Remakes are always a tricky thing to pull off in the movie business. This can be especially true of horror films. So much of what makes a horror film successful is that the audience doesn't know what is going to happen next. If you're remaking a story that has already been told, you'll need to give the audience something special.
On those rare occasions, some horror remakes have not only been worthwhile, but they've proven to be more frightening than the original. Of course, there are also many remakes that don't come close to the terror of its source material. Here are some of the horror remakes that are scarier than the original and some that fall far short.
10 Scarier: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
The Michael Bay-produced remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the film that kick-started a trend of remakes of classic horror films in Hollywood. To be sure, the original film is the far more interesting and well-made film, but many people forget that film is not as gory and terror-filled as its reputation suggests. It's certainly unsettling but it is more atmospheric with a lot of dark humor thrown in.
This remake, while pretty straight-forward, doesn't play so nicely. It is a gory and brutal film with some memorable kills and a very intimidating Leatherface. It certainly fares better than the many remakes it inspired.
9 Not Scary: Halloween (2007)
One of those classic horror films to get the remake treatment following the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was John Carpenter's ground-breaking Halloween. Carpenter's original helped to define the slasher genre which has been a staple in the genre ever since. Unfortunately, it was also a quieter thriller which this remake certainly is not.
Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, this film decided to go even bloodier than the original. Unfortunately, it just leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the viewers. Rob Zombie's approach makes to a ugly, grimy slog that gives us the longer Michael Myers origin no one asked for.
8 Scarier: The Crazies (2010)
George A. Romero is one of the most influential people in the world of horror filmmaking. His zombie movies launched the genre's obsession with the undead. However, The Crazies remains one of his lesser-known and the fantastic remake is sadly also overlooked.
The film is set in a small town where the army is trying to contain a virus outbreak which turns the infected into emotionless and murderous psychos. The remake focuses on the theme of those in power being as dangerous as those who are infected. The film was some excellent, pulse-pounding sequences and a surprising bit of dark humor.
7 Not Scary: Psycho (1998)
It mus be said, it took a lot of guts for Gus Van Sant to remake one of the most beloved and popular horror movies of all-time. Unfortunately, that's about all the good you can say about this film.
Van Sant seemed to understand that Hitchcock's work in the original could not be topped, so he did a shot-for-shot recreation of the original. Despite the dedication to the original material, a lot of what made that film special disappears. From the miscasting of Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates, to the colorized format, it all feels like a pointless film project.
6 Scarier: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The original 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers was met with indifference at the time of its initial release. Years later it was recognized as one of the genre's best. The 1978 remake followed a similar path as it was a forgotten film for a number of years before its brilliance was later recognized.
The film involves an invasion of aliens who have the ability to make an exact copy of human beings they come in contact with. The remake elevated the level of paranoia that makes this a tense and frightening thriller with a iconic end that suggests a sense of hopelessness.
5 Not: A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was a wildly inventive horror film that introduced Freddy Krueger, one of horror's most memorable killers. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood tried to remake the classic. Predictably, it failed to recapture the spark of the original.
In what seems to be a theme with modern remakes of classic horror movies, this take on the story was much meaner and much less interesting. Despite a great actor like Jackie Earle Haley taking the role of Freddy, the character was a bore and the film fell flat as a result.
4 Scarier: The Thing (1982)
There are several reasons John Carpenter's The Thing succeeds as a horror masterpiece. In terms of how to surpasses the original, that comes down to the vision of a auteur filmmaker and the special effects available at the time. A remake of The Thing From Another Planet, Carpenter's film follows the same story of a team of researches in the remote Arctic who are attacked by a shape-shifting alien.
The movie takes the premise and makes one of the most tense and brilliant films ever made. As the alien creature picks off members of the team, suspicion and distrust sets in which proves just as deadly. Along with incredible creature effects, this is one of the best horror films of all time.
3 Not Scary: Carrie (2013)
The many Stephen King adaptions can vary greatly in quality, but the 1976's Carrie is certainly one of the great ones. The movie about a bullied and abused high school girl who unleashed her psychic powers in frightening ways gave us so many iconic horror moments. Sadly, the remake was more of a paint-by-number take on the material.
Despite great actors like Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore headlining the film, it is a pretty unimaginative affair. Nothing is particularly shocking or even new and Carrie as a character doesn't have the same tragic feel that made her so interesting in the original.
2 Scarier: The Fly (1986)
One way for a horror remake to succeed is by taking the simple concept of a past horror film and using it to create a new and unique story. Such is the case with David Cronenberg's deeply disturbing The Fly. The 1958 version was an eerie and effective Twilight Zone-esque sci-fi horror film. For the remake, Cronenberg turned the story into a body-horror depiction of obsession.
The story follows a scientist (played by Jeff Goldblum) whose experimental mishap splices his DNA with a fly. Goldblum's gradual and disgusting transformation makes this a horrific film not suitable for those with weak stomachs.
1 Not: The Wicker Man (2006)
The original The Wicker Man is one of the most haunting and unsettling horror films ever made. The remake starring Nicholas Cage is unsettling for completely different reasons. While the original was a tense mystery which brilliantly built to a unforgettable finale, the remake is a total mess from top to bottom.
The movie takes the interesting premise of the original and turns it into a unintentional comedy. Cage, for better or worse, is the highlight of the film. His unhinged performance is certainly far from boring. Sadly, the remake may scare viewers away from the outstanding original for years to come.