Once upon a time – back when Hollywood still came up with original ideas and wasn’t run almost exclusively by marketing departments – remakes were a rare bird. Once upon a time, audiences were treated to primarily original fare they hadn’t already seen in another guise. Once upon a time, a trip to the cinema was fresh and new; a wonderland brimming with thoughts, ideas and concepts perhaps viewers had never before imagined.
These, however, are not those times, particularly in the horror genre.
For fans over the age of 35 or so, it’s tough to remember any films from the '70s and '80s that haven’t yet made the list of do-overs. Thing is, for every quality redo (think 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers or 1986’s The Fly) comes seemingly dozens more of absolute inferior (if not outright offensive) quality. Here are five of the most odoriferous.
Fright Night (2011)
Whereas the first Fright Night (1985) featured a nostalgic late-night horror host as protagonist, the remake opted for a sleazy Vegas magician. Bad choice. Roddy McDowall was sympathetic in his role. David Tennant was just greasy. Just not as fun as the first.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Torture-porn at its finest, this remake featured none of the social commentary of the first about the industrialization of American society. Instead, it substituted basic blood and guts simply for the sake of blood and guts (something lacking in the original which relied almost solely on atmosphere).
The Wicker Man (2006)
Go ahead. You know you’re thinking it. Me, too. Cue the truly horrific Nicolas Cage performance. Subtlety thy name is Coppola.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
No one but Robert Englund will ever be known as Freddy Krueger – so, even if execs were hell-bent on a remake, why cast another actor in the role? Of course Jackie Earle Haley wasn’t as good, and of course, this remake was a shadow of its original self.
The absolute poster child for pointless remakes – this one done in a shot-for-shot fashion, no less. It’s almost as if director Gus Van Sant lost a bet. How else to explain the Xeroxing of this Alfred Hitchcock classic? You tell me.