Tuesday, August 16, 2011
This Friday one of my favorite vampire movies has a remake of it hit the theaters: Fright Night (Conan: The Barbarian also hits the movies, but while it's splatter it ain't horror, and I don't think of it as a direct remake). I am not very interested or excited about said movie since the trailer is less than underwhelming. But, I heard a good review or two. I'm not sure I will be seeing anytime soon (but I do wanna see Conan!).
That being said, remakes have been an annoying trend in the genre in the last couple of years. And, while many have been truly, truly rancid (One Missed Call, Psycho, The Fog, etc.) a couple have been been great. This list showcases the very best in the remake department.
10. House of Wax (2005)- This is an interesting remake in that it takes the Gothic setting and styling of the original Vincent Price classic and completely changes it for nasty slasher film territory. It's not a better movie, but is substantially different. There are a couple of memorable moments, include some tense torture scenes. The gorgeous Elisha Cuthbert also makes for a great final girl, one of the best of the 2000s for sure. Even Paris Hilton being in this does not hurt it one bit.
9. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)- Taking elements of the original (which really ranks as one of the best slashers of the 80s, moreso uncut) and adding its own take, this fun and wild gorefest is one of the most rip-roaring good times movie going experiences of the last few years. The cast and everyone involved seems to be having as much fun as we are watching it. It, more or less, kicked off the 3D trend, but unlike a lot of the recent shit out there, this one works excellently in 3D. Extra points for the DVD release being in 3D (and not that over-priced real 3D shit, either).
8. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)- This one had so much going against it. From the get go I did not think a remake to a nasty, grindhouse film like this could ever work today. But, it does, and surprisingly well at that. Sure it's slicker and lacks the grittiness of the original, but it does not lack the teeth. The humiliation/ rape is still prolonged and nasty. While, the revenge scenes are shocking and gruesome. Punches ain't pulled and the acting is solid, with villains coming off as utter filth and the stunning heroine earning our sympathy. The climax will have your jaw on the floor! Honestly this movie puts the Last House on the Left remake to fucking shame!
7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)- This movie has been remade a total of four times!! The first three are solid films (the forth, er, not so much...), but, to me, this is the best take on the subject. The FX are flawless, the cast and acting excellent, and the directing top-notch. It's a little slow to start, but once it gets on track it's pretty suspenseful stuff. While, it maybe rated PG it still features some gooey and gross FX (moreso than ANY PG-13 movie of today and some R ones, as well!). Plus, the ending is fucking classic.
6. Halloween (2007)- Now, this is probably my most controversial entry in this countdown. Fans tend to either hate this one or love it. I fall in the later category. I think Zombie added an interesting take on the Myers mythos. Some may not like humanizing of him, but I think it was the right way to go. This way he does not retread territory that's been done before. When, he actually does get into remaking the original, he makes for a good time. The added more graphic violence fits the mold of this movie quite well. And, having Danielle Harris nude is nice, too! The less said of this movie's sequel, the better, though...
5. The Ring (2002)- This movie started the HORRIBLE trend of remake Japanese horror films as well cemented the annoyance of long, black-haired bitch-ghost movies. But, this one is actually that rarest of remakes, one that tops the original. I think the pacing is better here, as are the scares. It's also one of those few PG-13 horrors where the rating actually works. It's real creepy and scary, yet subtle. The lovely Ms. Watts is also a great lead in this movie. There are lots of memorable moments: the video itself, the horse, and the villainess coming out of the TV. But, once again, avoid the sequel at all costs!!!
4. Piranha 3D (2010)- If you though MBV3D was fun, then you ain't seen NOTHING yet!! Easily, THE best 3D experience, this wild, over the top remake tops the modest classic, it's based on. It's filled with blood rushing gore, black humor, cheese, a great cast, babes, and nudity. I like every single thing and frame from this movie. I am actually looking forward to the sequel to this one! The movie ripping it off/ cashing in on it (Shark Night 3D), eh, not so much...
3. The Blob (1988)- This long time favorite of mine simply blows the likable original out of the theater. It has some solid acting and spectacular gore FX. Shit, a kid even dies in it! Yet, it is never mean-spirited and always, always fun. It works in that Aliens sort of mode where action, sci-fi, and horror meld perfectly. Plus, Shawnee Smith looks sooo delicious in it! Cannot begin to tell you the crush I developed on her after this movie. It was a bomb when it came out, but due to fan and critic love, it when on the become a classic. An awesome movie all the way!!!
2. The Thing (1982)- John Carpenter's classic was also a bomb when it came out. But, since then this claustrophobic classic has been worshiped by fans all over the world. It would make for a perfect marathon with the aforementioned The Blob and Aliens. In fact, I think I need to do that one of these days!! Anyway, Bottin's FX are flawless, and Keith David and Kurt Russel are just awesome in it. So is the rest of the cast. That said the reremake coming out later this year seems positively uninteresting...
1. The Fly (1986)- David Cronenberg's masterpiece tops the list. It's always been my fav remake and will probably always be. Adding emotion and heart to the story and combining it with excellent acting and flawless FX make for a perfect film. The gore is gruesome and the score is classic. It also happens to be THE best beauty and the beast tale, since the original King Kong. Cronenberg's best movie is one that will always have a special place in my heart.
So, those are my choices. I really had to think about this one long and hard, but I soon found myself connecting with I ended up picking. Now, I'm curious. What are your thoughts on my list? What would have ranked?