Straw Dogs (2011)
A shiny new addition to the pile of disposable reboots. Rod Lurie’s remake of the Sam Peckinpah controversy-courter shaves off all the original’s contentious rough edges, producing something that feels dry and safe. At least the film rewards our patience with a final bit of bloodiness that is enough to elicit a weary whoop. Other than that, this is certifiably a dog's dinner.
Give Nora Ephron her props, she tried something different with Bewitched . Instead of remaking the famous TV show by creating a carbon copy, she gave it a post-modern twist with Will Ferrell casting a real witch during his quest for an actress to play his witch wife in Bewitched . Unfortunately, the script’s just too nod-wink for its own good, and with a high concept pushed even higher, a more straight forward approach would clearly have worked better.
Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
This is the beginning of the end for Lindsay Lohan. Just before she went completely bonkers and turned into a headline-making machine, she starred in this half-hearted attempt to bring Disney’s Herbie roaring back onto the big screen. Still, Lohan got one thing out of it – she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. And no, not for sucking.
Last House On The Left (2009)
Wes Craven’s grubby, morally dubious slasher is a notably nasty, but undeniably cheesy, oddity. Remaking it was always going to be tricky, and Craven himself helped produce this redo, admitting he was interested in seeing it done "properly" on a big budget. Though this remake admirably attempts to avoid the torture porn route (and fails), it's unable to recapture the raw urgency of Craven’s original.
Yes, some of us gave it the benefit of the doubt on its cinema release, but Alfie hasn’t stood the test of time. In the wake of Jude Law’s tabloid problems, it all feels a little in poor taste. And though director Charles Shyer has a good go at updating the original’s views on sexual relationships, he straddles a strange moral middle ground that makes the film feel inconsequential.
Friday The 13th (2009)
Yawn. Not so much a remake of the original Friday The 13th as a remake of the entire Friday The 13th franchise, this middling slasher attempts to cram in an entire franchise worth of material. So there’s that window bit from Part 2 , the tent bit from Part 7 , the underground cave bit from… oh wait, that last one’s a remake original. As an F13 ‘Best Of’, it may save you rewatching the entire original series, but you won't have anywhere near as much fun.
Walking Tall (2004)
Based on real-life Sheriff Buford Pusser, this Dwayne Johnson actioner has the former wrestler playing a former US Army Special Forces sergeant (not much of a stretch), who goes on a one man war against the evil deeds taking place in Kitsap. Though Johnson makes for an OK hero, he’s drowned out by all the gunfire and explosive vehicle action. Somehow it spawned two sequels...
The Vanishing (1993)
You’ll wish it would just disappear. Kiefer Sutherland is obsessed with finding out what happened to his girlfriend (Sandra Bullock), who disappears at a petrol station. Three years later, Jeff Bridges pitches up and admits he took her. This remake of the 1988 Franco-Dutch film tacks on a horrific happy ending that completely ruins the ballsy horror of the original film.
The Wicker Man (2006)
Hilariously awful. Nicolas Cage somehow manages to create a horror movie even camper than Christopher Lee frolicking about naked in the original Wicker Man . This is so bad that Robin Hardy, director of the original, disassociated himself from it almost immediately. Still, fun to laugh at.
Roland Emmerich transplants the giant lizard to New York City, armed with a massive budget of $130m. Considering the original 1954 film was inspired by the USA’s testing of a hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll, it’s all a bit in poor taste. And though the massive CGI Godzilla is sporadically impressive, Emmerich eventually turns his film into a sort of Jurassic Park wannabe, replete with Raptor-like Minizillas. Monstrous.