10/28/10

Halloween Overachievers:13 Remakes from The Mike of From Midnight, With Love

Hello folks and welcome to next  Halloween Overachiver. Each year when I send out the call for guest lists, the folks who dare to tackle thirteen titles always impress me. I take a whole year to decide what is going to be on the list and in what order, while this year four brave souls were intrepid enough to go the distance. Today, we have The Mike from the excellent site From Midnight, With Love. If you love lengthy detailed reviews of obscure films (and you must if you hang around here very often), then you need to go over a visit The Mike. No matter if he's covering Hammer Horror of Grindhouse classics, he always pens some of the best and most informative articles out there. I should turn it over to him now, and I'll be back later this evening with the next entry on the Halloween Top 13: The Remake.


How's it going folks. With Halloween less than a week away, we're getting down to the real nitty gritty, and we're also getting down to the best  and longest remake lists to be send

13 – Friday the 13th (2009) – I may catch heck for listing this one, and it's definitely not a good movie. Then again, neither were the other 11 movies in the series, but we love them nonetheless. This is no exception.

12 – Cat People (1982) – Paul Schrader's take on the Val Lewton produced classic amps up the sexuality of the film to extremes. It's not entirely successful, but the primal side of the film inspires a bit of thought.

11 – Toolbox Murders (2004) – A grimy slasher film that has huge lulls in the action, but there's something haunting about Tobe Hooper's take on the dark side of Hollywood living.

10 – Dawn of the Dead (2004) – I've soured a tiny bit on Zack Snyder's version of Romero's classic over the years, but it still packs some of the best zombie action this decade and has one of the very best performances in a horror remake (Jake Weber).

9 – The Mummy (1999) – There's a huge soft spot in my mark for this bombastic film that focuses on action over fear. The perfect example of why Brendan Fraser got to Hollywood 60 years late.

8 – The Grudge (2004) – Underneath its shiny exterior I know there's not a lot to this one, but it's one of the few movies in recent memory that has physically sent chills up my spine. The sequence featuring Kadee Strickland is a pure nightmare.

7 – Body Snatchers (1993) – A lot of people prefer the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but the 1993 version which adds military control to the plot still resonates like it did when I saw it as a teen. There are some legitimate chills thanks to Meg Tilly's performance and some great sound editing.

6 – Let Me In (2010) – The most recent example of how a remake can work, even if it stays a little too close to the Swedish original. If you can get past some awful CGI, this one's just as good as its predecessor.

5 – The Blob (1988) – I can't have a list without a bit of Blobness. The original Blob is among the movies that birthed me, but the remake manages to succeed on its own thanks to the team of Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell. (OK, and maybe with an assist from the cuteness of Shawnee Smith.)

4 – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) – Fredric March won an Oscar in the original 1931 film, but the 1941 version still managed to push the boundaries of Hollywood's Ratings Code. Ingrid Bergman plays a woman of ill repute, Spencer Tracy stars.



3 – Horror of Dracula (1958) – Not a direct remake of Dracula, but Hammer's first Dracula film is one of the most influential horrors of all-time. Christopher Lee made Dracula his own, and Peter Cushing made Van Helsing a household name.

2 – The Thing (1982) – John Carpenter's sci-fi/horror classic rendered the 1951 original obsolete (which is a shame, because it's a fine flick). One of the most intense horror films ever made, and a film who's mystery lingers long after the credits roll.

1 – Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) – Werner Herzog took on the impossible task of retelling FW Murnau's silent classic, and the result was a staggering success. It might not be the best film on this list – though it is a haunting vision of terror – but the fact that it works for me despite my love of the original is nothing short of miraculous.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the F13 remake, I couldn't agree more. Not sure why people held that one to such a high standard, considering the other movies were far from great.

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