Remakes get a bad rap. And when it comes to audience demands, few are harder to please than horror fans when it’s their favorite horror icons getting the reboot treatment. Hell, even The Thing was greeted with scorn at first. But the truth is there are actually quite a few horror movie remakes worth checking out, from films like The Thing and The Fly that have become more classics in their own right to the best of the more recent remake trends, there are plenty of horror movies that either found something new and interesting to do with their concepts or honored the spirit of the original film in a fun new way.
And what’s so bad about a remake? After all, the original will always be there in its pure, untouched form and a new incarnation promises the potential for exciting new reads on the material. As something of a theater nerd, I always make my case by looking to Shakespeare, who adapted many of his most famous works from pre-existing myths and stories. On the stage, stories are told time and again by new directors and new performers, each new iteration offering the potential to bring new insights to sometimes ancient material. Sure, that’s not always the case, especially in film, where IP is regularly repurposed on the sole basis of brand recognition, but suffice it to say, I’m a big defender of remakes done right.
Of course, there’s some room for debate on the inherent value or harm of remakes in the industry — the old “can’t they thing of anything original?” argument — but if there’s one thing that 2018 has shown us, it’s that even in a year where original horror is flourishing (see Hereditary, The Endless, A Quiet Place, etc,) there’s still room for a good remake. On that note, with Suspiria now in limited theaters and rolling out nationwide this weekend, I’m looking back at some of the best horror movie remakes of all time. Check out my picks below, and be sure to sound off in the comments with your favorites.