More often than not, attempts to remake a film often lack the vision, atmosphere, or wow-factor as the original. Let's just face it: you just shouldn't mess with a good thing. If it's not broken, don't fix it. It's very rare that a remake is just as good as the original, rarer still when the remake is actually better.
To prove the point, here are five remakes that blow their parent material out of the water.
The Blob (1988)
Nothing can stop the blob! Or can it? Released thirty years after the original, this remake recreates the sense of popcorn-snacking fun while adding more action and sense of urgency that the original lacked thanks to a more aggressive titular gelatinous alien and increased gore factor. But the ultimate perk? Actors that made more believable “teenagers” than Steve McQueen ever could. Oh and Shawnee Smith is in this one...you know, the hot chick from Saw?
The Thing (1982)
Not to be confused with the dude from The Fantastic Four, this is a remake of the '50's classic, The Thing from Another World. Breathing life into an old, crusty black and white from the early days of science fiction fright-fests, John Carpenter (a master of thrillers in his own right), takes masterful control and takes this grisly creature-feature and turns it into a paranoid psychological thriller.
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
A third indication that most good remakes should have a 25-30 year buffer zone from the original, House on Haunted Hill revamps the tale of a challenge to spend a night in a haunted house and infuses it with edgy direction and better special effects that make the original's skeleton in the closet on a string and other visual fright gags seem more silly and less terrifying.
The Ring (2002)
Of all the remakes of Japanese horror films, The Ring is easily the best. Compared to The Grudge or One Missed Call, The Ring articulately captures the ghost-story creepiness of Ringu. Gore Verbinski's stellar direction and fantastic performances from the cast, it's quite possible to say that this American version is just a tad more polished than the original.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
This might seem as total blasphemy to say that the remake of George Romero's classic zombie flick is better than the original, but this remake actually tops it in almost every way except for originality. Zack Snyder took Romero's groundwork and kicked it up several notches to fully capture the scope and feel of a totally possible zombie apocalypse. Yeah, they cranked up the action and manipulated the plot to make it more palatable to Hollywood, but it strangely works. Except that zombie baby. I still get nightmares from that.
Honorable Mention: Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Technically, it's a sequel. But let's be real: this was a bigger budget remake of The Evil Dead, and as a bonus? It was directed by Sam Raimi, who brought us the original and starred the exceptionally gifted chin of Bruce Campbell as the chainsaw wielding Ash. Shop smart, shop S-Mart.
If you don't believe me, try a side-by-side comparison one night and you be the judge.
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