I’ve never been a huge fan of remakes. Whenever I’m asked about what my least favourite genre is, it’s between remakes, slasher films and spoofs. Unlike the latter two though, remakes really are in vogue right now. And they have been for some time.
I can see why there is a market for it. If there was a demand for the original story, then there is a proven audience. And Hollywood likes to be confident in a film being successful. At their best, a remake can take a great premise and take it in a new direction. True Grit, The Fly and The Thing are thereof the success stories. A higher level of technology available can also add a different dimension, best seen in a film like Peter Jackson’s King Kong. And yet, so many more fail to add enough to improve upon the original.
One of the problems is that they take the wrong films to remake. Rather than films with a noticeable flaw or that have dated badly, Hollywood has remade hugely popular films that already told its story brilliantly. It also needs to consider that most viewers will have fond memories and already know the story being retold. And so remakes must have something better than the original.
It is no surprise then that the majority of successful remakes are ones that viewers will not have seen the original of, or even know that they were remakes. The Departed, True Lies, The Magnificent Seven, Some Like it Hot and You’ve got Mail are just five that come to mind.
Unlike translation software Smartling, these films have done their best to ruin the magic of the original. How many of the 15 lousiest remakes below can you work out? I’m always curious how many you can get. Normally I would put them in order, but on behalf of the originals I’ve put them in a random order.
1. Footloose (2011)
2. The Stepford Wives (2004)
3. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
4. Alfie (2011)
5. Total Recall (2012)
6. The Omen (2006)
7. The Ladykillers (2004)
8. The Wicker Man (2006)
9. Guess Who (2005)
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
11. Fame (2009)
12. The Hitcher (2007)
13. Clash of the Titans (2010)
14. Carrie (2013)
15. Arthur (2011)
Great article. I think the only remake I’ve seen is King Kong, so I score O
I love the animation of the original King Kong. I wasn’t tempted to see the remake, but enough critics and audiences seemed to like it, so would have been wrong to have include in the list.
Remakes piss me off! I got most of these other than The Hitcher, which I haven’t seen. Looks so shit. I really liked the original.
The original was something else. And inspired by The Doors’ song Riders on the Storm 🙂
Was it? That’s cool! I was such a huge Doors fan in my teen years. 🙂
“I’ve bought tickets to all of One Direction’s upcoming gigs.They’re not my cup of tea but the tickets say The Doors open at 7:15 and I love them.” – Ha!
Haha! That’s funny – I like that!!! 🙂
It is so rare that remakes are actually turning out to be good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by Cecilia 🙂 My favourite remake is The Dark Knight. I’m not sure I’ll ever see a better one.
I haven’t seen most of those remakes listed or their original films but the remake of Footloose was quite good. I do think the original was better though. Nightmare on Elm Street was pretty awful. 😂
The Elm Street remake did look pretty dreadful. What did you like about the Footloose remake? Did it have anything new from the Kevin Bacon version?
I last watched the original when I was about 10 so I can’t give specifics but it made me want to dance with them and that’s always something I want in a dance-related film. I remember liking the original more though. I think I liked that it gave me insight into a time before I was born, I also enjoyed it and it made me want to dance so it was just a winner. The newer version is a lot more modern although they somehow managed to make it feel older at the same time too. It’s difficult to explain.
What a cool age to see it first time around. It’s referenced in Will and Grace. The first 40 seconds of this covers some of it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw2ZM2KkjY0
Thank you! I will watch that video a bit later. 🙂
I enjoyed your write-up. I agree most re-makes are crap!! Lousy is the correct word, especially for re-makes from this century.
But there are a few movies like the ‘The Fly’ & ‘The Departed’ where I liked the re-make.
In fact the 1986 version of ‘The Fly’, was better than the 1958 version. It’s even rarer for a re-make to be better.
I wasn’t even aware some films, like ‘Some Like It Hot’ (1959) and ‘The Omen’ (1976), even had re-makes.
There are a lot of horror remakes around. Pity, because there are so many great new ideas you could use.
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I love these quizzes! I was able to get most of them. Definitely didn’t get 11
These are horrible remakes. It’s so annoying when perfectly good movies are redone horribly. What a kick in the teeth to the original.
I know! And so many well known actors in these films too. You’d also expect more far more originality from The Coen Brothers than remaking The Ladykillers’.
4, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14 make my teeth hurt.
I didn’t know there was a remake of The Hitcher. I don’t think I wanted to know that.
The Ladykillers film always looked like being a bad idea. The original had such wonderful charm. If it helps, the remake of The Hitcher got panned by everyone.
I love the original Ladykillers; who couldn’t?
Good to know there’s still some taste out there then 😀
It’s not often Peter Sellars is pushed out to the side in a film. I should try and do a Line(s) of the Day on it. The film is such a gem.
13 out of 15. I didn’t get Fame or Clash of the Titans! I think I’ve seen the majority of films on here-and wished I hadn’t.
Normally I’d say well done, but… They really do cover all the genres. You’ve seen plenty of great films though 🙂
I thankfully had been saved from most of these. I think remakes are a waste of time and effort for the most part but as you say every once in a while something good will come along. You’ve got mail is a favorite. I also really like the remake of Sabrina
The original Sabrina really did have some flaws. Wasn’t sure the casting was perfect for starters. Didn’t see the remake but don’t remember it getting a favourable response. What happened to Julia Ormond?
65% isnt too bad on RT for a remake. As much as I worship Audrey Hepburn I think the new one is a little better. I love romances so Sabrina is a favorite. Great casting in new one. Harrison Ford definite improvement over Bogart who had no chemistry with Hepburn. Critics are always tough on romances so I’d check it out.
Thanks for the recommendation 🙂
This may be long, Alex! I am a big movie “buff” who takes 10 movies to my Mom’s apt in Cleveland and .y brothers come over and we watch the scary or action ones and my Mom and I watch the comedies and some PG romances during the week or so I go up 2 times a year. For weekends, I take 3… #1) I liked original “Footloose” best, but since I could have gone to a local musical production put on by amateurs instead of a second edition movie, I gave remake o.k. #2) Definitely not good remake since the best part of original was the “shock” value. Too much hype for this one. #3) I liked remake better since more technology, scenery and likable main characters. #4) I happen to like Jude Law and he showed a little conscience so both are good for different reasons. #5) I will bow to experts and not choose on Total Recall. #6) The old “Omen” best. #7) I liked old in the “Ladykillers” but know that Tom Hanks tried hard:) #8) original “Wicker Man” best and only watched part of remake and took back to library! #9) No one could redo the iconic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!!!” Sidney Poitier is one classy man and the rest of the cast provided a fairly honest portrayal of the times. #10) I like scary movies so the newer ones do have realistic suspense built into the Nightmare films. #11) “Fame” is like I mentioned with Footloose, the original is great but since you can go to see college or Hugh school kids do musicals, u will always give second runs at them. #12) “The Hitcher” as is; original. No fooling around with this one! #13) The Clash of the Titans as in original is best, but experts may weigh in on this and I could be swayed Lol 🙂 #14) Carrie was good in each version, viewed as separate entities. Each had its positive values. The first one “made” the genre excel. Sissy Spacek was excellent actress on the furst version. Stephen King is a great writer. I would say NO one could replace Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” Alex!
#15) I happen to like Russell Brand yet I liked Dudley Moore and his iconic MALE butler best 🙂 So glad they used the music. Though
What a wonderfully detailed answer. I don’t think anyone will be beating your score. I haven’t seen enough of the films to break them down like you have, though I read in detail your answers. There was a lot of talk about whether Chloe Moretz was the right choice in Carrie. Did you think she was well cast? Did Guess Who add much other than switching the racial roles? Was it funny at all?
11/15. And yes, most of them are dreadful.
I don’t know what a lot of them were trying to achieve either.
Fell apart on this quiz. Only got four right. Darn. I was a good streak with your quizzes.
You’ll get it back 🙂
You really stumped me. I actually hadn’t seen a few of these so that didn’t help.
I’m thinking about films set in South Africa next.
Oh-kay! That should be a challenge. I can think of a few right off the top of my head.
That’s a great start 🙂
This is all so true… but I only got 6/15 because fortunately I haven’t seen most of them!
Don’t think you’re missing out!
beyond lousy, Alex… 😀 decency stops me from writing the F or S words… 😉
The thesaurus has plenty other adjectives covered though haha
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I’ve seen 3 of these, and I think that’s 3 too many. Thanks for plunging me down a spiral of hopeless meaninglessness. 😉
If you want hopeless meaningless, just think about some of the films that will be remade in the future. They’d better not touch The Godfather…
3/15 for me: ‘Total Recall’ (I refuse to even acknowledge that remake’s existence); ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street;’ and ‘Clash of the Titans.’ It’s kind of a shame so many properties get remade. I love how you point out the difference between what Hollywood *chooses* to remake and what they actually *should* remake. It baffles me at times. Why even risk ruining the memory of something that was once so strong by offering a new, perhaps younger audience a version that is 1/10th as good? What’s the point? Or at least, why do the studios complain about all these over-budgeted productions when they could have saved some money by refraining from making such-and-such film. Haha. It’s completely contradictory behavior to me, but I guess such is the nature of the business side of moviemaking.
Is there a film you would cry/riot if they remade it?
I’ve been wanting to go to the set of the new Ghostbusters and burn it to the ground. Like Milton in Office Space. Hah!
Is it just me who thinks this is the funniest line from the film? https://alexraphael.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/lines-of-the-day-officespace/
Oh goodness, yes. That is an absolutely amazing line. Please don’t tell me they are re-making Office Space tho. . .
No, you’re ok with that 🙂 Amazing how often that film comes up in regular conversation mind.
Very true. Such a classic!
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