Jul 13, 2009

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Best Horror Remakes Ever

Today, we are taking a look at its favorite horror movie remakes. But don’t worry, we’re not going to go “psycho” and get into a compare and contrast with the originals. Instead, we’re going to keep the focus where it belongs… on the remakes.

Horror, perhaps more than any other genre, is a subjective viewing experience. What scares one person may not scare another. Some people prefer gore; some on screen, some off. One might be more scared by psychological torture, another by the unknown. And let’s face it, the critics don’t particularly love the genre. Let’s just say that it has a very specific niche audience, us. The fans.

Whether you love the gore, the suspense, zombies, psychological torment, creature flicks or ensemble pieces, there is sure to be something on this list for you. The term “Horror” means a feeling of “fear.” So before you start nitpicking whether films are horror/sci-fi, or horror/romance, or thriller or suspense, remember that is the key requirement. Each of these films creates a feeling of fear, for its characters and the audience.

House on Haunted Hill 1999


House on Haunted Hill is a 1999 remake of the 1959 film of the same name. The ensemble cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Ali Larter and Bridgette Wilson. Besides being a remake of the creatively inventive William Castle classic, it has the super-producing power of Robert Zemeckis and Joel Silver behind it.


Rich and eccentric Steven Price throws a party for his “high maintenance” wife Evelyn at the famed Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane, which — of course — has its share of blood and death. In his hay day, the head doctor, Richard Vannacutt, performed horrible experiments on the patients and created a “house of horrors” full of automated gates and locks, intended to prevent escape. These eventually became the coffin door for many of the patients who were trapped and killed during a revolt and fire.

But now, the possessed building has plans of its own and manages to round up a group of invites different from Price’s guest list. The distrust and paranoia of both Price and Evelyn compel them to accept the strangers as part of their conniving spouse’s plot. So Price offers each guest a million dollars if they can survive the entire night in the building, with any person not making it having his or her money added to the others. The house goes into lockdown mode and the scares and screams begin. The rest of the film follows the guests as they avoid being murdered by the supernatural forces within the house and last until sunrise.


William Castle was famous for his theatrical gimmicks and the antics associated with the original film was that of a skeleton on wires floating above the audience. The film maintains that air of fun and theatricality, never taking itself too seriously. The fantastic cast makes it a “who’s who?” of potentially terminal party goers. Rush’s character, the eccentric amusement park mogul, sets the tone for the film because it is much like an amusement park haunted house attraction. Less focused on plot and character development, it continuously shuttles us from one thrilling attraction in the house to another. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in a number of individually pleasing sequences. You may ridicule the movie, but you know you end up watching it every time it’s on cable. Just like that carnival haunted house, you know its going to be theatrical, you know what’s coming, but it still manages to get a few jumps and scares out of you.

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