ScreenAnarchy Poll: The "Worst Horror Remake Ever"

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ScreenAnarchy Poll: The "Worst Horror Remake Ever"

When I say "horror remake," you say "yuck," right? Probably, and in most cases I'd certainly agree. But if we have to muddle through five or six pieces of junk to discover and then savor David Cronenberg's The Fly, John Carpenter's The Thing, and (hell yeah) Chuck Russell's The Blob -- then that's a sacrifice the serious horror fan is prepared to make. It was during a typically geeky conversation with my pal Russell "Rusty" Gordon that a fun idea for a new "Weinberg's List" was born:

The "Worst Horror Remake Ever" Poll.

The goal of this project is to: A) give the Internet one central master list of all the American horror remakes imaginable, B) ascertain (through the combined power of ScreenAnarchy & Twitter) which horror remakes are the absolute lamest, and C) argue, whine, and opine about horror remakes to anyone who'll listen.

So in the comments section below, we ask that you give us your FIVE WORST choices from the following list. If "Rusty" and I left out any key remakes, let us know that as well -- although do keep in mind that we used 1998 as our "modern era" starting point, which is why you also won't find movies like The Fly, The Thing, and The Blob down there: they're too old! (But for the sake of keeping a true "master list" once this poll is done with, feel free to offer any horror remake suggestions you like.)

So there: brace yourself for general awfulness, scan the list below, and offer your FIVE WORST votes below. And then go tweet about this article to any horror geeks you know. (Thanks!)

13 Ghosts (2001)
2001 Maniacs (2005)
Amityville Horror, The (2005)
And Soon the Darkness (2010)
April Fools Day (2008)
Black Christmas (2006) *
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005) *
Carnival of Souls (1998)
Crazies, The (2010)
Dark Water (2005)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Day of the Dead (2008)
Don't Look Up
(2009) *
Echo, The (2008) *
Experiment, The (2010)
Eye, The (2008)
Fog, The (2005)
Friday the 13th (2009)
Funny Games (2007)
Grudge, The (2004)
(2007) *
Haunting, The (1999)
Hills Have Eyes, The (2006)
Hitcher, The (2007)
House of Wax (2005)
House on Haunted Hill, The (1999)
I Am Legend (2007)
I Spit on your Grave (2010)
It's Alive (2008)
Last House on the Left, The (2009)
Let Me In (2010)
Mirrors (2008)
My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Nature's Grave (2008)
Night of the Demons (2009)
Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006) *
Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010)
Omen, The (2006)
One Missed Call (2008)
Piranha (2010)
Prom Night (2008)
Psycho (1998)
Pulse (2006)
Quarantine (2008)
Ring, The (2003)
Shutter (2008)
Sisters (2006)
Sorority Row (2009)
Stepfather, The (2009)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (2003)
Toolbox Murders, The (2003)
Uninvited, The (2009)
When a Stranger Calls (2006)
Wicker Man, The (2006)
(2003) *
Wizard of Gore, The (2007)
Wolfman, The (2010)

* Added. Thanks to our commenters.

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James MarshMay 12, 2011 6:02 AM

I tried not to hate on films simply because they were remakes of films I love, but rather judge these films on their own merits and decide which are truly awful all by themselves. I haven't seen everything on the list above, but the worst out of those that I have seen are:


Question: Do the remakes in question have to be Hollywood remakes? If not, stick the recent remake of A CHINESE GHOST STORY on the list - it may be making a ton of cash in China right now, but it's garbage.

Niels MatthijsMay 12, 2011 6:08 AM

Eye, The
Ring, The
Wolfman, The

Mind, these are not the worst movies of the list, just the worst remakes. Most of the original films from the list above are just as crap as their remakes.

Scott WeinbergMay 12, 2011 6:09 AM

Totally agree. The ones I call trash are trash on their own merits. Or decided lack thereof. I quite like the TCM remake, despite thinking it's a bit over-glossy and also a pale shadow of Hooper's original. Still fun.

callieatomMay 12, 2011 6:22 AM

I Spit on your Grave
Friday the 13th
13 Ghosts

...probably offended me the most, quite difficult though as I realised even as someone who watches horror a lot I avoided most of the above pretty well. I actually enjoyed The Crazies remake more than the original and though not exactly life defining 2001 Maniacs had a hyper silly spirit and a fun Robert Englund.

conbarbaMay 12, 2011 6:22 AM

Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010)
Omen, The (2006)
Wicker Man, The (2006)
Haunting, The (1999)
House on Haunted Hill, The (1999)

Scott WeinbergMay 12, 2011 6:30 AM

NOBODY vote until I add Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN on there! Ack! It's on my bottom 5.

Ard VijnMay 12, 2011 6:56 AM

No Rob Zombie Halloween 2? Or isn't that a remake?

mvario.myopenid.comMay 12, 2011 7:06 AM

Wicker Man, The (2006)
Fog, The (2005)
I Am Legend (2007)
Halloween (2007)
When a Stranger Calls (2006)

oldpoetMay 12, 2011 7:20 AM

I always find these sorts of things difficult; do I treat a really well-made but hollow film the same as one with no technical skill but a clever idea? Because there's a whole lot of empty on that list. And there are completely unnecessary films that were loads of fun. But I would finally bring it down to:



Frank DMay 12, 2011 8:08 AM

Doesn't the choice of PSYCHO then contradict your opening statement? The movie is a shot-by-shot remake with some decent actors as well - so if you were to judge it entirely on its own merits, wouldn't you be forced to admit it is - by definition - as good as the original?

As for my list, I'll go...


bewarethemoonMay 12, 2011 8:21 AM

DAy of the Dead remake has got to be the worst remake I've ever seen, I thought it was comedy for a moment, but realised the truly awful acting was for real. What made it worse was that Nik Cannon happens to be MY name, which always galls me even more when I see my namesake has ruined one of the best zombie films ever made! the production values were dismal, infact it's probably one of the worst films I've only partially seen, I turned off the TV in disgust. Zack Snyders DAwn of the Dead wasn't too bad, but I just don't get why they keep remaking classics, badly, when the target audience haven't seen the original ones and have no interest in them anyway.
The first Ring remake was actually quite decent I thought.
Haven't seen the Fog remake, won't bother, will be very interested to see the remake of the THING when it arrives

Agent OrangeMay 12, 2011 8:29 AM

The Fog at least has Maggie Grace (hot). Nightmare on Elm Street was by far the biggest snoozer yet.

philMay 12, 2011 8:37 AM

Off the top of my head, some that are missing:

"The Vanishing"
"Night Watch"
"The Lift" (All three remade by the original directors)

Savini's "Night of the Living Dead"
"Night of the Living Dead 3D"
"The Mummy"
"Body Snatchers"
"The Invasion"
"Carrie" (made for tv)
"Salems Lot" (made for tv)
"Black Christmas"
"The Echo" (also made by the originals director)
"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
"Village of the Damned"
"Possession" (Not horror but marketed as such)

If you are including " I Am Legend" then you could just as easily include "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula".

Kurt HalfyardMay 12, 2011 9:20 AM

I think DAY OF THE DEAD has that beat by a country mile. I'd say Neil Labute's WICKER MAN, if the film wasn't so hilariously over-the-top silly. Steve Miner's DotD is soul-crushingly awful. As I tend to skip most of these, in order to round out a "5", I'll add I Am Legend, I Spit on Your Grave and Pulse.

Kurt HalfyardMay 12, 2011 9:25 AM

I'd offer 5 PRETTY-DARN-GOOD remakes on that list above: The Ring, Funny Games, Let Me In, The Crazies and Dark Water.

iainlMay 12, 2011 9:56 AM

How are we doing this? Because there are the five worst films in their own right (headed by Day of the Dead, probably), the five films that most pointlessly ruin their original film's premise by missing the point of what made it great (hello A Nightmare On Elm Street, I think), and those where the original was so unutterably perfect that there mere suggestion that you could improve them should condemn everyone involved as ludicrously convinced of their own genius. By which I mean Rob Zombie's Halloween.

So, top that list out with the pointless Omen and Last House On The Left remakes, and we've got five.

edeteinMay 12, 2011 10:07 AM

A better subject of conversation would be "What Is The Best Horror Remake Ever" as the accurate answer to "the worst horror remake ever?" would be "nearly all horror movie remakes."

T VanMay 12, 2011 10:11 AM

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
April Fool's Day (2008)
Dark Water (2005)
I Am Legend (2007)
When A Stranger Calls (2006)

J HurtadoMay 12, 2011 10:30 AM

I gotta say I'm surprised at some people's choices for the worst. I'm going to qualify my list by saying that these are the films I enjoyed the least. Even some of the really awful ones are a lot of fun, but the following aren't even that:

Day of the Dead
One Missed Call (though, to be fair, the original wasn't that great either)
Friday the 13th
The Fog

Ji DoctorMay 12, 2011 11:21 AM

Ok, not seen a lot of these, but for my money the Elm Street, Halloween and Friday 13th remakes were dreadful and completely pointless apart from reasons of easy money. Quarantine pissed me off with the makers with no mention of [REC] at all on the dvd. This may be for stupid reasons but still strikes me as shitty (like their film). Last but not least, could only muster the first half hour of The Wolfman. Completely uninspired.

Looking at the list, there's not that many classics left untarnished. Here's hoping they leave Re-Animator, Suspiria etc well alone but that Hollywood well is pretty dry these days.

iainlMay 12, 2011 11:34 AM

Hmm. Where do we stand on Dawn Of The Remade Dead, people? On Zack Snyder's throat? Or do we like it? It's simultaneously trashing most that was good about the original (the social comment, and the false sense of security that sets in when you realise how lame an enemy one or two zombies on their own are, only to have them overwhelmed by inevitability once the bikers let loads of the things in) but also pretty decent when divorced from the weight of expectation, and almost certainly the closest Snyder has come to making a good film.

J HurtadoMay 12, 2011 12:40 PM

I really like that one, and I was very opposed to it in theory. I wasn't even going to watch it, but when I did, I found myself very engaged and enjoying the action.

James MarshMay 12, 2011 1:06 PM

Shot-for-shot or not, it's a terrible film.

SaltonerMay 12, 2011 1:48 PM

The Fog
House of Wax
House On Haunted Hill

The Hills Have Eyes
Dawn of the Dead
13 Ghosts (I liked the concept, but the execution could have been a bit better)

russell.leegordonMay 12, 2011 2:54 PM

Black Christmas was on the earlier drafts. Must of been removed somehow accidentally. You're right, it definitely should be on there.

As for the rest you point out being left off, that is covered in the opening when Scott mentions that our starting year for the list is 1998.

Greg RiveraMay 12, 2011 2:55 PM

When a Stranger Calls (2006) — by the end I was rooting for the Stranger to get Camilla Bell
Fog, The (2005) — whoa, did it suck!
13 Ghosts (2001) — there was an original? Anyway, this one didn't know whether to suck or blow.
Halloween (2007) — seven foot tall Michael? Really?
Hitcher, The (2007) Just...just...why?
That said, I rather enjoyed a few of the remakes on this list, mainly because I have an annoying habit of judging (some) movies on their own merits instead of making comparisons:
Dawn of the Dead (2004) — maintained a great pace
I Am Legend (2007) — I enjoy watching a single actor carrying most of a movie's weight (other examples include Cast Away and 127 Hours) because for the actor, it's either do or die. However, I HATED the cgi vampires/ghouls/whatever, as they all looked identical to each other, down to the clothes.
Let Me In (2010) — don't get me started...

russell.leegordonMay 12, 2011 3:38 PM

Actually, the after 1998 umbrella doesn't quite cover all the omissions you mentioned so let me tackle those now.

Did not count made for TV movies.
The Mummy was discussed, but ultimately considered more an adventure film than horror.
Similarly, The Invasion is more sci-fi.
The Echo should of made the list. For that you can load ten pounds of shame on my back.

Hope you will contribute to the fun. What are your bottom 5?

philMay 12, 2011 4:39 PM

For some reason I read that as 1989. Must have been the three 80's remakes mentioned that threw me.

I agree on both "The Mummy" and "The Invasion", I only mentioned them as both are remakes of films that regularly turn up on greatest ever horror lists.
"Night of The Living Dead 3D" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligary" also come after your cut off date. I also forgot to mention Fruit Chan's execrable "Don't Look Up".

My bottom 5:

"Night of the Living Dead 3D"

"The Haunting"

"Prom Night"

"Don't Look Up"

"Funny Games"

Niels MatthijsMay 12, 2011 6:38 PM

I believe I must be the only person in the world who actually liked the Psycho remake better than the original.

brettlv5506May 12, 2011 8:52 PM

I have to point out that the god awful tv version of The Shining should be number one no matter what, but out of what is given I choose
1. The Wicker Man (so terrible)
2. Psycho
3. I am Legend
4. Halloween
5. Wolfman

Ard VijnMay 12, 2011 9:00 PM

Is that a real poster, by the way? With "From the makers of Holloween" on it?

m.brett.gallmanMay 12, 2011 9:09 PM

My picks:

The Wicker Man
Day of the Dead
Prom Night
The Fog
When a Stranger Calls

ZimbMay 12, 2011 9:11 PM

Carnival of Souls (1998)
Halloween (2007)
Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010)
Wicker Man, The (2006)
Day of the Dead (2008)

m.brett.gallmanMay 12, 2011 9:12 PM

Snyder's Dawn remake is one of the best for me. I love it--it's exactly what a remake should be in theory. It's faithful enough to the original but definitely isn't afraid to do its own thing.

Alex MMay 12, 2011 11:25 PM

i disagree with the THE RING statement, I thought it was favorable.
i gotta say, watching the EYE, i couldn't believe I sat through it,
i think it was definitely because of alba's looks...
they completely whimped out on the ending which made the original
so completely morbid.

Alex MMay 12, 2011 11:26 PM

i disagree with the THE RING statement, I thought it was favorable.
i gotta say, watching the EYE, i couldn't believe I sat through it,
i think it was definitely because of alba's looks...
they completely whimped out on the ending which made the original
so completely morbid.

Rathan KruegerMay 13, 2011 12:30 AM

In alphabetical order:
"Dark Water"
"The Eye"
"I Am Legend"
"I Spit On Your Grave"
"Wicker Man"

I love that Jennifer Connelly has an eye for genre films (woo "Dark City" and "Rocketeer"!) but I wish someone would point her in the right direction sometimes. She's much better than "Dark Water" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still". I hope she runs into a good genre piece before the bad taste sticks and she backs away from that world completely. Whenever they get around to it, I'd love to see her in ANY capacity in "Sin City 2". Speaking of which...

I hate Jessica Alba. Well, hate may be too strong of a word. I didn't like her in "Dark Angel". I couldn't buy her as a scientist in "Fantastic Four". She was tolerable in "Machete". Then there's "Sin City". You don't turn a stripper into a go-go dancer in chap because you have a problem with nudity. You either get over that problem or pass the torch to someone else. I'm sure there're plenty of good actresses out there who wouldn't mind being topless. Carla Gugino didn't have a problem with it and she's a great actress (anyone who hasn't seen it yet should watch "Women in Trouble"). But I shouldn't be surprised that the Weinsteins saw dollar signs first instead of the right actress and then more dollar signs that would've followed. Tits sell. But enough about them. "The Eye" was one of the first Asian horror films I saw when I got into them. I was young and stupid and sat in the middle of a small 5.1 set-up in the dark. It was the first time I noticed the use of sound in a film. I made it as far as the hallway scene at the hospital and watched the rest in the morning. The ending made things fall apart for me but overall, I loved it. I can't say the same about Alba's "Eye". At all.

Where to begin with "I Am Legend"... do I do the anal thing of pointing out the little inconsistencies of technology like in "Book of Eli"? C'mon, a first-generation iPod working that many years into the future? C'mon. Do I point out the now-revealed pointless use of CG-monsters? I never liked them but after seeing the video of what Steve Johnson had planned with make-up effects, I wept. Or do I point out Will Smith? There was no reason why Will Smith needed to be in that film. I think the director, Francis Lawrence, for whatever reason, NEEDS his films to be more expensive than they really are. Take "Constantine", his first. There's no reason why a film about John Constantine needed to cost $100,000,000 to make. I'm a big fan of Garth Ennis' run on "Hellblazer" and those comics do not need that much money to have a film version of. Even with Keanu Reeves, it should've been a $40mil or a $50mil film. And that might be too much. "I Am Legend", according to the internets, cost $159,000,000. Not including prints and advertising. This could've been a much scarier film at $40mil. Wanna show an abandoned New York City? Make models. Better vampires? Use Steve Johnson's creatures. An awesome Robert Neville? Guy Pearce, Harold Perrineau, Sam Rockwell, SAMUEL L. JACKSON (yes, I have to use caps... every time). The first two have history with Warner Bros, Sam Rockwell was in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind", and SAMUEL L. JACKSON is SAMUEL L. JACKSON (see?). This film should've been sold on terror, not watching the Fresh Prince go Big Willie Style in the new millennium-- oh, excuse me, Willennium. I may or may not have had fun coming up with that last sentence. The only worthwhile scene was when he got into an argument with a mannequin. But at least it wasn't an advertisement for Converse... WHY, ALEX PROYAS, WHY?!

I loved the original "I Spit On Your Grave", warts and all. Two things struck me the most: the rape and the order in which the rapists were killed. Rape in itself is bad but besides the fact that everyone gets their turn and besides the fact that it goes on for almost a half hour... it happens in the daytime and in the open (half of it). And no one comes to help her. How does it go down in the remake? At night and in her place. In the original, the weakest and strongest links are the first to go and you're left with the middle guys. "Not the dimwit! Wha? The leader?!" That was so different that what usually happens. By taking out the two toughest ones (emotionally and physically), the others are a cakewalk and you can see that on her face. I can't remember what it was like in the remake.

I don't think there needs to be anything said about "The Wicker Man" except that the bees don't lie. It's ok if you read that to the tune of Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie". I typed it that way. And they don't, kids.

Now, a few words about some other titles.

I won't say much about Rob Zombie's "Halloween" and "Halloween 2" except I loved them.

"A Nightmare On Elm Street"... Jackie Earle Haley made an awesome Freddy Krueger. Before I go on, Robert England is the One True Freddy. With that said, I loved Haley's interpretation of Freddy. It was somewhere inbetween "New Nightmare" and "Freddy vs. Jason", more the former than the latter. After a while, though, I started remembering what Robert Englund suggested about the new Freddy. How they should completely redo him. I didn't understand what he meant until I rewatched Cronenberg's "The Fly" and read about the original. Seth Brundle was, apart from turning into a fly beast and being a scientist, completely separate from Andre Delambre. Now, I have mixed feelings about the new Freddy. I wonder what Jackie Earle would've done if he could create him from scratch. I also liked the use of dreamscapes and little pieces here and there. Ultimately, though, it falls apart the more I see it. People have complained enough about it so I won't.

I love that two Crispin Glover films made it on the list, "Willard" and "Wizard of Gore", and no one hates them. I loved both of them. The latter was really fun and had Jeffery Combs in it. And Suicide Girls! One of them was missing a leg! And I got to see Crispin Glover in a codpiece and hear him say, "Sit down, beeitch! You die first!"

I didn't mention "Let Me In" because I didn't bother to watch "Let Me In". Not even for Elias Koteas.

iainlMay 13, 2011 4:00 AM

I think if Connelly is going to continue to try genre film out, she needs to speak to her husband. Paul Bettany seems (so far, and I've not seen Priest yet) to have a knack of picking genre nonsense that, even if it doesn't turn out to be a great film, is at least a laugh to make.

ian.sowersMay 13, 2011 8:17 AM

I'm happy to see that I've missed many of the remakes that people are singling out. Of the ones I have seen, these five are my least favorite:


Rathan KruegerMay 13, 2011 10:13 AM

I think Paul steals her roles. I would've seen "Legion" if Jennifer was a gun-toting angel in a diner.

pacifikixMay 13, 2011 10:21 AM

When a Stranger Calls
Friday the 13th
The Haunting
The Fog
Prom Night 13, 2011 4:20 PM

1)Nightmare on Elm Street, A (2010)
2)Day of the Dead (2008)
3)I Am Legend (2007)
4)Wolfman, The (2010)
5)Crazies, The (2010)

Sean "The Butcher" SmithsonMay 13, 2011 10:09 PM

The TCM remake looks like a SLipknot video.

That said, you know, I was recently down with the flu, and decided to re-watch (dont ask why) the NOES remake. It played better the second time around. Then again I was on pain pills as well. LOL.
I was able to kind of imagine it as if it were it's own beast and a totally new thing though, and it worked a lot better for me.

There is no excuse for RZ's HALLOWEEN films though. None.

hi5hatecrimeMay 14, 2011 2:36 PM

The Grudge
Nightmare On Elm Street
I Am Legend
The Vanishing

eddie.scraftonMay 16, 2011 3:00 AM

1. Halloween - Rob Zombie's ham fisted remake of the Carpenter classic is a lazy, dull, misogynistic failure of a movie in almost every regard. He reduces Michael Myers to nothing more than an angry Slipknot fan (is there any other kind?) from a bad home.
2. The Wicker Man - It's so laughably bad I almost want to give it a break, but "No!", this is pure hack work trading on the name of one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Totally devoid of subtlety, character, tension or fear it does feature Nic cage dressed as a bear punching a woman's only redeeming quality
3. The Fog - What is it with people botching John Carpenter movies? Oh, I know it's because Carpenter is a master of tension, suspense, atmosphere and character - all created on amazingly small budgets - while the directors of the remakes couldn't find a shred of creativity with both hands, a map and a flashlight. I have watched this movie and I remember almost nothing about it whatsoever..and it's a remake! That's how bad it is.
4. The Haunting - the scene in the 1963 original where the entity is crashing against the door has got to be the scariest thing I'd ever seen when I was a kid. Just the sound effects, the reactions from the actors, the fear of the unknown, the fact that you don't see what is out there had my younger self almost rigid with fear when I first watched this. Jan De Bont decided that wasn't good enough and replaced it with millions of dollars of horrible, unscary, unimaginative CGI...Abject fail!
5. Quarantine - Mainly because it highlights the fact that lots of very good, very original, very scary movies get remade very badly for no other reason than studios think movie audiences are too lazy or stupid to watch a film and read at the same time.

MaxìMay 16, 2011 8:40 PM

I say:

- I am Legend
- The Crazies
- Nightmare on Elm St.
- Night of the living dead 3d (awful!)
- Wicker Man

BrianMay 17, 2011 1:31 AM

Can I just vote for A Nightmare on Elm Street five times?? If not:

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Friday the 13th
Dark Water
The Grudge

NeilMay 17, 2011 7:46 AM

The Fog
I Am Legend
The Wicker Man
The Haunting 17, 2011 9:13 AM

Easy - Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Don't need to even look at the list. I stopped watching modern horror films for 10 years because of it. I asked for my money back at the cinema - and GOT IT.
They took everything that was scary about the original, removed it, and replaced it with hackneyed cliches. I cannot say enough bad things about it.

sarkoffagusMay 17, 2011 9:43 AM

I can't list films because they're poor remakes because it's not easy determining why I liked or disliked such a film. If I liked the original, the chances of liking the remake are minimal, and even if it's good, certain elements won't seem as good simply because they're just not the same. And if a remake strays far from the original, it might work, but then why was the first film remade? The Dawn of the Dead remake is more an action film than horror and negates Romero's satirical edge. Is it good? Sure. Is it a good remake? Not really. Also, if I hate the original, then it's hard not to blame the wretchedness of a remake on its source. So here's my list of films that are remakes and that I don't like:
Sisters (2006)
April Fools Day (2008)
It's Alive (2008)
Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)
Halloween (2007)
And I agree with Kurt that The Wicker Man is just too funny to be included as one of the worst. I intentionally leave my apple pies in the oven too long, so I can repeatedly ask my wife, "How'd it burned?! How'd it get burned?!"