5. Straw Dogs (2011)
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)
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)
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.