20 Horror Classics and Their Remakes: Then vs. Now

20 Horror Classics and Their Remakes: Then vs. Now

As we eagerly await the new Exorcist remake (that is sarcasm, we don’t want it, you suits, quit putting a damn dollar sign on every classic film in existence), we thought we might compare horror classics to their remakes. You know, a simple, straightforward concept: the original masterpiece versus the new lifeless, glossy, CGI-ridden version. Yes, we’re thinking of the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, how did you know? Anyway, little did we know that once we start thinking about classics vs. remakes, the concept soon swells up. We’d compare the situation to the proliferation of sequels and reboots and remakes and spin-offs, but that’s exactly what we mean.

When it comes to horror, you see, clear-cut ideas such as “classic + remake” are the exception. Seriously, we challenge any reader to mention a time-tested classic horror movie that has a remake, yet no sequels or squeakquels or whatever. Never mind, you’re probably gonna give us a million examples. The point is that even when talking about such a simple concept, we were forced to also bring into the discussion other derivatives works. And you know what, we’re better for it. Let us continue with the Nightmare on Elm Street example. Yes, the sequels are kinda lame and the remake is absolutely awful. Yet the very best Nightmare sequel (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare) is precisely a sorta sequel/reboot, and it couldn’t possibly be ignored by a discussion of the original and its legacy. So, you’re a Cracked horror fan? Very well then, enjoy.

Friday the 13th

Horror Classics Then vs. Now Friday the 13th The 1980 original is actually quite good. From there to the ones with David Cronenberg or Freddy Krueger, we've had 12 Friday the 13th movies. The 2009, Michael Bay-produced remake was the last time we saw Jason. We miss him, yes, but come on, just give us a good one already. CRACKED.COM


Horror Classics Then vs. Now Halloween After the 1978 game changer, and even ignoring Halloween III: Season of the Witch, this franchise has had three reboots-1998's H20, the 2007 Rob Zombie one, and the critically acclaimed 2018 version. That makes a total of 13 movies. CRACKED.COM

Ringu / The Ring

Horror Classics Then vs. Now Ringu / The Ring This franchise includes 14 movies, including the 1995 TV original, Hideo Nakata's iconic classic from 1998, its two second parts and further sequels, the South-Korean remake, the American remake and its sequels - and even a crossover with the Ju-On franchise, which is a whole other mess. CRACKED.COM


Horror Classics Then vs. Now Hellraiser What started as two classic movies devolved into nine further sequels of descending quality. Still, 2000's Inferno was a half-decent straight-to-video sequel... and that's pretty much it, until the 2022 remake by David Bruckner comes out. CRACKED.COM

My Bloody Valentine

Horror Classics Then vs. Now My Bloody Valentine This 1981 Canadian flick is one of the better post- Halloween slashers. It was remade in 2009 as the kinda decent My Bloody Valentine 3D (which must not be confused with 2001's awful Valentine). CRACKED.COM

House of Wax

Horror Classics Then vs. Now House of Wax 1933's Mystery of the Wax Museum was remade as the much more famous 1953 film House of Wax, with Vincent Price. 2005 saw the release of the remake with Paris Hilton, which... isn't that bad, really. CRACKED.COM

The Hills Have Eyes

Horror Classics Then vs. Now The Hills Have Eyes Wes Craven's 1977 original is a classic, and Alexander Aja's 2006 remake is a brutal and surprisingly good retelling. Sadly, both versions had mediocre-to-bad sequels, so the franchise is currently dead. That remake, though. Damn. CRACKED.COM

The Fly

Horror Classics Then vs. Now The Fly The 1958 original had a few sequels, but the absolute classic overshadowing everything Fly- related (yes, even the Simpsons parody) is David Cronenberg's 1986 masterpiece of a remake. Damn that's a good movie. CRACKED.COM

UFO Abduction

Horror Classics Then vs. Now UFO Abduction Also known as The McPherson Tape, this zero- budget 1989 found-footage movie is cheesy, but unnerving. It got remade in 1998 as Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County, and both of their reputations remain infamous. CRACKED.COM

When a Stranger Calls

Horror Classics Then vs. Now When a Stranger Calls The 1979 original is somewhat of a classic, especially for its wonderful first 20 minutes. We had an awful remake in 2006, but few people remember the interesting 1993 TV sequel, which actually reunited the cast and director. CRACKED.COM


Horror Classics Then vs. Now Candyman To its credit, this franchise never fell that low. The 1992 original is an awesome classic, the 1995 and 1999 sequels are bad but not Saw sequel-bad, and the 2021 reboot is a fine piece of socially- conscious, elevated horror. CRACKED.COM


Horror Classics Then vs. Now Martyrs One of the most brutal representatives of the already brutal New French Extremity horror movement, 2008's Martyrs is a masterpiece. Being so nihilistic and transgressive, however, the 2015 American remake could not possibly live up to it, and ended up being a tamer, much inferior version. CRACKED.COM

Dawn of the Dead

Horror Classics Then vs. Now a Dawn of the Dead This movie belongs to the Living Dead franchise, which is a mess in itself. George Romero's 1978 classic was remade by Zack Snyder in 2004, its first 10 minutes still being his best work precisely for how little it resembles what he usually does. CRACKED.COM


Horror Classics Then vs. Now Cube This 1997 movie was a clever, claustrophobic indie horror hit, and 2002's Hypercube gave it a further sci- fi twist. 2004's Cube Zero, however, just sucked. But there was a Japanese remake in 2021 and-yeah, we're still just staying with the original. CRACKED.COM

Cannibal Holocaust

Horror Classics Then vs. Now Cannibal Holocaust The 1980 movie is the peak of the Italian cannibal genre, and a gem of found-footage horror way ahead of its time. There was no official sequel-but unofficial ones include 1985's White Slave, 1988's Against Nature, and Eli Roth's 2013 The Green Inferno. CRACKED.COM

Train to Busan

Horror Classics Then vs. Now MUNICIPAL LAST TRAIN TO MEW YORK Train to Busan This awesome 2016 South-Korean zombie movie had a little-known animated prequel, and then an actual sequel which did not get the amazing reviews of the original. And then there's the American remake, The Last Train to New York, coming in 2023. Our bet? That it'll suck, of course. CRACKED.COM
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