5 Remakes BETTER Than Their Originals

It does happen!

Remakes of horror films get bashed a lot. Honestly, it’s not without good reason. many of them suck. But some are simply different and others actually rise above and become a more enjoyable experience than their predecessor! Check it out!

1. Night of the Living Dead (1990)



Written by George Romero (in conjunction with John A. Russo) the zombie godfather who made the original and directed by makeup legend Tom Savini, this movie doesn’t so much feel superior as just slightly more polished. It’s the same guy going at it for round two. He made the first one, thought of things to update, wrote the remake, and hand picked someone he could trust to direct. The result? All the brilliance of the original, now in color and starring Tony Todd (Candyman)

2. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)



The original 13 Ghosts was a gimmick-ridden black and white movie. It used special glasses called “Illusion-O!” to see the ghosts on screen. This was of course during the era famous for such gimmicks as “Smell-O-Vision” and electrocuting theater-goers in their seats. The plot is sort of the same. It deals with a man (in this, played by Tony Shalhoub, my fellow USM Theater Alumni) left a house in a will from his dead uncle only to discover the house is full of ghosts. It’s not a great movie, but it is decent and certainly surpasses the original.

3. Wizard of Gore (2007)



I don’t think a lot of people have heard of this (or the predecessor it’s based on), but this is a pretty good movie. The original was made in 1970 by Herschell Gordon Lewis and was full of pacing issues and bad acting and camera work. It’s about a magician (the titular Wizard of Gore) who does gory illusions with members from the audience, illusions that turn out to be a little more real than initially thought. The remake has an all-star cast including Crispin Glover, Brad Dourif (voice of Chucky), Jeffrey Combs (Herbert West), and lot’s of eye candy with various members of the Suicide Girls. It’s surpasses the original in everyway!

4. The Fly (1986)



The original 1958 film is regarded as a classic and it deserves that name. However, it is dated. It deserved a good update and it got one with horror master David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake starring Jeff Goldblum. The film went on to be heralded as Cronenberg’s greatest and won many awards.

5. The Thing (1982)



You know you’ve made a successful remake when it completely supplants the original. Not many non-hardcore horror fans even know this is a remake. But it is actually a remake of a 1951 film called The Thing from Another World, a film that was well received and successful in its time but has lost all relevancy, sinking into semi-obscurity. Directed by John Carpenter, the movie upped the ante and blew audiences away with its practical fx that are so amazing, they still hold up over 30 years later. The movie is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat sci-fi/horror movie where you never know what will happen next and stands as indisputable proof that sometimes remakes kick ass!

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3 Comments on this post.

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  • Evan Baker
    12 November 2014 at 4:06 am - Reply

    I’m on-board with The Fly; not only a superior movie to the first adaptation, but also a richer, more complex and moving story than the original novella. I can go either way on The Thing. But Night of the Living Dead? I enjoy the remake, and I respect what Romero and Savini were trying to do, but it has none of the visceral impact of the original, the script is in many respects less nuanced, and it is certainly less skilfully directed.

  • Jody Fedele
    13 November 2014 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    “The Thing” – I don’t believe it is fair to say that the original has been supplanted and therefore the remake is better. Both of them are good but to say that one is better than the other because people under thirty aren’t aware of the original is flawed logic. They are both good and in different ways. Ask John Carpenter if he thinks the original has “lost all relevancy”. How can the original lose its relevancy when there could not have been a remake without it?

    • Evan Baker
      13 November 2014 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Very well said, Jody! I can’t say I’m a huge fan of either version; I like them both well enough, but neither is among my all-time favorites. The original is not in anything close to semi-obscurity; if nobody realized the Carpenter version was a re-make, why would it be brought up every single time there’s a conversation about good re-makes?