Counting Down the Worst Movie Remakes of All Time
Who ya gonna call on July 15? Although we all know that most remakes don’t hold a candle to the original, chances are, we’ll still flock to the theatres to catch Ghostbusters-director Paul Feig’s new take on the Ivan Reitman classic. The trailer for the film, released earlier this year, sparked a hostile reaction from hardcore fans of the 1984 original, citing it as the latest example of Hollywood’s lack of creativity. Let’s just hope this remake isn’t a stinker like so many of its kind. To help put Ghostbusters into perspective, we’ve curated a list of the most awful movie remakes of all time, ranked from bad to worst based on their score on Rotten Tomatoes.
10. Carrie (2013)
A remake of Brian De Palma’s horror classic, this time starring the Academy Award winning Julianne Moore? Yes, please! (So we thought as we entered the theatre.) But instead of the haunting special effects boasted in the climax of the original, this 21st century “reimagining” delivered a CGI sequence so lame it made us want to immediately pop the classic back into our dusty old VHS player.
9. Planet of the Apes (2001)
Not to be confused with the recent reboot of the series (Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, both of which were quite fantastic), this Tim Burton remake starring two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg failed to impress. It might have decent effects, but the film’s campy tone ultimately doesn’t hold a candle to the original, and its ending left audiences more confused than satisfied. According to Burton’s interviews following the film’s release, the ending wasn’t supposed to make sense. Sorry, but shouldn’t endings strive to make some sort of sense?
8. The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)
While the classic from 1951 warned audiences about the dangers of nuclear warfare, this 2008 remake starring Keanu Reeves simply asked us to be a bit more eco-friendly. Although the film features some truly special effects, its low score on Rotten Tomatoes (a measly 21 per cent) suggests some source material is better left in the past.
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Horror icons Leatherface, Michael Myers and Jason had already been resurrected in 21st century franchise reboots, so sooner or later the demonic Freddy Krueger had to follow suit. But when Freddy finally made his return to the silver screen in 2010, what should have been fuel for nightmares turned out to be the cure for insomnia. Can you believe they didn’t even ask Nightmare on Elm Street creator Wes Craven to be involved, even though he was willing and able? Unforgivable.
6. The Wicker Man (2006)
Obviously, this remake of the 1973 cult classic is terrible. (It’s included in this list, isn’t it?) However, if you’re ever in the mood for a film that’s so-bad-it’s-hilarious, pop this one in your Blu-Ray player. Was Nicolas Cage’s outrageous performance a case of lazy acting, or trying too hard? If it’s the latter, then he’s truly talented at being awful.
5. Fantastic Four (2015)
After the first two Fantastic Four films failed to wow audiences, 20th Century Fox tried to remedy the situation with a reboot released just last year. Sadly, however, they should have left this franchise for dead. The film’s dark and gritty tone sapped this film of the sense of fun that, in retrospect, was the saving grace of the originals. (Which still aren’t that good.)
4. Prom Night (2008)
The first mistake this remake of the 1980 slasher made was in aiming for a PG-13 rating. If annoying characters are to be hacked to death by a psychopath, we should probably see some of it happen, right? And if not, a bit of skillfully-crafted suspense goes a long way. (Needless to say, you don’t get either of those in Prom Night.) This movie is riddled with horror movie cliches that became punchlines after the release of 1997’s genre-bending Scream. And how is it that a high school prom looks like it cost more to put together than a Kardashian wedding reception?
3. Swept Away (2002)
Quick-name a pop star whose attempt at acting hasn’t been the kiss of death for a film. Britney, Christina, and Rihanna, for instance, all have turkeys on their CV, thanks to the likes of Crossroads, Burlesque and Battleship, respectively. The only difference with Madonna’s acting turn in 2002’s Swept Away is that it actually had potential: namely, a top-notch director in (Madonna’s then-husband) Guy Ritchie. But even with Ritchie at the helm, Swept Away sunk under the weight of Madonna’s leaden performance as a spoiled brat who falls in love with a rough-around-the-edges sailor.
2. The Fog (2005)
A remake of a horror movie that wasn’t all that horrifying (even by 1980’s standards), you’ll be hard pressed to find a single redeeming feature in 2005’s The Fog. Even if you manage to make it through most of the film’s interminable 100-minute run time, we advise turning it off before the ludicrous “twist ending.” Your eyes may never stop rolling.
1. Rollerball (2002)
Imagine an alternate world where rollerskating generates the same frenzy as Beyonce. No? It turns out audiences didn’t want to imagine it either. Cheesy, uninspired and gutless (given that violence is a central theme, the film shows remarkably little of it), Rollerball‘s 2005 rehashing could very well be the worst remake of all time.