rep democracy (instead of the pretend type we exist in).

  • Jacob Kilgannon

    This is missing Martyrs. The American version changed the ending in such a way that it completely undermined the entire point of the film.

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  • Panos Mantas

    Dawn of the Dead is a good remake even if the approach is different than the original’s. I totally disagree with Last House on the Left which is much better that the unbelievably overrated original, a sloppy and full of mistakes movie.

    • Michelle Kirkwood

      Yeah,I thought the remake of LHOTL was much better than the original, and the villains were much more creepier,too.

  • Yaseen Iqbal

    This is missing Martyrs. The American version changed the ending in such a way that it completely undermined the entire point of the film

  • Magus

    Wicker Man?