The Fly and Four More Horror Film Remakes That Don't Suck

Your remake sucks! But mine is sweet.
Your remake sucks! But mine is sweet.

Remakes are always dicey business, and horror remakes seem to be especially awful, despite -- or perhaps because of -- their ubiquity. Still, not every horror film remake is a total shit show. Every once in a while, one manages not to embarrass itself -- or even the film being remade. And once in a blue moon, the filmmaker manages to even exceed the original. One of those rare examples -- David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly -- is showing at Crash 45 tonight as part of Theresa Mercado's Cruel Autumn series. In honor of this auspicious occasion, here's our list of five remakes, The Fly included, that stand as fine films in their own right.

See also: Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead turns ten


The Fly

Here's the rarest of all remakes -- the film that actually improves on the original by a wide margin. The original version of

The Fly

is a pretty typical '50s sci-fi/horror B-movie. It's got a cool premise and a bit more heart than most, but otherwise it's not miles removed from any drive-in flick from the era. Cronenberg's version takes the same basic plot -- scientist merges himself with a fly via teleportation accident, then tries to deal with the consequences with the help of his lover -- and turns it into a superbly gross vision of love and science gone horribly awry. Unforgettable and unique, this is one remake that will make you forget the original even existed.


The Thing

Here's another one that exceeds the original (but don't worry, the trend stops here). Of course, we're talking about the 1982 remake exceeding the 1951 original -- the 2011 re-remake is mediocre at best. All three share the same basic plot -- scientists in a very cold place come across a hostile alien that wants them all dead. John Carpenter's 1982 version does the most with this set-up, building a taut epic of claustrophobia and paranoia out of a shapeshifting alien that can take the form of any living being it comes in contact with. More creative (and truer to the source material, a John W. Campbell novella) than either the version that preceded it or its successor, Carpenter's version is the definitive take on the idea, and the only version you really need.

Keep reading for three more horror movies that don't suck.

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