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Horror Movies That Deserve A Remake

It's sad but true that a lot of remakes compare unfavorably to the originals they're trying to update — and there are far too many of them being made at the expense of new original content. This can be especially true when it comes to the horror genre. However, there are also times when remakes are absolutely incredible. Sometimes they're made for all the right reasons and are released at exactly the right moment in time to present a classic or cult story in a new light while entertaining new audiences. Even in the midst of this remake and reboot-friendly era, a lot of horror movies are just waiting to be remade — and they could be genuinely spectacular. 

Remakes for some of these movies have long been rumored, and there's every chance that it could happen. Others are either too obscure or too beloved to have entered into the remake rumor mill, but that doesn't make them any less deserving. Keep your mind open and your "nothing is original these days!" grumblings to a minimum, because here's a look at some horror movies that legitimately deserve a remake.

Event Horizon

Ever since its release in 1997, this Paul W.S. Anderson space chiller has divided audiences over whether it's a hell of a good time or a hell of a terrible movie. One thing everyone can agree on is that the film, in which a space crew investigates an abandoned ship only to discover it may be a gateway to hell, is a product of its time which hasn't exactly aged well. In its defense, it also suffered a troubled production history that heavily impacted the final cut. 

As fervent fans of the film will tell you, this visceral sci-fi-horror outing was given a preposterously tight post-production deadline on top of studio demands for excessive edits. Apparently, this deeply affected the pacing and visual effects of the theatrical cut, but it also meant some of the film's scariest and goriest set pieces were scrapped. The film's notorious lost footage was unwisely packaged off to a Transylvanian salt mine (because where else?) and the resulting damage was apparently irrevocable. 

In 2019, it was reported that Adam Wingard is developing a TV adaptation of Event Horizon — which could be great, as long as it delivers all the vital unseen moments and plot development that were sadly scrapped from the original. Event Horizon deserves a remake that can finally fulfill the gnarly, nasty vision that neither Anderson nor the movie's audience ever got to see. 

The Hunger

Yuppies! Illicit love! David Bowie! This stylish 1983 horror movie from director Tony Scott has it all — and still makes for a great, if quaint, viewing experience. The erotic film uses '80s goth and New Wave culture as its backdrop to explore a story that revolves around addiction, sexual politics, and the anguish of aging. The Hunger follows a vampire named Miriam (Catherine Deuneuve) who takes lovers that she turns into vampires. But there's a catch: While she lives forever, never aging, her vampiric lovers grow old and frail while forced to subsist on human blood.

In 2009, Warner Bros. were reportedly working on a remake of The Hunger, though clearly that idea seems to have been abandoned fairly early in development. While fans of the original underground hit revealed they weren't happy at the prospect of a remake, it certainly deserves one. It's worth noting that the original ending of The Hunger was changed at the studio's request to leave the film open for sequels — something cast member Susan Sarandon has said she regrets. "The powers that be rewrote the ending and decided that I wouldn't die," she claimed in the DVD commentary. "Nobody knew what was going on, and I thought that was a shame."

The ambiguous ending of The Hunger is certainly something that could be fixed with a remake, while a modern retelling would sit well as a commentary about 21st century excess, the opioid addiction crisis, and our cultural fixation with eternal youth. 

The Gate

A 3D remake of the 1987 cult classic The Gate was in pre-production in 2009, but sadly died in development. Director Tibor Takács, who helmed the original, told Birth.Movies.Death that he was "involved in the remake," but had a "difference of opinion" and subsequently parted ways with the production. Alex Winter of Bill & Ted fame was also on board to direct the remake, which he planned to use as a launchpad for an entire PG-13 horror franchise, but it never got off the ground. A modern remake of this story, about a bunch of kids who accidentally unleash (and stop) hell in suburbia, is perfect for our times. 

Numerous studies indicate that the youth of America are facing a serious crisis of anxiety due to growing up in an "environment that anticipates catastrophe." A more modern remake of The Gate could be perfect for reflecting youthful fears about the respective futures of an entire generation who feel little to no control over the looming threats posed within their schools, neighborhoods, and the world at large. 

Battle Royale

An American remake of Battle Royale has been at various levels of development since the original Japanese release became a cult hit, though various obstacles have prevented it from coming to fruition. Telling the story of a class of schoolchildren in a totalitarian society who are forced to fight to the death until only a lone survivor emerges, the film's nihilistic themes remain painfully relevant in modern America. Sadly, that relevance has hit a little too close to home, with one attempt at a remake paused following the Virginia Tech Massacre.

That same remake was officially dropped in 2012 because "audiences would just see it as a copy of [The Hunger Games]," even though Battle Royale was written long before the Suzanne Collins book with the suspiciously similar central premise. The potential "to develop Battle Royale for the next generation" is still there; given the current political climate and sensitivity over the current critical volume of mass violence, it's likely to be met with controversy, but that's arguably also exactly the reason why this film deserves to be remade. It has the potential to be a timely and cathartic satire about modern American culture.


This sardonic horror comedy performed poorly at the box office when it was given a limited release in 2008, but it has since found a huge cult following. Telling the story of a teenage girl who is simultaneously an evangelist for the purity movement and the owner of a set of vagina dentata, Teeth provides a biting commentary (pun intended) on male entitlement and consent. 

The movie's caustic narrative and pertinent themes have received newfound appreciation from viewers in this post-#MeToo and Time's Up climate, where these issues are being discussed more openly. The film certainly could inspire a timely and powerful remake, but challenges persist. 

Speaking to Vice in 2019, Teeth filmmaker Mitchell Lichtenstein and producer Joyce Pieperline revealed that they've been pitching a TV remake of the film. However, just because Teeth has newfound fans and relevancy doesn't mean that the industry is ready. "We'd love to make it into a TV series with Dawn as a Dexter-type avenging angel, but I don't think people are necessarily ready for it," said Pieperline. "A lot of men still run agencies and departments."

April Fool's Day

Released in 1986 and centered around a pack of practical-joke loving college students who end up being hideously picked off by a mysterious killer with a cruel sense of humor, April Fool's Day is quite possibly one of the dumbest — yet most fun — slasher movies of its time. Featuring an unconventional Final Girl named Muffy St. John — an eccentric, wealthy teenager with plenty of mansion to share with her ill-fated coeds — April Fool's Day is packed full of ridiculous plot twists and red herrings as well as super obnoxious rich kids getting slaughtered in ridiculous ways. In short, it's everything you could want from the genre. 

With the rise of internet pranksters turned viral stars like YouTube celebrities such as Jack Vale and Vitaly Zdoroveskiy, we're in what can only be described as a prankster renaissance, and it's something which could effectively be satirized by a comedy-slasher premise like April Fool's Day. This film actually did receive a remake in 2008, but the direct-to-video film wasn't able to tap into the core comedic appeal of the original. It's about time to give it another shot. 

Theater of Blood

Starring Vincent Prince as a sour old thespian who enacts ghastly acts of vengeance against his worst critics, this British tongue-in-cheek horror outing is an underrated classic. The film leans confidently into camp sensibilities and takes great glee in some of the most preposterous (and elaborate) murder scenes in horror comedy history. The inspirations for each are taken from classic deaths of various Shakespeare plays, which played perfectly to early '70s British audiences when the film was released. 

Though Theater of Blood continues to enjoy a strong cult following, it's difficult to imagine young audiences understanding or connecting with it in quite the same way. However, in focusing on how critics can wield their power, the underlying themes of Theater of Blood remain familiar at a time when anyone can take to social media to be as careless and cruel as they like about various art forms and the people who make them. 

It's easy to imagine a tongue-in-cheek remake following a reviled genre filmmaker who takes revenge on their most callous critics — one that could say some gnarly and notable things about modern troll and review culture in the most entertaining way possible. 

The Slumber Party Massacre

The horror genre is long overdue for the arrival of a smart, grown-up slasher franchise. And while most horror fans would likely prefer an original take on what that would look like, there's definitely something intriguing about the prospect of remaking horror satire The Slumber Party Massacre for modern audiences. The subversive cult classic from director Amy Holden Jones and writer Rita Mae Brown was dismissed as little more than a derivative slasher-by-numbers when it was released in 1982, but has since been hailed for skewering "the overt misogyny of the slasher genre" in its "somewhat feminist" revolt against genre tropes.

Jones has expressed some regrets about having to include gratuitous nudity in the film's early shower scene, which she's said was unavoidable because producer Roger Corman "had to sell the thing." It's a horror trope that's been gradually forced out of the genre, and even subverted in modern entries like Midsommar. A female-helmed modern remake would have more room to more fluently attack this specific trope while also providing some darkly comic stabs at the misogyny alive and well in modern society. Shout! Factory acquired Corman's library in 2018 and have reportedly expressed interest in a potential remake, and there are currently plenty of incredible female horror directors who could take a confident hack at it. 

The Return of the Living Dead

The Return of the Living Dead continues to be one of the most fun horror movies ever made, and one which provides a neat time capsule in celebrating some of the subversive youth culture of the '80s. 

As Birth.Movies.Death put it, The Return of the Living Dead "is the punk rock zombie movie in every conceivable way." That's not only because of the way it includes authentic depictions of punk culture, but also its irreverent anti-establishment stance, which is emphatically anti-military and provides "an obvious middle finger to The Man." It's rare to find similarly authentic depictions of young, rebellious subcultures in modern horror — or anywhere in contemporary cinema, for that matter. It could be considered a real wasted opportunity when youth subcultures are arguably the most visible and politically active they have been in decades. It makes a Return of the Living Dead remake something that could really tap into the current zeitgeist of disenchanted young people who hold a lot of skepticism about the future. 

Sugar Hill

While there's definitely an argument to be made the last decade has given us enough zombie films and TV shows to last a lifetime, there's still something intriguing about discovering a fresh zombie narrative which has a slightly different story to tell, and a modern-day remake of Sugar Hill could be the one that could brings fresh life to the overdone genre. As much a revenge movie as it is a zombie flick, this underrated 1974 blaxploitation horror film follows a woman who summons an army of zombies to help reap revenge against the mobsters who killed her boyfriend. 

With an empowered African-American woman leading the story, Sugar Hill takes on feminist issues alongside some sharp commentary regarding racism and class. Most importantly, it does all of this while still being entertaining as hell. With the current renaissance of black horror pushing African-American narratives and concerns to the forefront of a genre that hasn't always been so historically inclusive, Sugar Hill could make for an incredible mainstream Hollywood remake that's well deserved.

Les Diaboliques

The French psychological horror classic was way ahead of its time. Full of queer subtext, Henri-Georges Clouzot's film about a mistress and a timid wife who join forces to kill the man they share as a lover is an unhinged, suspenseful classic. Though tame by modern standards, Les Diaboliques still makes for a tense viewing experience — especially when the corpse of the man these two women kill winds up disappearing. 

The film is of a particular ilk that's rarely seen onscreen anymore: the erotic thriller, a genre which various critics have suggested is deserving of a comeback in recent years. Released in 1955, the original Les Diaboliques is surprisingly sexy for its time and while Clouzot is subtle with those lesbian and feminist undertones, they're there nonetheless. A modern remake could not only push the parameters of suspense and horror for contemporary audiences, it could also push the relationship at the core of the story into something more than the innuenedo of the original. Something akin to The Wachowski's Bound, for instance, but as a horror movie. It could be the perfect, chilling way to bring the erotic thriller back to modern audiences.

The Monster Squad

Anyone who holds a place for this '80s classic in their hearts will be well aware of the fact that the movie, in which a group of witty, talkative kids take on some classic monsters in their hometown, is arguably one of the biggest influences on the current pop culture trend of kids-vs.-monsters content. From Stranger Things to the Child's Play reboot and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Andrés Muschietti's take on It, you can't go far without bumping into stories about children fighting monsters. In recent years, Monster Squad filmmakers Fred Dekker and Shane Black even had to let go of their idea for a "30 years later" sequel to the original because, as Dekker put it, "everybody's already doing" a version of that.

But it's the ubiquity of these tropes which could actually make for a great remake of The Monster Squad, particularly if it added a fresh, modern take while parodying current trends. Though nothing could beat the original, there's definitely potential in a story that sees a bunch of desensitized kids rolling their eyes at the threat of a bunch of old-school classic monsters. Or, to give it more of a contemporary edge, maybe a Monster Squad remake could finally bring that Blumhouse shared universe to fruition, with a gang of kids sneeringly taking on the horror studio's most notorious foes.