Your Top Three: Favorite Horror Remakes

Your Top Three: Favorite Horror Remakes

Oct 20, 2013

Your Top Three is a series where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.

I'm not a horror guy. That's probably no secret by now. And logically, if I'm not that into horror in the first place, I'm probably not going to be into many horror remakes. But who really is into horror remakes? Most are unnecessary, and most are terrible. Yet they have so much potential. Look at the best of them, they're really good and really inventive. Take, for instance, the many versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (sci-fi, sure, but also horror). At least two of the three remakes (or re-adaptations of Jack Finney's book) found all new subtext for the pod people premise. 

There's also Let Me In, the remake of Let the Right One In (another actually more often excused as a re-adaptation), which took on a whole new identity in being kept in the early 80s but relocated to Reagan's America, contextualized by his "Evil Empire" speech. Plus it was just a well-directed movie and not as shot-for-shot as many would claim. 

Some people, not me included, are into horror remakes that increase the violence and gore, occasionally to traumatic extremes. They can have Aja's Piranha 3D and The Hills Have Eyes and Snyder's Dawn of the Dead. Over those I'd take Craig Gillespie's Fright Night redo any day with its smart employment of the effect of the housing crisis in Nevada. 

But my favorite horror remakes aren't that different from the most popular choices, either. 

Here are my top three horror remakes:

1. The Fly - David Cronenberg took a kind of silly 50s flick and amped up the body horror for terrifying results. He also added in subtextual themes of disease and human decay. Of course it was the mid 80s, so it made people think of AIDS. I mostly like it because it was my introduction to Jeff Goldblum, at age 9, and I'll always remember his performance. And the arm wrestling scene, which gave me more nightmares than anything else in the film.

2. The Thing - I'm not as big a fan of the gore effects in John Carpenter's sci-fi horror redo as most of its fans, but as a whole it's a masterfully written and directed take on the body snatcher and unseen killer tropes. It may have the greatest open ending of all time, too.

3. The Blob - More chilling and more fun than the original, this underrated remake takes itself seriously and has every right to. It's been nice seeing people acknowledge it recently due to its 25th anniversary. Admittedly I had a youthful crush on Shawnee Smith at the time -- but unlike Who's Harry Crumb? I'll still watch this one. 


Your Picks (the top four being The ThingThe Fly and [tie] Invasion of the Body Snatchers and he Ring):

























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