Halloween Overachivers: 13 Remakes from Geof of Enter the Man Cave
13 - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978): A strong cast complements this remake that is possibly better than the classic original. Packing suspense, paranoia, desperation, and one hell of ending, Invasion is one of the most underrated remakes that deserves more praise and visibility than it usually receives.
12 - Friday the 13th (2009): Poorly received at the box office, this film sums up what could be considered as the original's parts 1 and 2 in the first 15 minutes, then travels into its own Friday universe. Even though this new universe includes an underground lair for Mr. Voorhees and excludes any zombie Jason references, the audience still gets to see the enjoyment of Jason hacking up teens like it's his job. Wait...it is his job. Nevermind.
11 - House of Wax (2005) - Don't let the illusion of CW/WB teenybopper pop culture with Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton and Elisha Cuthbert fool you, this film is actually some gory fun. Having nothing to do with the original House of Wax, this re-imaging is a slasher flick that includes wax injection...HOT WAX INJECTION. 'Nuff said.
10 - Last House on the Left (2009) - Surprisingly effective remake containing just as equally surprising and powerful performances. Wes Craven's original receives a nice face lift that is high on suspense even though the 2009 polish cannot project the same grit of Craven's 70's film stock. Definitely worth a watch whether you like or disliked the original.
8 - The Blob (1988) - Before he hit celebrity status as Johnny Drama on Entourage, Kevin Dillon was riding the coat tails of his brother Matt by pushing the tough guy persona in the remake of the 50's classic. The film shatters any preconceived horror elements by killing off our supposed main character in the first 10-15 minutes and then culminates in an on-screen kill of a child. Definitely takes a different path than the original by infusing more gore and a shady scientist angle to the plot.
6 - Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - The supporting characters and situation are different but the feel of the Chainsaw franchise is the same. This new family is equally creepy and just as brutal when it comes to slaughter. Leatherface is a physically menacing force and Jessica Biel officially ditched her goodie two-shoes persona from 7th Heaven to act as an strong female lead. Followed by an equally good and sadly unappreciated prequel/sequel.
4 - The Ring (2002) - The Japanese original Ringu is a slow paced film that uses the entire film as a setup to the shock ending's knockout punch. This remake follows the same formula but adds in more character interaction and some genuinely creepy moments on the way to discovering the deadly secret of the mysterious tape. Naomi Watts is an absolute standout as one of the tape's pending victims whose son also becomes inflicted with the curse. With little time left, she researches the history of the tape in hopes of undoings any consequences coming her and her young son's way.
2 - The Thing (1980) - One of the, if not "the", greatest films from John Carpenter's impressive resume as well as one of the overall best motion pictures in the genre, remake or non-remake. The Thing showcases strong performances from Kurt Russell, Keith David and Wilford Brimley along with some eye-popping, non-CGI special effects that hold up to present-day standards. From a conceptual perspective, Carpenter effectively establishes an aura of solitude, paranoia and claustrophobia and then mixes in horror and sci-fi elements to create a film that outdoes the impact of the original.
1 - Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987) - The "Citizen Kane"-equivalent to remakes, even though it's labeled as a "sequel-remake" hybrid. ED2 seems more of a remake by simply dropping Ash's friends and pitting him in a longer battle against the Deadites with new supporting characters. Bruce brings his new Ash persona to the screen complete with zingy one-liners and physical comedy while director Sam Raimi provides the whacky camera angles and ridiculous gore.