Classic movies get remade all the time; it seems to happen more than ever before in the current era of film-making. While almost any film seems up for a possible remake, it is the horror genre that gets its stories retold time and time again. From frightening one-off hits to franchises starring iconic killers, it happens all the time.
Sometimes, the remakes are hits, like 2017's It or 2013's Evil Dead. Unfortunately, it goes the other way most of the time. It can be difficult to remake a horror because it's often not as scary the second time around. Below, you'll find ten cases where the remake didn't live up to the original.
The Halloween franchise is no stranger to directors taking the story in new places. However, no-one went as far as Rob Zombie when he fully rebooted it in 2007. He told the story as both a remake and a prequel, showing Michael Myers as a child and trying to dig into what drove him to become the formidable killer.
John Carpenter's 1978 original never explained why Michael Myers was a killer and honestly, he's much scarier that way. Showing him as a kid and looking into his psyche were exciting ideas on paper. In practice, it ended up taking away from the character and not delivering the classic that the original was.
The 1982 Poltergeist is a legendary horror flick that fans love to return to whenever Halloween season rolls around. The film managed to scare the pants off of viewers despite having a kid-friendly PG rating. When other remakes found financial success, trying one for Poltergeist was an obvious call.
However, the best remakes are ones that pay homage to the original yet find a way to tell us something new. It adds to the experience. This 2015 version didn't do that. Instead, it played things way too safely and mostly gave us too much of the same. It wasn't bad; it just didn't do anything new.
8 House Of Wax
In 1953, House of Wax came out to mostly negative reviews. Over time, the film became something of a cult classic. It now holds a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. A remake was made in 2005 that didn't quite earn those same honors.
Starring Chad Michael Murray, Elisha Cuthbert, and Paris Hilton, the cast works as a perfect time capsule for the era. The film also features a handful of inventive kills. It was just filled with clichés, as Hilton's character in general showed. Ultimately, this film just felt kind of generic.
Japanese horror movies often get remade for American audiences. Sometimes it works, like The Ring, but sometimes it misses the mark. That was the case for 2006's Pulse, which was based on the Japanese film Kairo. And that's a shame when you consider how much this had going for it.
The talented cast included Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, and Christina Milian. Horror icon Wes Craven partially wrote the script. That should've been enough. Sadly, it didn't translate well when remade and was run down by critics and audiences. It did spark two straight-to-DVD sequels, though.
6 A Nightmare On Elm Street
When the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake was announced for 2010, fans were excited. The 1984 version is one of the best horror movies ever made and gave us a legendary character in Freddy Krueger. Jackie Earle Haley took over the role fresh off an excellent performance in Watchmen and it felt like a perfect fit.
It finally came out and the response was less than stellar. Fans and critics alike had problems with things like pacing and acting. The biggest aspect fans took issue with was the change to Freddy's backstory. It felt like the film-makers went for something edgier for the sake of it.
5 Friday The 13th
Like Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees is a horror icon. With his trademark hockey mask and machete, he racked up more kills than any other monster or killer in cinema history. There was something lovable about the campiness of the franchise that made it so enjoyable.
When it got the remake treatment in 2009, it felt like a movie that took itself too seriously. Credit to the film-makers for trying to add depth to Jason, but audiences just wanted more of the violent, gory entertainment they loved about the series. It was a box office success, but no sequels have been attempted again.
4 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Released in 1987, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ranks as one of the most terrifying films of all time. A faceless murderer with a brutal weapon and vague motivations made for something that had people watching through their fingers. There have been many installments to this franchise, but a straight-up remake came in 2003.
It was another case of a remake that didn't bring anything particularly new to the table. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre relied on a lot of what made the original a classic, but never quite worked as well. Still, like others on this list, it was at least a financial success.
3 The Wicker Man
A lot of horror movies become cult classics over a long period of time. That was the case with 1973's The Wicker Man. But when it was remade in 2006, it became even more of a cult classic, only for entirely different reasons. Instead of being a scary movie, this one was campy and had plenty of laughs.
Nicolas Cage gives one of his most over-the-top performances ever and it results in some of the most unintentional humor in cinema history. There are strange situations all around and the movie kind of tries to be a few too many things at once. Still, there's an endearing quality about how wild it all is.
2 One Missed Call
Similar to Pulse, One Missed Call was another remake of a successful Japanese horror movie. The original had the same title and was met with mixed reviews from critics. To best it, this version needed to look at what worked and what didn't, and build off of both to produce something better.
Unfortunately, it struggled to do that. 2008's One Missed Call is one of the rare movies to stand at a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with nearly 100 reviews. That's rough. Though it didn't have lofty expectations to meet, this still failed to deliver on what the original set up.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is an all-time great movie, regardless of genre. It was groundbreaking; good enough to have a quality TV series based on it. Psycho was a masterpiece that helped usher in the slasher genre. The 1998 remake had so much to live up to.
Director Gus Van Sant made the odd choice to ultimately pay homage to the original by doing this as a shot-for-shot remake. That meant it didn't add anything new and it felt like it was still stuck back in the 1960s. And while we love Vince Vaughn in most of what he does, he felt miscast as Norman Bates despite his efforts. This movie should be the poster child for not trying to modernize the classics.