With Halloween fast approaching, I wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the best horror movie remakes of all time. While there are many repeating tropes within the genre, there are a number of outright remakes, and some of these outshine the original. Here is a list of some of the horror remakes available through SLPL:
Dawn of the Dead (1978, 2004): This sequel to Night of the Living Dead was the quintessential zombie flick before zombie flicks were cool. Being the sequel, this deals with the apocalyptic after effects of a mass zombie outbreak, and a small band of survivors clawing their way through. The 2004 remake certainly features improvements in the special effects department, but it is very much a straight action/thriller, whereas the original parried with a bit more humor and plot development.
Halloween (1978, 2007) Rob Zombie retooled this John Carpenter classic in 2007. The original terrified audiences and launched Jamie Lee Curtis’ career. The remake carried many of the same hallmarks of suspense building and seat-jumping surprises crescendoing into a slasher gore fest.
The Thing (1951, 1982) Another John Carpenter classic, only this time he’s the one piggybacking off of a 1951 B sci-fi flick. This has some of my favorite horror tropes in it. A small group of people, cut off from the world with nowhere to run (in this case an Antarctic research expedition) pitted against an elusive extraterrestrial adversary that is able to take the form of others makes for hair raising horror and breeds mistrust and insecurity. So much so there is some debate as to how the movie actually ends to this day. There is also a 2011 remake.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, 2003) What could be more iconic of the American horror genre than young beautiful teenagers being chased and hacked to pieces by a maniacal cannibal in a (human?) leather mask and his grotesque family. If you haven’t at least heard of this flick you’ve been living under a rock. The remake delivers all the same screams and gut wrenching gore of the original. Honestly, if horror is your genre, you’ve probably seen these a dozen times, and if it’s not I would not suggest them as your entre, but these classics are still worth a rewatch if it’s been since last year.
Psycho (1960, 1998) This most iconic Hitchcock flick takes place almost entirely in one small off highway motel. This is THE classic of the suspense genre (with perhaps Rear Window and a couple of other Hitchcock gems). The 1998 remake stays true to the original more so than any of the previous titles. It is in fact an almost shot-for-shot remake with some fantastic acting and an updated feel. Both of these will keep you up past your bed time, and have you taking quicker, more alert showers.
Come down to Central Library and check out the studio’s horror display, up throughout October. Keep an eye out for these or one of the many other titles we have in our horror collection.
Author: Jason Kauffman