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5 Horror Classics That Should Never Be Remade (and 10 That Could Be)

IT (1990)

Clowns are freaky. Giant demon spiders disguised as clowns are not. Change the story. Or, benefit from a decade’s worth of CG work on the likes of giant spiders and make it look better.

The obvious difficulty in remaking this Stephen King TV miniseries will be in finding a suitable replacement for Tim Curry in his frightening portrayal as Pennywise.  Worse comes to worse you can always rehire Tim Curry, or cast Denis Lavant (Holy Motors) because that guy can practically do anything, and Pennywise would be more terrifying speaking French. Imagine being in the presence of a demon clown you can’t understand. Shivers.

NIGHTBREED (1990)

An extended director’s cut of Clive Barker’s adaptation of his own novel has been in sporadic circulation for the past 3 or 4 years when old, previously unreleased footage had been recovered. While I’m sure the additional material can add to some of the strange story leaps early in the picture, something tells me that Barker was going for something a bit more grand and epic visually with this story.

With thematic undertones that are possibly more pertinent today than they were upon the film’s initial release, and with the advancements in CG to help with the scope of the underworld of Midian that maintains the exceptional make-up work (think something like Del Toro’s Hellboy pictures), a revisitation to Nightbreed could result in something truly special.

MARTYRS (2008)

Not to condone a remake of this French shock picture, nor to say that a remake would even be welcome, but more an admission that a remake could produce something good. If the new Evil Dead is as gruesome as advertised then there’s nothing keeping this film from being retold. And, unlike its contemporaries from France (High Tension and Inside) there’s more to Martyrs than just the desire to shock with its visceral brutality.

A remake of Inside or High Tension that was just as extreme as the original would wield the exact same movie only in English, while a remake of Martyrs could say something different in respect to its themes in the process of translation from old film to new.

NEAR DARK (1987)

This is the third picture on this list from early in the career of an eventual Academy Award winner. If nothing else let that be a lesson to you that the young horror filmmakers of today are likely to be the Academy Award winners of tomorrow…when they stop focusing on horror and make war movies, musicals or adapt J.R.R. Tolkien.

This early picture from Kathryn Bigelow about a young man who joins a group of killer vampires when he falls in love with the younger female is ripe for a remake, and in fact, many of the elements of this picture have been applied to vampire pictures released since. This is the movie that men wished Twilight would have been. A remake should happen just so men can look at their girlfriends and say “…but it has romance…”

PHANTASM (1979)

Finding a suitable substitute for the intimidating presence that is Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man is no small feat, but almost everything else about this Don Coscarelli picture could benefit from a well-intentioned facelift. While Scrimm is the face of the franchise, the killer orbs are the star of the show, and I’m pretty sure finding shiny flying tree ornaments won’t be an issue. Plus, finding new ways for them to dig into their prey’s skull is what an energetic young filmmaker lives for.

Adam Charles has been a film fantatic and unhealthily obsessive purchaser of films he's never seen since the late '90s. He's lived in Austin, TX since 1992 and dropped out of college when he realized his full time job would better fund his dvd (now blu-ray) and movie poster addiction than his passion probably ever could. He is nearly out of financial debt, but it's gonna be another decade or so before he catches up on watching everything he's irresponsibly purhcased. He has written in the past for Collider.com and Horrorsnotdead.com, and can be found on twitter as @the_beef - a label he's had since well before Shia LeBeouf was even a sperm and therefore Adam wins.

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