With the recent release of a remake of Eli Roth’s 2002 classic horror Cabin Fever, some people may be wondering if there is any point in remaking films like this at all, especially when they’re little more than shot for shot recreations that don’t add anything exceptional to the concept. Everyone constantly bemoans horror remakes and, although there are some spectacularly awful ones out there, some decent flicks do actually exist. Here are four of them.
Friday the 13th
There have been many entries into the Friday the 13th series; some good, some terrible and some strangely entertaining. There aren’t a lot of people on earth who wouldn’t be aware of who Jason Voorhees is when presented with a picture. A seemingly invincible killer stalking teenagers in the woods, all while wearing his iconic hockey mask, he is undoubtedly one of the most famous characters in horror history.
The 2009 reboot/sequel, helmed by Marcus Nispel isn’t the greatest film in the series, but neither is it the worst. The film starred Jared Padalecki of Supernatural fame as a man whose search for his missing sister brings him to Camp Crystal Lake. The beginning of the film skips through the first three original films, bringing us to what is technically the beginning of the fourth film. In doing this it allows the audience to witness a Jason in possession of his hockey mask, which isn’t acquired until the third film.
While this film isn’t going to win any awards for outstanding film-making, it holds up as a solid slasher film that isn’t as bad as some people would have you believe. If you’re a fan of slasher films then this is a fun little outing that isn’t a complete waste of time like so many others out there.
This is a remake that took the original concept of the film, a mentally troubled man possessing an unhealthy obsession with mannequins, who of course kills people, while putting a new spin on it. The spin being that the whole film is shot in first person. This is an interesting choice and really makes the film stand out from others of it’s kind. It doesn’t suffer from the usual graininess or shaky cam of a found footage horror film which allows the film to create an interesting spectacle with an engaging story.
Featuring a haunting performance by Elijah Wood in a brilliant role that I think more people should be aware of, the film was directed by Franck Khalfoun and released in 2012. It stands out due to the fact that the whole story is witnessed through the eyes of the killer, meaning that the viewers are rarely treated to a shot of Wood’s face, relying on his voice to convey most of the emotion of his character. It does not disappoint and the insanity of the character and his actions come across clear to the audience.
This is just another film showing that when Elijah Wood ventures into horror, a good performance is usually produced. The remake is interesting enough that it can stand on it’s own without the original film, due to the difference in style, some people may even prefer this outing. This is a film that should be watched and enjoyed.
Dawn of the Dead
By now everybody has at least heard of George A. Romero’s living dead series. Starting off with Night of the Living Dead in 1968, it blew audiences away and really brought zombies into the fold of popular culture. The second film was the 1978’s arguably better, Dawn of the Dead. Due to it being such a beloved piece of film history, some people may have avoided the remake released in 2004, but in doing so would be missing out on a solid horror film.
This was actually the first feature length film directed by Zack Snyder of Watchmen and Man of Steel fame and, while most remakes choose to rehash the plot of whatever film they are reviving, Snyder chose to update the plot while sticking to the basics of the original. The story is still set in a mall, but it features a completely different cast and characters while also updating the zombies themselves. The zombies are now able to run at an alarming pace which does well to separate and cement it as it’s own film.
This is primarily a fun film for fans of the zombie genre, who don’t mind a little bit of action mixed in with their horror. The update to the plot keeps it feeling fresh and gives the audience a new take on the story. While not as full of social commentary as Romero’s original, it still proves to be an entertaining film.
The 2013 version of The Evil Dead was described by Sam Raimi as the film that he would have made back in 1981 if he had the budget. This is a phenomenal film as far as horror remakes go. Opting for the straight up horror tone of the first film in the series, this film delivers and delivers well. It holds a dark and claustrophobic tone, presenting plenty of gore and violence throughout it’s run time.
Shiloh Fernandez stars as David (he’ll always be Ash to us), a young man venturing to a secluded cabin with some friends in order to clean up his sister’s drug habit. Anybody who’s seen the original film will know what the characters have in store for them. Credit is due to Fede Alvarez for creating a film that is able to stand alongside the original as a true gem in the horror community. There are some truly brutal scenes that are not for the faint hearted, including a certain infamous scene involving somebody’s tongue.
The success of this film isn’t just gained off of the fact that it is remaking a popular franchise. It is a genuinely great horror film and I would recommend that any horror fan who hasn’t seen this one yet, get around to watching it as soon as you can, you won’t be disappointed!
Do you have a favourite horror remake we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments!