Originals and Remakes: Horror Films that Need a Modern Remake

We hope you’ve enjoyed our October Original vs. Remake series. We had a blast comparing them, and we hope you’ve tried at least a couple!

We also understand many have grown tired of the remake trend; however, a few horror movies need a remake. Whether getting back to classics or bringing light to underrated movies, we wanted to conclude the series with something a little different. Theses movies could and need a modern remake:

James’ Picks:

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920)

The original film in 1920 was a silent German expressionist masterpiece borne out of the inter-war period in Europe. It is a story told from the perspective of one character and actually has a twist worth something (if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it here). The main plot revolves around a mad doctor, Caligari, who uses a sleepwalker, Cesare, to murder for him. It is shot with painted shadows, twisted imagery, and a warped perspective as the narrator shares his own mentally distorted view of what happened. I can imagine this film, shot by a talented director using practical effects (Edgar Write I’m looking at you..) for a modern audience relieving some of the abstract and abbreviated storytelling prevalent in the silent era. There was a 2006 remake, but one, true to the original, of wider scope and scale would do this amazing classic justice.

White Zombie (1932)

I first saw this film in a zombie-thon when I was a teenager. It came on with Romero pictures and was distinctly out of place and, for me, unusual. As an adult I’ve come to appreciate just how fascinating this film is and how great a remake would be. It focuses on Madeleine and her fiance Neil. A wealthy plantation owner, Charles, is also in love with Madeleine and enlists a voodoo mystic (played here by the glorious Bela Lugosi…someone would have to up their game to play this role) Murder Legendre (though his name is not really heard in the film except for maybe one piece of dialogue). In a great scene we see Murder use his powers to turn Madeleine into a voodoo zombie, a status of wakeful hypnosis fully under Murder’s control. What would make this a great remake? Well getting back to the original voodoo zombies, powerful zombie masters, great characters straight from the origins of horror (Dr. Bruner is Van Helsing in all but name.) A great modern remake could, again, fill in a vague story from the dawn of horror cinema and bring this tale to a modern audience. Plus it would introduce people to how the zombie legend originated. Let’s face it, the flesh-eating zombie thing is kind of done, whether it be from unknown causes or disease or whatever they cook up. Let’s put some magic back in zombie movies and tell a great classic story in a new way.

Raven’s Picks

Cherry Falls (2000)

Brittany Murphy Cherry Falls
Photo from: scare-tactic.blogspot.com

Cherry Falls ranks as my favorite teen slasher. However, many have never seen or heard of it. I realize that a remake would seem a little insensitive to Brittany Murphy, but I bet she would be honored knowing this movie received the attention it deserves. There are two reasons why Cherry Falls needs a remake. First, it was never released in the U.S. I’m guessing Hollywood thought it was too influential, as the storyline suggests teens must lose their virginity to survive. If America’s youth are that easily influenced, it’s time to look at the parents. Second, we haven’t had a good teen slasher since Scream 4, and that was in a series. I can’t remember the last good teen slasher. Hollywood needs to stop making crap that no one wants to see and get back to basics. Cherry Falls had an original storyline – gasp! – and serves horror well, as it’s dark, funny, gruesome, and entertaining. The horror film industry needs to cut back on CGI ghosts and jump scares, and get back to making movies that rely on a good story and actors.

Cabin by the Lake (2000)

Cabin by the Lake
Photo: youtube.com

Cabin by the Lake – a USA Network-release – is gold. In fact, good luck finding a DVD copy under $40, and you can find a lower-quality version on YouTube. Judd Nelson plays a writer/serial killer, and Hedy Burress is a fantastic final girl. Nelson not only kills them, he has created an underground garden of victims deep in the lake. The movie is funny, suspenseful and entertaining. A Cabin by the Lake remake would bring back a theme that has disappeared: the crazy writer. I mean a writer who is unbalanced and disturbed on his/her own, not one driven crazy by a supernatural force. The original story is different and refreshing, and again, it would be nice to see Hollywood get back to basics. I enjoy horror movies for a number of reasons, but entertainment value tops the list. Minus a few, modern horror movies are no longer entertaining. They focus too much on mood and CGI, and not enough on the story or character development.

If done correctly, all of these remakes would get Hollywood back on track, and introduce new and forgotten stories and elements to modern audiences. We hope good screenplay writers out there will pay attention!

We’d love to hear what movies you think could use a remake or reboot! Feel free to tell us in the comments or on social media.

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