Fans are passionate, and movie production companies recognize that. Filmmakers focus hard to bring audiences something to chew on just about every single week of the year. As with anything, original creations are high risk but often have the potential for big rewards should they succeed. Sometimes, however, production companies want to mitigate risk by lining up a remake of a film that already has a fan following.
In that case, the question becomes – do remakes really mitigate risk? After all, fans are passionate. Remaking a beloved franchise eliminates much of the creative efforts needed but requires a certain level of caution in order to satisfy fans. It’s essentially a tight rope walk with one misstep causing a tragic tumble.
10 The Mummy (2017) - Bad
The future prospects of this monster movie universe speak for themselves. The reception was dismal at best. Even the likes of Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe couldn’t save this ship from sinking. While the film presented a renewed take on the classic monster franchise with a female mummy raining down terror and destruction upon those who stood in her away, the narrative was all over the place.
Furthermore, the film was hampered by the overuse of CGI effects that cheapened the overall experience. Fans responded in kind by simply heading the warnings of critics and avoiding the theatrical run altogether. The most terrifying part of this film was losing time and the cost of a movie ticket.
9 Fright Night (2011) – Good
This remake of the 80s horror film by the same name was a bit of a surprise. It’s not that anyone thought it would be terrible but rather that many, horror fans included, didn’t expect it to be so good. The late Anton Yelchin filled the shoes of Charley Brewster – social outcast made popular by his lax demeanor and dynamic personality.
Just like the original, Charley suspects that his neighbor Jerry is a blood-sucking vampire. Colin Farrell plays the role of Jerry and is quite unnerving. Horror, action, and humor coalesce perfectly to form a magical modernization of the classic horror film.
8 Arthur (2011) - Bad
It’s hard to speak of Russell Brand’s pale imitation of this seminal classic, mostly because it’s entirely forgettable. Brand’s version of Arthur – a drunken miscreant constantly running into trouble – is a bit of a wet rag in comparison to Dudley Moore’s legendary portrayal.
Because of the humorless quality in Brand’s version, Arthur was far more irritating in his antics than the film probably intended. This film’s problem primarily began with its leading man.
7 The Fly (1986) – Good
The Fly is a remake of the 1958 film of the same name. However, this time Jeff Goldblum steals the show as Seth Brundle – a scientist who deeply miscalculated his own margin for error. In an attempt to create teleportation capabilities, Seth finds himself at odds with his own body’s drive to mutate into a fly after he mistakenly tests the machine on himself with a small house fly in the teleportation chamber.
Over the course of the film, Seth begins to physically change as his body deals with the fact that his genetic makeup has been altered. Grotesque practical effects get the job done nicely making this monster movie a must-see.
6 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Bad
Tim Burton’s vision of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory didn’t exactly line up with everyone else’s. It should go without saying that many older generations are familiar with Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory where Gene Wilder famously realized the role of the eccentric candy maker. Tim Burton’s film could either be seen as a remake or just another adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book of the same name.
However, if you were to assume either, neither scenario presents Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a faithful adaptation. The beating heart of the book and original film was the underlying theme that a bit of humility helps one to appreciate the world around them with a bit more fervor. Burton’s film focused on simply creating something zany that lost sight of this theme entirely.
5 Casino Royale (2006) – Good
Daniel Craig’s first outing as the man with a license to kill was actually a remake of an older James Bond film of the same name. Both the 2006 and 1967 Casino Royale films were, of course, based on Ian Fleming’s novel. Casino Royale (2006)
However, heightened the action and suspense while perfectly modernizing a story of deadly double-crossing amidst a high stakes poker game. The film instantly boosted Daniel Craig’s version of Bond into the spotlight and would be set for several more sequels in the years to come.
4 Poltergeist (2015) – Bad
In the age of modern supernatural horror films being led by franchises such as James Wan’s The Conjuring, a remake of a legendary horror film like Poltergeist fit perfectly into the kind of scares that thrill modern audiences. However, the movie was received with abysmally low critical reviews.
In part, the job of a remake is to not only recount the basic original story but spruce it up into something more vibrant for modern audiences. Poltergeist didn’t reinvent the wheel by any stretch. In fact, current excellent films within the same genre in the made Poltergeist entirely unforgettable.
3 3:10 to Yuma (2007) – Good
In James Mangold’s western remake of the 1957 film by the same name, an outlaw and his gang are pursued by a destitute rancher seeking a financial redemption for the sake of his family and their property. Russell Crowe plays the role of Ben Wade, the leader of an outlaw gang. He exudes the temperament of a no-nonsense and violent criminal set on taking what he wants.
The rancher Dan Evans is portrayed by Christian Bale. The desperation of taking on a potentially lethal task is never lost on his face throughout the entire performance. The film was a thrilling and faithful recreation that retained the heart of the story and its characters.
2 Flatliners (2017) – Bad
Flatliners (2017) recreated the 1990 Joel Schumacher film with significantly less ingenuity than the original. The film follows a group of medical students seeking to have near-death experiences in the hopes of taking a peek at what’s to come in the afterlife. The original film landed in a grey area critically.
Some accepted that the film was an intelligent idea, while others perceived the execution of that idea to be rather poor. For all of its “horror” aspects, the remake left those at the door alongside any amount of additional creative energy. The remake is mind-numbingly dull which is reflected in its 4% Rotten Tomatoes score.
1 The Jungle Book (2016) – Good
With Disney still scratching that itch to remake classic animated films as live-action affairs, there was bound to be something magical at some point throughout that process. The Jungle Book happened to be a remake that spoke to children and adults alike.
With Jon Favreau (Iron Man) at the helm, the classic 1967 animated feature became a living, breathing world with all of the characters that we loved from the original just as they were. And also just like the original, Shere Khan was as imposing and frightening as ever. Voiced by Idris Elba, Khan’s relentless pursuit of the man-cub still kept the audience at the edge of their seat despite knowing how the story ends.