Scream and scream again
The news that an old horror movie is going to be remade is rarely greeted with joy. Usually, reactions range from righteous indignation to resigned eye-rolling. But the remakes keeping coming nonetheless the updated Poltergeist is in cinemas right now, and it was recently announced that 90s teen witch horror The Craft is getting a remake soon, too.
Since ignoring them and hoping theyll go away clearly isnt working, it might be time to embrace the remake. Whisper it, but theyre not all terrible. Here are 13 of the most frightening
13. Come Out And Play (2012)
The original: Who Can Kill A Child? (1976) is a nasty little film about damaged children turning their pain and rage on the adults around them. Theres some righteous anger there, but mostly theres bloody carnage.
The remake: Come Out And Play is an unusually faithful remake, and honestly if youve seen the original there might not be much point in watching the remake (although the photography is enjoyably slick, so theres that). But if you havent, this version is just as chilling as the 70s take on the same material.
Scariest moment: The moment the penny drops and the hapless holiday makers realise how dangerous kids can really be.
12. The Grudge (2004)
The original: Technically, the 2004 English language remake was the second time director Takashi Shimizu had remade his tale of a croaky-voiced ghost wreaking her revenge on the world; the first was Ju-on: The Curse (2000), which got a sequel before it was remade as Ju-on: The Grudge (2002).
The remake: Although the Sarah Michelle Gellar version has lost some of the scare-power of its predecessors, the spectre of the wide-eyed long-haired Kayako (Takako Fuji, in every version) crawling down the stairs never stops being frightening.
Scariest moment: That final confrontation in the house, but every time that raspy noise starts up is terrifying.
11. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)
The original: A bag-headed serial killer terrorises a small town in Charles B. Pierces 1976 slasher, which was loosely based on a true story.
The remake: Alfonso Gomez-Rejons 2014 version sees teenagers attacked by a familiar-looking killer at a screening of the original film were definitely in post-Scream postmodern territory here, so maybe its cheating to call it a remake. (It is, though, right?)
Scariest moment: Any time that mask pops up. Its just really creepy.
10. Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
The original: Arguably the best zombie movie ever made, Dawn Of The Dead (1978) sees a ragtag group of survivors holing up at a shopping mall, besieged by the undead. Theres social commentary there, if you want it; if not, well, its gory and scary and all that good stuff, too.
The remake: Compared to the original, Dawn Of The Dead (2004) isnt much cop. But if you can drive the original from your mind and watch it on its own merits, its pretty good at delivering zombie chaos.
Scariest moment: The zombie baby. Its ridiculous and disturbing all at once.
9. The Crazies (2010)
The original: Another Romero movie, though somewhat less well-regarded than his original zombie trilogy. The Crazies (1973) sees a town go, well, crazy, after a plane full of nasty bioweaponry crashes and infects the water supply.
The remake: Romero was on board as executive producer for the remake, and its fairly faithful to the original. It makes good use of the concept is everyone else going crazy, or are you? and the paranoia pays off. In blood. Bleurgh.
Scariest moment: The opening scene, at the baseball game. Its the way a completely normal day suddenly turns violent thats scary, and all too realistic.
8. The Amityville Horror (2005)
The original: Based on a not-really-true story, The Amityville Horror (1979) is a well-crafted haunted house movie. Its a slow burner, letting you get to know its characters and feel their hope as the newly blended family move into a gorgeous old house only to find its got some dark secrets.
The remake: The 2005 remake is much slicker than the original, but what it lacks in relatability it makes up for in nastiness. Whatevers haunting this house is seriously malevolent.
Scariest moment: Oddly, its one of the least supernatural scares, but the scene where the Lutzes youngest daughter climbs onto the roof is more than a little tense.
7. Let Me In (2010)
The original: Tomas Alfredsons 2008 adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvists novel Let The Right One In was a bold reinterpretation of vampire mythology. Its a weird kind of love story, as child bloodsucker Eli (Lina Leandersson) and bullied outcast Oskar (Kre Hedebrant) finally find understanding in one another.
The remake: The English language remake pruned away a lot of extraneous characters and subplots, though most of the beats in the Eli/Oskar dynamic are replicated in the relationship between Abby (Chlo Grace Moretz) and Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee). What changes is the way our sympathy is directed. Abbys just as tragic as Eli, but way creepier.
Scariest moment: The swimming pool massacre, where Abby demonstrates her vampiric strength - and rage.
6. The Fly (1986)
The original: In The Fly (1958), a scientist tries to build a transportation device and instead manages to mix his DNA with a fly, with horrific results except its a little bit funny to see a fly zooming about with a tiny human face on it. Theres horror here, and its a well-crafted story, but it didnt really explore the consequences of the bungled experiment as fully as it could have.
The remake: David Cronenbergs 1986 remake, on the other hand, really goes for it. After accidentally becoming part fly, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) becomes both stronger and grosser, sprouting new hairs and sicking all over his food.
Scariest moment: Its hard to pick out one moment, because whats disturbing is the way the Brundleflys body slowly deteriorates.
5. The Thing (1982)
The original: The Thing From Another World (1951) sees the Air Force dispatched to check out a bizarre aircraft thats crashed near the North Pole, only for them to be attacked by a kind of sentient plant. It sits on the line between science fiction and horror, and its creepiest moment is probably the final warning to the viewer to keep watching the skies.
The remake: John Carpenters version leans heavier on the horror, with a shape-shifting alien lifeform terrorising a research station in the Antarctic. The practical effects work is stunning, even now.
Scariest moment: The scene with the defibrillators. You know the one.
4. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
The original: A 1956 sci-fi horror about pod people taking over a small California town, it plays like a cautionary tale about the dangers of communism and McCarthyism, but at least its got a happy ending when a truck full of pods crashes and alerts the authorities.
The remake: The story, themes, and setting all remain more or less intact, with one fairly major difference: it all ends badly. The addition of the creepy alien shrieking helps amp up the terror, too.
Scariest moment: Its basically impossible not to get goosebumps when Donald Sutherland starts screaming.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The original: Wes Cravens 1984 A Nightmare On Elm Street is one of the iconic slasher movies. It made a horror icon of Robert Englund, as he clawed and wisecracked his way through six sequels and a spinoff before the remake came along.
The remake: Replacing Englund with Jackie Earle Haley seemed like sacrilege at the time, but this remake sets itself apart from the original franchise by being really, really nasty. Where the scares in the original were softened by the jokes, here theres no such respite; its dark and cruel and genuinely upsetting.
Scariest moment: When the kids discover who Fred Krueger really was and how hes connected to them. Argh.
2. Maniac (2012)
The original: One of the nastiest 80s exploitation movies, Maniac starred Joe Spinell as Frank, a mannequin-loving scalper stalking the streets of pre-cleanup New York.
The remake: Shot entirely in first-person perspective, the recent remake puts the audience in the murderers shoes, as Elijah Wood shrugs off his cutesy image to become one of cinemas creepiest serial killers. Also, the actions shifted to the sleaziest streets of Los Angeles.
Scariest moment: Theres an argument for pretty much any scene, but the opening sequence where Frank stalks a victim back to her home is one of the most strikingly nasty openers going.
1. The Ring (2002)
The original: The j-horror that kickstarted the j-horror craze, Hideo Nakatas Ring (1998) was a creepy tale of a mother trying to save her child from a vengeful ghost who used a cursed videotape to spread her evil.
The remake: The storys the same in Gore Verbinskis version, though the setting isnt, and a lot of the mysticism is replaced with, er, horses. Still, its terrifying in its own right, and both films succeeded in making us afraid of our own TVs.
Scariest moment: The climactic scene when Samara (Daveigh Chase) climbs out of the television is blood-curdling. Good luck ever sleeping again especially if youve got a telly in the bedroom.