Remakes are the bane of many horror fans' existences, in part because they dare to re-imagine some of the most beloved films in the genre's history and in part because so many of them have just plain stunk. Case in point: these 20 movies that have contributed to the dubious legacy of horror remakes.
The more I watch it, the more I'm convinced that this remake of the classic 1973 British thriller about a policeman investigating the disappearance of a girl in a neo-pagan island community is supposed to be a dark comedy. Watch a manic Nicolas Cage get stung by bees, manhandle children, yell at children, yell at EVERYONE, bike jack an elementary school teacher, go undercover in a bear suit, sucker punch a woman in the face and karate kick Leelee Sobieski into next week while spouting lines like, "Killing me won't bring back your godd*mn honey!" As a suspense film, it's awful, but it's so ridiculous and over the top that it's actually entertaining, which is more than I can say about the other movies on this list.
19. Psycho (1998)
This pointlessly shot-for-shot remake (Funny Games I understand, given the language barrier of the original) of Alfred Hitchcock's influential 1960 pre-slasher bombs with inappropriate casting (Vince Vaughn displays none of the boylike sensitivity and innocence of Anthony Perkins.) and shockingly bad performances from a stellar cast. By taking the same material and crafting such a lifeless, unscary snoozefest that feels out of place with the times, this Gus Van Sant experiment serves only to highlight the brilliance of the original.
18. Halloween (2007)
Rob Zombie's "re-imagining" of Halloween isn't necessarily worth the scorn that some have heaped upon it, but its peek into the childhood of legendary serial killer Michael Myers adds little to the icon's legacy and actually detracts from his fearsome presence as an adult. In Zombie's hands, Myers' killing spree is a numbing exercise in ugliness -- dull and, unlike the original, not the least bit scary. And it earns an additional demerit for spawning the wretched sequel Halloween II.
16. Mirrors (2008)
One of several efforts to Americanize Asian ghost stories in the early 21st century, this version of a 2003 Korean film rolls out an illogical, inconsistent script delivered with hammy acting and overblown action that tries to slap a fresh coat of bloody paint over the messy final product.
The eccentric personalities and notorious behind-the-scenes turmoil involving stars Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer come through the screen in this mess of a film, the third major adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel. Each actor seems to out-crazy the other, with Brando coming out on top with a foppish, incoherent performance that inspired South Park's Dr. Alphonse Mephisto, the scientist who genetically engineers animals with multiple buttocks.
This too-slick rehash ignores the delicious subtlety of the original haunted house film, taking every opportunity to show what was only imagined in the 1979 pic, and concocts a ridiculous back story for the haunting about a Indian torture dungeon located in the house and an evil ghost man who looms over an innocent ghost girl -- a bit too similar to the remake of The Haunting, if you ask me. The usually charming Ryan Reyonlds is miscast (unless this is a covert advertisement for the AbFlex) as a dad driven to murderous lengths in what comes off as a shallow, third-rate Shining rip-off.
A vanity project for director/star Kenneth Branagh (emphasis on the "AGH"), this supposedly serious attempt to interpret the 1818 novel is manically paced, pompous, heavy-handed and unintentionally funny (see a naked Robert DeNiro and a shirtless Branagh wrestling in baby oil), featuring a stealthy, ninja-like monster, overblown sweeping camera movements and a lead by Branagh that makes Nicolas Cage's Wicker Man performance seem subtle.
This made-for-TV take on the Stephen King story is more faithful to the original tale than the 1984 big-screen adaptation, but it manages to make the protagonists so unlikable you actually root for the homicidal nutjob kids. The screaming dialogue is nearly unbearable, saved only by so-bad-they're-good gems like "Put that in your god and smoke it!"
Producer Michael Bay's fingerprints are all over this update of the 1986 cult classic tale of a deranged hitchhiker. It embodies all the things that fans hate about modern remakes: it's slick and overly serious with too-hip characters, pretentious direction, departures from the original that don't add anything, an obnoxious, intrusive soundtrack and a limp interpretation of the villain. (When it comes to crazy, Sean Bean is no Rutger Hauer.)