25 Worst Horror Movie Remakes

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 25 movies that have contributed to the dubious legacy of horror remakes, listed from worse to worst.

25
of 25

The Wicker Man (2006)

The Wicker Man
© Warner Bros.

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.

24
of 25

Psycho (1998)

Psycho (1998)
© Universal

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.

23
of 25

Halloween (2007)

Halloween (2007)
© Dimension

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.

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22
of 25

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2015)

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
© Gravitas Ventures

Spike Lee's remake of the artsy blaxploitation vampire movie Ganja and Hess mimics the introspective, jazzy atmosphere of the original but adds overly stylized, pompous dialogue and ends up as a painfully awkward attempt to recreate a film that was very much a product of its time, reflecting of the burgeoning sexual revolution and the racial dynamics of the post-Civil Rights Movement.

 

21
of 25

Carrie (2013)

Carrie (2013)
© Screen Gems

Carrie is a Barbie doll remake: a slick, plastic, soul-less facsimile whose pretty exterior masks a hollow center, slavishly regurgitating all the major (and not-so-major) plot points from Brian DePalma's 1976 film, with a good cast that performs below its ability.

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20
of 25

The Haunting (1999)

The Haunting (1999)
© DreamWorks

This interminably drawn-out remake of the classic 1963 haunted house flick removes the mystery of the original by concocting a hokey plot about an evil force enslaving children's spirits and by approaching the film with the sterile eye of a CGI-laden blockbuster rather than a scary ghost pic.

19
of 25

The Loft (2015)

The Loft movie poster
© Open Road Films

Despite a strong cast, The Loft comes off a bland, second-rate thriller more suited for the direct-to-video route, a mix of clichéd police procedural, tepid sexual thriller and illogical whodunit. The twists are forced, the characters are unlikable and the women are either sex objects or cackling shrews who spend half of the film eyeing their spouses suspiciously.

 

18
of 25

The Amityville Horror (2005)

The Amityville Horror (2005)
© MGM

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.

17
of 25

Mirrors (2008)

Mirrors
© 20th Century Fox

One of several efforts to Americanize Asian ghost stories in the early 21st century, this version of the 2003 Korean film Into the Mirror 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.

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16
of 25

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
© TriStar

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.

15
of 25

The Hitcher (2007)

The Hitcher (2007)
© Rogue

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.)

14
of 25

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
© New Line

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.

13
of 25

Children of the Corn (2009)

Children of the Corn (2009)
© Anchor Bay

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!"

 

12
of 25

Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)

Night of the Living Dead 3D
© Lionsgate

The only purpose of this update of George Romero's 1968 groundbreaking zombie film seems to be to throw in 3-D special effects, and it can't even do that with any level of competence or excitement -- choosing instead to have shots of a pothead shoving a joint into the camera. Stupid, unlikeable characters, gratuitous nudity, mediocre special effects, uninteresting action sequences, lame attempts at humor and a silly new villain make this zombie effort DOA.

11
of 25

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

13 Ghosts (2001)
© Columbia

Any attempt to turn the ridiculous plot of William Castle's campy 1960 haunted house film into a serious, scary movie was bound to fail (Seriously, is a ghost boy with an arrow through his head or a big fat man-baby in a diaper scary?), but the inane dialogue, schmaltzy sentimentality and irritating characters -- from the nebbish psychic to the smart-aleck kid to the stereotypical wisecracking black maid -- make for a real stinker. Tony Shaloub and F. Murray Abraham deserve better; Matthew Lillard not so much.

10
of 25

Carnival of Souls (1998)

Carnival of Souls (1998)
© TriMark

Wes Craven's track record as a producer is nowhere near as stellar as his directorial legacy; witness this ill-conceived remake of the cult flick Carnival of Souls, whose plot of an undead evil clown bears only vague similarities to the 1962 film. The story is a disaster: aimless, repetitive, boring and distasteful, revolving around acts of rape and child molestation. The pseudo-drama is undermined by bad acting and a dearth of the artistry, noir-ish atmosphere and low-frills chills of the original. Plus you have to listen to Shawnee Smith sing.

09
of 25

April Fool's Day (2008)

April Fool's Day (2008)
© Sony

Just a shell of the 1986 slasher upon which it's based, this direct-to-video remake comes up with an entirely new plot -- "new" being a relative term, because it's just a riff on I Know What You Did Last Summer or The House of Sorority Row, about revenge over a prank gone wrong. It's a poor excuse for a slasher: sterile with bland kills and annoying Hills-esque characters in an edgeless PG-13, CW version of an Agatha Christie story that manages to be both predictable and ridiculous at the same time.

08
of 25

All Cheerleaders Die (2014)

'All Cheerleaders Die' movie poster
© Image Entertainment/RLJ

Of all the remakes on this list, All Cheerleaders Die probably is the one whose original is least known, a 2001 shot-on-video cheapie that should never have been revisited. It's a sloppy, low-brow, inert effort from the usually reliable Lucky McKee, playing like an inside joke to which we're not privy, as if he set out intentionally to make an awful movie full of tired high school stereotypes, abhorrent characters and a nonsensical plot.

 

07
of 25

13 (2011)

13 (2011)
© Anchor Bay

It's hard to fathom how this remake of the excellent 2005 French/Georgian thriller 13 Tzameti turned out so awful, given it has the same director (Géla Babluani) with a bigger budget and a better cast (including Michael Shannon, Jason Statham, Sam Riley, Ray Winstone, Mickey Rourke, 50 Cent, Alexander Skarsgard, David Zayas, Ben Gazzara, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Gaby Hoffmann). But somehow, Babluani elicits comedically overblown performances from its big-name stars and teams them with stiff dialogue, tepid direction and choppy editing that feels like a desperate attempt to rescue a sinking ship.

 

06
of 25

One Missed Call (2008)

One Missed Call (2008)
© Warner Bros.

The worst of the American remakes of Asian horror, this ghost story about a curse spread through cell phones wasn't nearly as silly in the hands of Japanese director Takashi Miike. Lacking the original's edge, this version is blandly told with generic, pointless "scary images," awkward sentimentality, a groan-worthy ending and dull-as-dirt performances from Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns.

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05
of 25

Prom Night (2008)

Prom Night (2008)
© Screen Gems

An insult to slasher movies, this nearly bloodless PG-13 film bears no resemblance to the original 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis vehicle, instead putting forth a toothless plot about a high school teacher obsessed with a student. The kills are dull, the scares are clichéd, the characters are flat and uninteresting, the twists are telegraphed and the villain is about as intimidating as an Abercrombie & Fitch model.

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04
of 25

Teenage Caveman (2002)

Teenage Caveman (2002)
© Columbia TriStar

Granted, the 1958 Roger Corman film is no classic, but this oddball made-for-TV remake takes the material to new depths of awful. It comes from, of all people, controversial director Larry Clark, who basically turns it into a futuristic version of his movie Kids, as a group of post-apocalyptic teens sit around drinking, doing drugs and having sex -- with mutants. As with Kids, the acting is "raw" (read: amateurish) and much of the dialogue feels ad-libbed (read: mind-numbingly dumb, boring prolonged stretches of drunk talk), and Clark's fascination with teen sex comes off as just creepy. The cheap special effects, terrible writing and whiny, unlikable characters don't help matters any.

03
of 25

The Fog (2005)

The Fog (2005)
© Sony

An embarrassment to the John Carpenter original about a town cursed by undead sailors, this inept remake features awful attempts at humor, inane dialogue, poor acting (heroine Elizabeth has the emotional range of a pear), tame direction, dimwitted writing, non-existent scares (with the sort of safe choices that often plague PG-13 horror) and an utterly ridiculous ending twist.

02
of 25

Please Don't Eat My Mother (1973)

Please Don't Eat My Mother
© Boxoffice International

This cheap, thinly veiled remake of Roger Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors is two parts porn movie, one part comedy, one part horror and all parts terrible. It takes the original tale of a loser who feeds people to his pet plant and turns it into a sex farce, with the protagonist a peeping tom who becomes sexually attracted to his man-eating plant, which at one point utters, "Frog me, Henry! Frog me!" as he feeds her frogs. Corny broad comedy (wah-wah-waaaah sound effects) combine with poor pacing and an X-rated sexual obsession (full frontal male/female nudity and graphic sexual simulation) for a uniquely painful viewing experience.

01
of 25

Chaos (2005)

Chaos
© Razor Digital Entertainment

Ugly in content, execution and spirit, Chaos is a remake of Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left that, thanks to a pompous sense of self-worth, decided that it was original enough to stand on its own (it's not) and changed its name. It takes the same story, makes the villains racist and removes the parental vengeance angle -- meaning the bad guys (or at least the main bad guy) get away with everything. The same pompous attitude that made the filmmakers change the title led to the delusional tag line "The most brutal movie ever made" and a prologue declaring that the film is meant to educate and save lives. It's unoriginal, shoddily made and revels in the sensationalization of racism, misogyny and criminality.

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Harris, Mark H. "25 Worst Horror Movie Remakes." ThoughtCo, Nov. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/worst-horror-movie-remakes-1873343. Harris, Mark H. (2017, November 19). 25 Worst Horror Movie Remakes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/worst-horror-movie-remakes-1873343 Harris, Mark H. "25 Worst Horror Movie Remakes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/worst-horror-movie-remakes-1873343 (accessed November 22, 2017).