Horror Movie Remakes That Could Work (if Done Well)

Movie remakes are not my favorite thing in the world. There is a more likely chance they’ll end up worse than the original and OF COURSE there are some films that shouldn’t be touched in ANY capacity.

Horror films…even the classics…have the potential to be remade well. Humans will always have fear, but as the world evolves some of the things that terrorized film goers in the past may not be as effective.

THEREFORE, here is a list of films I believe could be remade…if done well. I’ll also include some ideas…not good ideas per se, but ideas.

10. House of Wax
Yes, I know there was a remake in 2005 (with the…”talents” of Miss Paris Hilton), but I think where they went wrong with it was the antagonist. They created this strange amalgamation of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses.
IF I MADE IT: I would keep the disfigured sculptor, but have him more like the Vincent Price character from the 1953 film (which also was a remake btw). He was personable (still disfigured, but more tragic than evil) and the wax museum was popular. Anybut, the other major change I would make is have the House of Wax be a traveling show. Wherever the wax museum goes, death follows. Of course, there would be a young cast who go to the museum and mock it, possibly destroying the owner’s most prized sculpture and setting the his sights on them. One by one their picked off until the final boy or girl discover the truth of the wax museum…and (another change) end with all the kids being turned into wax figures and the museum moving on to the next town…opening it up to sequels.

9. The Thing
NOW HEAR ME OUT!!! MOVE THOSE HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR KEYBOARDS!!!! I LOVE The Thing. It is one of my all time favorite horror films of ALL TIME! However…there is too much potential in a remake…if done well. (And we won’t even mention the prequel…>shudder<)
The actual horror of The Thing isn’t necessarily the alien symbiote…it’s the doubt and suspicion that grows between the characters…yes, the beautiful practical effects really set this film on another level, but I think there is potential to creating an even more tense and skeptic outlook on the story.
IF I MADE IT: Obviously the draw of the film is the alien creature and the visual effects of its morphing and deforming appearance. However, I would love to see a version where we don’t even know it’s a remake or relation to the thing. Yes, there would be an initial interaction that starts off the whole thing. Maybe a body turns up, but the character is alive. Maybe still an animal appearing that doesn’t belong. Something to begin building on the feeling that something…isn’t…right. And then we witness a character attacked by another character out of the blue and the assimilation begins. To add even more to the story…bring politics into it…I don’t know.

8. Children of the Corn
Because I MUST have a Stephen King reference on every list…if I can…I offer you the possibility of remaking a film that many find laughable already. But here I go:
IF I MADE IT: I would really go for the downer of the original short story. The couple who arrive both die and the children continue living their strange cultish ways. (I know this was already remade in 2009 to be this way, but I still think they added too much to try to fill it out) If I had to add filler of any kind, I’d add a scene of a child discussing dreaming of burning the corn fields and having the other children sacrifice them. That would really make the ending scene of Malachi’s pregnant “girlfriend” hit a little harder. Also, it’s a short story. Keep it short. No longer than an hour. Come on.

7. Don’t Look Now
First off, if you’ve never seen this movie…watch it. Second, this is ALMOST too classic to remake…but I think it could use an update.
IF I MADE IT: I would go a little more into the supernatural…sort of. What I mean is, really delve into the possibility of supernatural occurrences with just the most coincidental shit. At the same time, delve into the mental toll the death of a child has on not only the parent’s mental health, but also the relationship. Strain it harder and adjust who the mysterious figure in the red coat is…you know, update it. Venice is a beautiful locale that could be really used to its full potential.

6. The Phantom of the Opera
Full disclosure…I am absolutely a fan of the original novel. The musical, sort of. But when I talk about remaking this story, I 100% intend the book. NOT the musical.
IF I MADE IT: I would make it a full-blown mystery. Yes, we all already know who the phantom is, but I would dive full-tilt into the characters and events as they are written in the book. We never see anything from the Phantom’s POV, until the final scene. If anything, most of the story should be told from the POV of “The Persian”. This is NOT a love story. It’s a mystery and horror. And that’s how it should be made.

5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Okay, I know there are versions of this story. But it doesn’t seem to be a story that does well in theaters. Let’s see if I can fix that (spoilers, probably not)
IF I MADE IT: As with Phantom, I would turn this into a full mystery, horror situation. I would argue tell the entire story from the perspective of Gabriel John Utterson (the POV from the novella). I would say have victims approach him and give him accounts. Then we see the transformation and see from Jekyll’s POV towards the end. I just feel like some of these classic stories are so much more interesting due to how they tell the story. I wish more films honored that.

4. Eyes Without a Face
There is possibility to really create a magical horror film here. The original is a classic and deserves all the praise, but there is still something here.
IF I MADE IT: Obviously, full gore. But STORY-WISE, move this to California where plastic surgery is King. Her father, a well-known plastic surgeon goes mad trying to find the perfect face. I would change his assistant in the film to be his wife and have her blame him for their daughter’s accident, even though it would be revealed later that SHE was the one who actually caused the accident. The two constantly battle over blame and guilt, driving their daughter further and further away from them. Change the fiance into an assistant who got along with the daughter and discovers her. They fall in love and she escapes with him as her parents implode over the guilt and blame…or something.

3. Duel
Okay, you could argue that movie with Russell Crowe (Unhinged) may in some capacity be a more down-to-earth remake….sort of. However, I see this going balls to the walls CRAZY!!
IF I MADE IT: Just road rage the damn movie. Have things being thrown out windows, liquid thrown on windshields to blind drivers, attempts to actually kill each other. I want there to be a moment both are pulled over by a police officer. When the officer approaches the protagonist, he’s suspicious of him, but when he approaches the truck driver…they’re friendly?! What?! Add more to this dynamic of dueling vehicles and add paranoia up the wazoo!! GO MAD!!

2. Isle of the Dead
Okay, true talk….this one really works nowadays with the whole Covid scruff going on. Though I would keep this 100% period.
IF I MADE IT: Keep it in 1912. Keep it on an island. What would I change? Take the supernatural aspect and make it all in their heads. Have the possibility of a supernatural reason for the plague seeds doubt through the group. The doctor struggles to convince them it is simply science and when he dies the groups divide into those who believe the plague is a punishment by God and those who believe it is nothing more than a passing disease. A struggle for humanity and sanity ensues, ending the same as the classic. In a sense, a Lord of the Flies sort of devolving of humanity.

1. Gaslight
This is the film that actually gave me the idea for this list. One of the namesakes for the psychological term gaslighting, it’s about time this film was made for the modern world. (You could argue a lot of films implement similar plots, but let me have mY MOMENT!)
IF I MADE IT: Obviously, we would modernize this bitch. So truthfully, not a remake. But a retelling for the modern woman. It needs to be properly defined and shown for modern audiences. Of course it would be a little bit over exaggerated to give the horror aspect a chance to shine, but so many men and women experience this psychological manipulation it’s time to make a movie exclusively about its dangers.

And now it’s time for some honorable mentions. I won’t go into details on these since you’re probably sick of reading my stupid ideas (and because my fingers hurt from typing SO many words).

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

5. Rosemary’s Baby
I know there already was a miniseries remake with Zoe Saldana, but I still think there’s more that can be done.

4. It’s Alive
Killer baby? Sure. Possibly change mutant to…demon? WHY NOT!

3. The Innocents
Ultimately, this is an adaptation of Turn of the Screw…Can we just have Turn of the Screw the movie! Please?

2. The Changeling
I just can’t get enough haunted house stories…and this one could do with an update…but please no needless jump scares. More like Haunting of Hill House, please. Ghosts existing in the background.

1. The Evil Eye
This could be a modern Hitchcock-like mystery horror. The original is Italian and I’m sure some American filmmaker has wanted to adapt it…well, get to adapting!

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