The Good and the Bad: Horror Movie Remakes

Published 4 years ago by , Updated April 29th, 2010 at 10:48 am,

The Bad

5. The Fog

TheFog The Good and the Bad: Horror Movie Remakes

Interesting coincidence that John Carpenter’s The Thing is our best horror remake, while the remake of his 1981 classic The Fog is one of the worst. Directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring TV’s Thomas Welling (Smallville), Maggie Grace (Lost) and Selma Blair, The Fog remake is a slap to the face of anyone who’s a fan of the original. Lame characters, atrocious attempts at comic relief – and worst of all, some of the tackiest CGI fog ever created for the big screen. Welling might be Clark Kent, but he’s certainly no Tom Atkins, as could be said about the rest of the cast. But what makes this mess of a film one of the worst remakes ever is that it perverted the original story and concept so badly that not even today’s teeny-boppy PG-13-happy audience could get into it.

4. The Hitcher

TheHitcher The Good and the Bad: Horror Movie Remakes

Platinum Dunes doesn’t generally make bad movies… I think of them more like average movies that could be worse. That is, until they remade Robert Harmon’s The Hitcher. On paper, it sounded like a solid idea: switch the protagonist from male to female (that Sophia Bush is quite the looker), cast Sean Bean in the Rutger Hauer role, and let the chips fall into something awesome. The end result was far from it. Designed solely to please the MTV generation and nobody else, the new Hitcher focused on car crashes and the lead couple bickering, instead of building tension and suspense, resulting in the longest 80 minutes ever put to celluloid. It looked great, as all Platinum Dunes films do, but holy crow was it a mess.

3. Train

Train The Good and the Bad: Horror Movie Remakes

Train scores points for not only being one of the worst remakes ever, but for also being a film that actually seemed to remake two films at once. Initially conceived as a remake of Terror Train but later dropping the association once the script resembled very little of the original, the film also plays like a remake of Hostel, only set on a train. Thora Birch headlines this straight-to-DVD flick that hit the torture porn circuit about 3 years after torture porn was cool. Showcasing violence for violence sake and an absurd story about a torturous killer on a train (there’s only so many places to go or hide!), the film falls flat on every level.

2. Prom Night

PromNight The Good and the Bad: Horror Movie Remakes

The original Prom Night‘s concept is so easy, so basic, and so perfectly set up for a remake that it’s baffling how badly they screwed it up. A teen and her friends are stalked and killed on Prom Night – except in the remake Prom is at a hotel, and the killer (and his motivation) is extremely lame. They throw any sense of easily obtainable suspense out the window for a handful of boo-scares, and (maybe worst of all) they dumb it down to a PG-13 rating, taking away the gratuitous nudity and violence that a movie like Prom Night is intended to showcase! And while Brittany Snow is hot, she doesn’t hold a flame next to Jaime Lee Curtis in the scream queen department.


1. The Stepfather

The Stepfather The Good and the Bad: Horror Movie Remakes

“From the makers of Prom Night” should have been the first hair-raising sign that The Stepfather remake was going to be a total waste of a movie and a discredit to the original. That said, things were looking up when the cast was announced: Penn Badgley, Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward and Amber Heard. “Maybe this remake will stand a chance of not sucking?” some of us dared to think.

But to confirm all thoughts and theories, not only was The Stepfather remake bad, it was one of the worst remakes ever released on the big screen. Without even a smidgen of the suspense and intensity of the original, the remake appeared to have done its best to try and be as boring as possible. From the opening “shocker” to the umpteenth family dinner sequence that wanted to leave us on edge (but rather gave us cause for some shut eye), The Stepfather is as bad as a horror remake gets. Not only does it NOT capture the essence of the original, it was boring and totally forgettable.

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TAGS: nightmare on elm street, the thing

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  1. funny i've seen most of the goods and only one of the bads… its gonna stay that way :P

  2. The Thing's score was by Ennio Morricone, though it sounds like it should be Carpenter.

  3. 1. the stepfather failed in part to bad casting..how do you top Terry O'Quinn?? he's LOCKE and THE Stepfather!!..maybe John Malkovich but DYLAN WALSH?? ehh.
    2. some old horror films should've never been made.. Prom Night and Valentine's Day..ugh what's next “Silent Night Deadly Night”??

    • silent night deadly night is on the remake list

  4. i would have to rate The Fly above The Thing. WHile The Thing is a great horror suspense movie ( this prequel is going to be shocking nonsense, guaranteed), The Fly is a true horror movie, and contains something very rare for the genre, a truly amazing performance. jeff Goldblum's Seth Brundle is a truly oscar worthy performance, managing to be both alarmingly disturbing and utterly sympathetic simultaneously.

  5. What about Frank Darabont's remake of The Shining? Good or bad?

    • Mick Garris’s remake of The Shining, I mean. I got my Stephen King directors mixed up for a moment there…

  6. What about the crap that was Rob Zombie's “Halloween”? The Carpenter version was the only one of the late seventies/eighties horror flicks I actually enjoyed, but Zombie HAD to screw up my memories with his horrid tripe…UGH!

  7. I know I'll be smacked alongside the head, but instead of The Hills Have Eyes,I would substitute My Bloody Valentine 3D. I thought that was a huge improvement on the first.
    Is 1988's “The Blob” considered more sci-fi than horror?

    As for the worst, I didn't know about Train. (Hey, it's not like “April Fool's Day” which also went right to DVD) But you are way too kind regarding Prom Night; but you missed the big one.

    PSYCHO.

  8. Frank Darabont did not remake The Shining. The remake was actually a TV miniseries that was directed by Mick Garris. Note that Stephen King wrote the telplay which stuck closer to his book than Kubrick's version.

    I happen to love both versions.

    BTW, that recent “Children Of The Corn” remake you might see on the DVD shelves was a recent cable flick that aired on SyFy. Yes, it stunk. No, King didn't write the script.

  9. What did you guys think of The Crazies? That is a remake isn't it? My girlfriend and I really liked it and it also has pretty good reviews from critics surprisingly for a horror movie…