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The 10 Most Unnecessary Movie Remakes of The 2010s

20 July 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Dan Barnes

5. Straw Dogs (2011)

Straw Dogs

The original Straw Dogs was and is one of the most controversial films ever made. This remake, starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, is virtually a point-by-point rehash of the original, adding nothing new whatsoever. The difference here is that it lacks the punch that made the original so well-known.

Everything that the first Straw Dogs was able to do was dumbed down in the remake. Coming 40 years after the original, Hollywood is a different place and movies aren’t often as brave. The new film lacked any of that grit and depth that led to the original becoming so hotly debated. There is nothing special about this version.

James Marsden is not Dustin Hoffman, however hard he tries, and this film is not as powerful as the original, as hard as it tries, if indeed it is trying. More truthfully, this is yet another remake that exists to cash on a name and create absolutely nothing unique.

There is no reason for a remake of Straw Dogs to exist, and nobody wanted it.


4. Death at a Funeral (2010)

A common mistake that remakes make is being made too soon after the original. Well, Death at a Funeral came out just three years after the first, which is nothing short of ridiculous.

The original British film did okay with critics. It didn’t do amazing and it was far from a classic, but it was acceptable. It wasn’t exactly a remake that was going to offend anyone, but it was still incredibly unnecessary.

All the new film seemed to do was make the cast and the style of comedy a bit more American, and not much else. It does absolutely nothing different, other than try to make the film more global in its appeal.

The original was fine. It wasn’t terrible, nor was it amazing. The remake was about the same, no better and no worse than an already mediocre film, being released just three years later.

Honestly, what was the point of this?


3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

This is a Michael Bay produced remake of a 1984 horror classic directed by the legendary Wes Craven. What else do you need to know?

This film was bad in most senses of the word. It was visually competent enough, but it lacked the creepiness of the original. This felt no more special than any other generic horror movie churned out by the Hollywood machine, designed specifically to make money.

Jackie Earle Haley tried his best as Freddy Krueger, but could not match the iconic performance originally given by Robert Englund. The character himself was brought down by backstory, becoming less of a terrifying villain than he used to be.

This film was standard Hollywood fare, lacking in scares or an interesting villain, capitalising on the success of a far superior classic of the genre. Even Rooney Mara couldn’t save this movie. It’s already fallen into obscurity, and that’s where it shall forever remain.


2. Ben-Hur (2016)

The classic Ben-Hur from 1959 was in fact a remake. The original was a silent film released in 1925, so it was one of those rare remakes that actually made sense. A lot had changed in cinema between 1925 and 1959, and the filmmakers had a lot more available to them to make the film as epic in scope as possible.

It paid off. The new version has since become a classic, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It also won 11 Oscars, a record that has since only been matched by two films. It’d be impossible to better that success. It would be pretty foolish to even try, right?

In 2016, a new remake of Ben-Hur was released. You might not have noticed because… well, nobody did. This film came and went in a flash and lost a heck of a lot of money. Hardly anyone went to see it, but should they really be surprised?

This is the usual story of Hollywood attempting to remake an absolute classic, for the sole purpose of capitalising on the name. There is no way anyone involved in this production genuinely felt they’d make a better movie than the 1959 film. They did, however, expect to make some easy money. For this reason, it’s incredibly satisfying that they didn’t.

There is clearly no soul involved in this remake. Its visuals are weak, it’s acted poorly and it feels incredibly cynical. This remake has shown no reason to exist, offering zero new ideas, and attempting to cover up their lack of skill with a lot of flashy images.

The 1959 film was a remake that needed doing. It improved on the original in a big way, and offered something new. Now that it’s been perfected, there’s no need for it to be touched again. No-one was interested in seeing another one; especially one as sloppy as this.


1. Cabin Fever (2016)

Cabin Fever (2016)

Have there been any remakes in the past few years more unnecessary than this?

The original 2002 movie by Eli Roth wasn’t exactly a great film, anyway. It received mixed reviews at best (which actually isn’t bad by Roth standards). The 2016 remake was pretty much a by-the-numbers remake of that film. Who wanted that?

Roth himself was an executive producer on the remake, which isn’t a far cry from being a shot-by-shot remake of the original.

Yes, the film is an exact remake of a film that no-one really loved to begin with, produced by the guy who directed the first one. You have to ask yourself… what was the point of that?

If you’re going to do a remake you have do something different (however big or small) to warrant the new version existing. There is no reason that this new version of Cabin Fever exists. This is even worse when you consider the fact that the original only came out in 2002, so it’s hardly dated.

Cabin Fever might not be the worst movie ever made, or even the worse remake ever made. It might not make audiences as angry as some others on the list, because it doesn’t rip-off or tarnish something brilliant. However, it really is hard to think of one more unnecessary than this.



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  • Abhishek

    Almost every remake is unnecessary IMO

  • Rudi

    The Carrie remake was a good one though. And when’s a remake unnecessary? Lots of people that are growing up now would otherwise never ever have seen one of the Carries. Perhaps they’ll be interested in the original after seeing the remake.

    • Dee Dee

      The Carrie remake was horrendous.

    • Terry Powell

      Psycho for one. The sad part there is I had a coworker who has never seen the original but watched the remake and hated it. Even if she goes back and watches it, she’ll lose the experience of seeing the film’s shocks for the first time.

  • Andrew David Boyle

    I am so glad that I never seen one of these movies.

  • feast for

    I like to think for example LEt me In while not superior than the original at least manages to make a nice simmetry in a country in the other side of the world while changing the vampire from ambiguously evil to downright evil, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo however while it’s a superior cinematography tells just the same story with no change and makes me wonder why do it at all?

    • Mortimer

      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) isn’t remake; it’s another adaptation of the novel. How many times this needs to be said ?

      • Terek Brajan

        If you look at it that way, neither is Carrie and Ben Hur……But Swedish version is much better, especially Noomi Rapace as Salander……

        • Mortimer

          “But Swedish version is much better, especially Noomi Rapace as Salander”
          This is your opinion and I respect that but it isn’t consensus or some ultimate opinion. For me, both versions are equally good.
          And yeah, Ben Hur and Carrie are movie adaptations also, not remakes.

          • Terry Powell

            Disagree about Carrie. There were acenes in there that were definitely from the original film, not the book.

  • Allister Cooper

    Some of these were actually not that bad. True, many feel they are not needed, but one good thing about remakes is that it makes one aware of the original. Pulse was an example. Though the Japanese import was scarier, the remake was sleeker. And both were good in their own way.

  • Robert Colontonio

    I thought True Grit was an insult to the original. As great an actor as Jeff Bridges is the movie just did not cut it for me. To be honest they need to stop remaking movies because more often than not they are abominations.

    • bd

      While True Grit (2010) is indeed underwhelming — not just as a remake but also it’s one of the Coens’ middling (or lesser even) works — I don’t think it’s as unsavory as some of the others mentioned in this article, personally. In the ocean of forgettable to downright gross remakes that hit the screen in last decade or so, I’d say True Grit lands closer to the “just average” (still somewhat forgettable) spot on the scale. (At worst, just too safe and recycled.)

      But if the second part of your comment about wishing “they’d stop making movies” is referring to the Coens overall, I’m just gonna ignore that bit.

      • Robert Colontonio

        No i meant hollywood in general should stop with all the remakes. I like the Coen’s work,just didn’t like True Grit remake.

        • bd

          Ah okay haha. The second part of your comment followed so quickly that the context read as “the Coens” rather than “Hollywood”. Thanks for the clarification! 🙂

          But yes, remakes are getting out of hand. I don’t think I’d necessarily want them to stop being made altogether, because some remakes are really great and sometimes update or totally rehaul the source material with interesting liberties. Unfortunately, when Hollywood wants to do remakes, they crank the knob up to 11 and give us an under-cooked Thanksgiving feast that lasts 7 or 8 years. And usually they latch onto a prior decade as a focus — their wheel of fortune landed on “80s revival” back in 2010 and the remake numbers have literally just peaked in the last 8 months or so (hopefully peaked, anyway).

          • Terry Powell

            I liked True Grit okay, but it wasn’t as much fun as the remake. And for all those that claimed it was closer to the book, I’d suggest they read the book and watch the films again. Both were pretty close to the book, both made a couple of changes.

  • Dee Dee

    Can’t believe the remake of ‘Poltergeist’ didn’t make the list. I was so dissapointed. Sam Rockwell should be ashamed.

  • bd

    This is one of many recent articles here that covers many different films, of various styles, where the writer inexplicably decides not to mention the directors responsible for most of the entries (if not for all of them). This particular writer has even mentioned actors involved in certain films, which makes the unspecified directors even more baffling. When one of the primary artistically-intent roles — arguably *the* role — in the film’s production is left blank, there’s an issue and disconnect with the content of the article.

    In other words, the elaborations on each of these films (and those from all lists that commit this offense) mean significantly less to your audience if the person(s) responsible aren’t disclosed as well.

  • Il Verme Conquistatore

    Robocop works good. i liked it. unnecessary? maybe.. so what? fun is unnecessary

  • Deadly_Moogly

    Total Recall someone?

  • sadburbia


  • Jeroen Ledderhof

    Let me In & Funny Games……

  • ray gudel


  • Jacob Kilgannon

    Personally I enjoyed the remake of The Magnificent Seven. Is it the original? Definitely not. That being said, I found it to be a very fun shoot-em up Western. Sure it won’t become a classic like the original, but it could have been so much worse.

    • Terry Powell

      Yeah, I liked it better than the reviewer. Is it as good as the original? No. But, as you say, it’s fun. That one thing most modern westerns, and especially western remakes lack. Before they make a western, I think they should be required to watch films like Silverado and Tombstone to understand what it’s like to watch a western that has violence but can still be fun.

  • Ted Wolf

    my adult daughter (who’s my best movie buff friend) came to the conclusion after watching a remake is that, why don’t they remake bad movies that had some good stories, and leave good movies alone. We realized the reason a movie gets remade is that the title has market value and the green light is being given to the title, not really to the idea of the remake.

    • Terry Powell

      And one funny thing is studios used to remake films yet would change the title, such as Satan Takes a Lady becoming the Maltese Falcon. A couple I love is Against All Odds and No Way Out, which were very different from the original films. And you’re right, all they care about is the title.

  • Carlos Cordero Madrigal

    What you call “the Original” Clash of Titans is actually a remake itself.