What’s old is new again: Ten remakes of classic horror films I’m really looking forward to…and hoping don’t disappoint
Hollywood loves remakes, but they are not usually well received by the masses. I honestly get very excited about remakes or reboots. They might not have the same feel as the original, but I like that the stories and monsters are given new life and have a chance to be discovered and appreciated by new audiences.
While many fail in the attempt to successfully resurrect classic material, some remakes are able to make their mark. For example, I actually really enjoyed the 2009 remake/reboot of Friday the 13th. I especially loved the part where Jason found the hockey mask.
In that spirit, here are the top ten upcoming remakes I’m most looking forward to — keeping my fingers crossed that there are more hits than misses in this list.
10. IT (Original, 1990)
Everyone has heard about the remake of IT by now, which will be landing in theaters on September 8th. I’m really hoping this one turns out good. I was surprised to see that they changed Pennywise’s appearance so much, and I’m on the fence about how I feel about that. On one hand, I think he looks really cool. On the other, I feel that the deceptively cute and funny Pennywise was the whole point of the original. He looked innocent to kids, and that made him more dangerous.
This film will focus heavily on the kids (The Loser’s Club), but the filmmakers decided to have the events take place in the 80s instead of the 50s like the original. Not sure why they decided to do that, but I’m looking forward to seeing the changes — especially with the new film receiving such rave reviews from none other than Stephen King himself.
9. The Birds (Original, 1963)
This is one of my favorite films from Alfred Hitchcock. I always loved the creepy feel this film gave off, rather than focusing exclusively on gore and cheap scares. The sheer amount of birds that flock around the main characters is enough to fill you with anxiety. Anytime I see a flock of birds on a roof, I get a little nervous. There isn’t much known about this remake, and it’s been in the works for years.
Rumor has it the film will be directed by Diederik van Rooijen (Taped, Daylight, Black Widow) and produced by Michael Bay. I really hope it gets released soon, and I’m excited to see how scary someone else can make such a simple (but brilliant) story.
8. Dementia 13 (Original, 1963)
The original 1963 film was written by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Roger Corman. Ah, family greed. This film centers on a wife scheming to get into her mother-in-law’s will. It was set in Ireland after Coppola and Corman were there working on The Young Racers. They used the money remaining from that project and got a bit more to help the film along. Being Coppola’s first directorial debut, I find it funny that it was a spur-of-the-moment idea.
I’m interested to see how they can make this film better, although a lot is possible given the much larger budget. The new version is directed by Richard LeMay (Naked As We Come) and written by Dan DeFilippo, and it will be released by Chiller Films in theaters on October 6 and on VOD on October 10.
7. Train to Busan (Original, 2016)
Train to Busan, the record-breaking 2016 South Korean hit, is being remade by Gaumont for an American audience. Critically acclaimed animator Yeon Sang-ho made his live-action directorial debut with the film that tells the story of a zombie apocalypse in South Korea — focusing on a workaholic divorced dad as he takes his daughter from Seoul to Busan…by train.
Details about the remake remain scarce, but filming is said to take place in Los Angeles. That could be interesting, given that trains aren’t a common form of transportation in that area. Although Hollywood remakes of Asian horror have had a mixed track record in the past, I’m a huge fan of zombie films and am looking forward to seeing an American version of this amazing film.
6. Don’t Look Now (Original, 1973)
This British-Italian film follows the story of a couple who visit Venice after the death of their daughter. Filled with grief, they are told they are in danger by a psychic nun. The film stars Donald Sutherland (who is apparently not happy that this film is being remade) and Julie Christie.
I didn’t know how iconic this film is until I began searching for information about the remake. There is a scene where they see the daughter wearing a red dress that gets referenced in other films, including Flatliners (another film on this list). Remakes of iconic or beloved films can be tricky. But it will be interesting to see what producers do with the modern take on this classic film.
5. An American Werewolf in London (Original, 1981)
The original beloved horror comedy was written and directed by John Landis, who happens to be the father of the writer/director attached to the remake. Max Landis is remaking his father’s hit film about two American backpackers who find themselves howling with fright….heh. Get it?
While the original will be hard to top, I think this remake has a chance of being really good, since the director will want to treat this with care. This one is also being produced by The Walking Dead‘s David Alpert and Robert Kirkman, with John Landis executive producing. Hopefully, the new version will stay as true as possible to the original.
4. Flatliners (Original, 1990)
In Theaters September 29th is the remake of the sci -fi hit about medical students trying to unravel the mystery about what happens when you die. Original stars included Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon, while the remake stars Nina Dobrev, Ellen Page, and Kiefer Sutherland.
I am optimistic about this one. And it appears that it’s not actually a full remake. In an interview, Keifer Sutherland (reprising his role from the original film) indicated that this new film is actually a sequel and not a remake. While the characters are different, the plot seems very similar.
3. The Fly (Original, 1958)
For the second time, it seems The Fly is getting the remake treatment. The original film was made in 1958 and produced and directed by Kurt Neumann (based on a short story by George Langelann). David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis became a body-horror classic, and is widely considered one of the director’s best pieces of work.
The new vision of the classic film is rumored to be written and directed by J.D. Dillard, whose directorial debut Sleight garnered him tremendous praise. I’ve only seen the original film, so I’m really looking forward to this remake. From what I understand, the 1958 and 1986 versions are very different from each other, so it will be interesting to see where this remake takes the story.
2. Nosferatu (Original, 1922)
In theaters October 31st, horror fans will be treated to a modern remake of a the classic silent German film about a vampire, Count Orlok, who takes an interest in a realtor’s wife. This is the first silent film I ever watched, and I can’t wait to see a modern retelling.
Increasing enthusiasm for the film is the fact that it is being written and directed by Robert Eggers, as a follow-up to his breakout debut The Witch. Eggers has stated that this is a film he has wanted to make since childhood. He’s also teased that his version of Nosferatu will have a similar tone as The Witch. He’s also cast his breakout star from that film, Anna Taylor-Joy, in Nosferatu.
1. Pumpkinhead (Original, 1988)
The 1988 cult classic Pumpkinhead is being remade by the producer of SAW. The film follows the story of a farmer whose seeks revenge after his young son is accidentally killed by a group of teenagers. Seeing Pumpkinhead looking scarier would be nice. I think modern makeup and effects could boost the horrifying feel that this monster gives.
While no director has been officially announced as of yet, the screenplay for the film is being provided by Nate Atkins (S. Darko, Deadly Descent: The Abominable Snowman).