Time Out takes a look back at the 10 worst horror remakes ever made
Laura Chubb, Nigel Floyd, Mark Salisbury
Pyscho (1998) Lame rating: 5/5
Taking on Hitchcock’s seminal 1960 classic was never going to be a good idea, and 1998’s shot-for-shot, verbatim remake was an even worse one. What, we all wondered, was the point? Rather than try to improve or update the source material, Van Sant shoots the same film but with an inferior cast – sexy first-of-the-scream-queens Janet Leigh is replaced by sexlessly androgynous Anne Heche, and a finale featuring Vince Vaughn with a wig on somewhat spoils the suspense.
The Omen (2006) Lame rating: 4/5
In the spooky 1976 original, Harvey Stephens made a thrillingly sinister demonic child. Cut to the 2006 remake, and Damien as played by Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick just looks a bit ill. Not so thrilling.
The Ring (2002) Lame rating: 4/5
Japanese original Ring, from 1998, is genuinely terrifying, climaxing with a now infamously nightmarish sequence wherein torn fingernails reach beyond the TV screen and into the real-world. Four years later, the Hollywood remake takes the edge off with a famous face, Naomi Watts, and even fluffs that all-important ending.
The Wicker Man (2006) Lame rating: 3/5
Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult horror (below right) is a cinematic treat because it’s just so damned odd: Britt Ekland performs a naked butt-dance while banging on a wall, and we start thinking these randy hippies are just having a good time of it before they do a 180 and burn poor befuddled Edward Woodward alive. The Nic Cage-led remake was unanimously panned as an OTT disaster, though it has been commended for its comic value.
House of Wax (2005) Lame rating: 3/5
The 1953 horror with Vincent Price was itself a remake of 1933’s Mystery of the Wax Museum, sans the earlier effort’s comic tone. The remake is a tedious horror-by-numbers affair. Even Paris Hilton having her head skewered on a pole fails to make amends.
Prom Night (2008) Lame rating: 5/5
By far the worst slasher remake to date, replaying all the clichés, but delivering none of the guilty pleasures. The 1980 original had Jamie Lee Curtis, disco dancing, an axe-wielding psycho in a black ski mask, and sundry gory deaths. TV director Nelson McCormick’s tedious ‘re-imagining’ has a knife-wielding killer in a baseball cap and a string of bloodless, off-screen deaths.
The Hitcher (2007) Lame rating: 4/5
In place of Robert Harmon’s 1986 bleary nightmare of slaughter and mistaken identity, we get Dave Meyers’ anodyne chase movie without the darker psychological undercurrents. Worse, Sean Bean’s stubbly psycho lacks the terrifying death-driven dementia of Rutger Hauer. Thumbs down.
The Eye (2008) Lame rating: 5/5
The 2002 Hong Kong original is as creepy as they come, sustaining the chills with a barrage of watch-from-behind-your-fingers set pieces. The 2008 Hollywood update, starring Jessica Alba (for heaven’s sake!), fails to emulate each and every one of those sequences.
The Fog (2005) Lame rating: 4/5
Yet another anaemic horror retread, this clunky, pointless, moribund update of John Carpenter’s undervalued 1979 weather-bound ghost story – a masterful example of simplicity of style – is bloodless and boring.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Lame rating: 5/5
Wes Craven’s 1984 original may have had its silly moments – Johnny Depp getting swallowed by a bed being one of them – but it remained the scary film for more than a decade after it was made; the one your mates dared you to watch as a pre-teen. Our one-star review of this unnecessary remake says it all.