With stinkers releasing left and right, it’s no surprise that Hollywood has moved to resurrect many classic horror franchises and blockbusters, rather than take a risk releasing something unproven. Often times these remakes do little more than tarnish the good name of the series, but on occasion, something of quality will come out of it. With that in mind, here are 5 horror remakes that kept their respective franchises pristine.
1. Friday the 13th (2009)
This reboot saw slasher Jason Voorhees in a much more powerful role than ever before, drawing on talents like Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki to weave a tale around the hallowed Camp Crystal Lake. Jason has kidnapped Trent’s (Padalecki) sister, so this movie unfolds as a no-holds-barred mission to retrieve her. The gritty feel to the film creates a familiar tone that wouldn’t be out of place with the rest of the movies, and it eschews silliness for bloody goodness. That’s what we really want anyway, right?
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better not fall asleep in class because next thing you know, Freddy will invade your dreams at school. How’s that for paranoia? The remake of the seminal horror classic featuring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger really drives the point home that nowhere is safe when Freddy invades your dreams, making even a place like high school feel considerably more dangerous. This 2010 reboot did a fantastic job of fleshing out Krueger’s disgusting past and celebrating him as the iconic slasher villain he truly is.
3. Evil Dead (2013)
Sam Raimi’s legendary horror flick wasn’t an easy act to follow, so Fede Alvarez had his work cut out for him. The choice to go with a female lead for an Evil Dead reboot rather than trying to recast the role of Ash was a bold one. This entry follows a teen named Mia, who seems to have been struggling with addiction for quite some time. It starts a little slow, but it culminates in some gratifying, gory sequences that the original could only have dreamt of with their shoestring budget, and a spectacular “red rain” bit at the end that had audiences captivated.
4. The Fly (1986)
The Fly is what happens when you let David Cronenberg direct a tale where a man becomes a monster after a horrific lab accident. It also happens to be one of the most memorable remakes in some time. Jeff Goldblum stars as the brilliant physicist Seth Brundle, who builds a teleportation device that inadvertently causes him to become merged on a genetic level with a common house fly. This time around however, we crank the special effects and gore up to ’80s standards. No longer do we see the immediate results of the original where his head and hand are swapped, but rather we watch as he slowly and painfully loses more and more of himself in a gradual progression from man to Brundle-fly. It makes for a chilling watch, especially as love interest Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) finds herself pregnant by Brundle and haunted by thoughts of human-fly hybrid offspring.
5. The Thing (1982)
Antarctica is cold and isolated. Try finding yourself trapped there for months at a time. Then, consider that one or more of the members of your camp may be an alien imitating your species, looking to spread its kind across the world. All this makes for a high tension, paranoia-fueled thrill ride. Directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, this take on John W. Campbell’s novella Who Goes There? not only follows the source material much closer than 1951′s The Thing From Another World, but also delivers some of the most amazing practical effects and creature designs in horror history.