10 Movie Remakes That Really Didn’t Need To Happen Source:

There are few things Hollywood seems to enjoy more than remaking popular movies from the past. Why invent something new and original when you can rehash a film that younger audiences likely haven’t seen and their parents will remember fondly? Just as with sequels, movie remakes are viewed as being easy to market given their familiarity. They are also considered to come with a built-in audience of nostalgic older filmgoers and younger viewers who avoided seeing the original version because it was made before they were born, or is in black and white. Unfortunately, most film remakes are disappointing at best and downright awful at worst. And many of them have been costly financial disasters for the film studios that produced them. Nevertheless, Hollywood keeps the recycling machine churning. So here is a list of “10 Movie Remakes That Really Didn’t Need To Happen.”

10. Poltergeist

The original Poltergeist is a classic—both as a horror film and a beloved movie from the 1980s. Directed by Tobe Hooper, who helmed the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and with a script co-written by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist was a modern ghost story that was a fun, scary and often funny look at the evil lurking below finely manicured suburban lawns. It also gave us the classic line “They’re here,” and was the first time anybody had heard voices coming from a television set. The 2015 remake of Poltergeist replaced the charm of the original for an onslaught of scattershot visual effects and gory horror designed more to shock than scare. Panned by critics, the remake was barely in theatres on its way to video on demand and streaming services. Source:

9. Fame

Another classic film from the 1980s, the original Fame was about a group of students trying to make it as dancers, actors and musicians at New York’s High School for the Performing Arts. The original film, released in 1980, spawned a hit song “Fame” by singer Irene Cara, as well as a popular television series that ran from 1982 until 1987 and featured much of the cast from the movie. Sadly, Hollywood remade Fame in 2009 with a cast comprised of mostly unknown young actors as the students. The most recognizable name in the cast is Kelsey Grammar of “Frasier” as one of the school’s teachers. Certainly this remake didn’t live up to its title. Try to find someone you know who’s seen it. Source:

8. King Kong

The subject of not one, but two remakes, the movie King Kong was a marvel when the first version of the film was released in 1933. Audiences at that time had never seen anything like it, and it provided genuine thrills and chills to people who saw it in the theatre. And while the black and white print of the film has gotten quite grainy over the years, and the stop motion special effects seems dated, there is still something special about the original. Hollywood, of course, updated the film twice in the ensuing years. The first remake was in 1976 and starred a young, bell-bottom-wearing Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. A critical and commercial disaster, the 1970s Kong is considered one of the worst films ever made—period. Director Peter Jackson, fresh off his success with the Lord of The Rings trilogy, fared better when he remade King Kong in 2005 with state-of-the-art visual effects. However, with a cast that featured Jack Black and Colin Hanks, the latest version of King Kong still feels less magical than the 1933 classic. Source:

7. Straw Dogs

The 1971 original film starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch) is a masterpiece of slow build violence and machismo. Focused on a timid American mathematics professor (Hoffman) who settles into a quaint English town with his British girlfriend (Susan George), only to be harassed into violence by a group of local hoodlums, Straw Dogs was extremely controversial when released and was banned in the United Kingdom for many years. In 2011, Hollywood updated the classic film—setting it in the American south, making the mathematics professor into a Hollywood screenwriter and making actor James Woods, as a local high school football coach, the instigator of the violence. Sadly, the remake had none of the originality or shock factor of the original. Source:

6. The Shaggy Dog

A family-friendly, live-action Disney classic, the original 1959 version of the Shaggy Dog, about a teenage boy who turns into a sheepdog, starred Fred MacMurray (My Three Sons) and continues to be a crowd-pleaser to this day. The first version of the film spawned several sequels that ran right through the 1970s, as well as several made for television movies. In 2006, the original movie was remade with Tim Allen (Home Improvement, The Santa Clause) as a man who learns to appreciate his family after becoming a sheep dog. With the tagline “Raise the Woof,” the remake was a special-effects-heavy, groan-inducing film that had none of the charm or spontaneity of the original. Two paws down. Source:

5. Fright Night

While not hugely popular on its 1985 release, Fright Night, about a teenager who realizes that his next door neighbor is a vampire, is considered a cult classic among horror movie aficionados, and its blend of horror and comedy inspired a generation of films that followed. The film, which starred actors Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride) as the vampire and Roddy MacDowell (Planet of the Apes) as a vampire hunter, is credited with reviving interest in vampire movies in the late 1980s and early 1990s—paving the way for movies such as The Lost Boys and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In 2011, a remake hit theatres starring Colin Farrell as the vampire next door and David Tennant (Dr. Who) as the vampire hunter. With nothing new to offer audiences, critics were quick to drive a stake through the heart of the remake. Source:

4. Arthur

A popular comedian in his native England, Dudley Moore became a superstar in North America off his starring turn in the hilarious 1981 film Arthur, about a spoiled, alcoholic millionaire who is being forced to marry a woman he doesn’t love in order to secure his inheritance. Still funny today, Moore and Liza Minnelli, as the woman Arthur really loves, are terrific together and have real comedic chemistry. British thespian Sir John Gielgud won his only Academy Award for playing the butler Hobson in the film, and singer Christopher Cross lit up the music charts with the song “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do).” In 2011, Hollywood laid an egg by remaking Arthur with comedian Russell Brand in the title role. Unfunny and with nothing new to say, the remake was quickly booed off movie screens and marked the end to Russell Brand’s hopes of becoming the next, well, Dudley Moore. Source:

3. Get Carter

The 1971 original movie is a classic British gangster film that gave actor Michael Caine one of his best roles. Filmed at the end of Britain’s swinging 1960s, Get Carter tells the story of a hitman who returns home and is out for revenge after his brother is killed. While short on plot, the film is long on cool clothes, dialogue and action sequences. It’s the type of film that inspired Quentin Tarantino to pick up a movie camera. The 2000 remake of Get Carter set the film in rainy Seattle and put Sylvester Stallone in the title role. A poor script, bad dialogue and Sylvester Stallone’s limited acting range took the fun out of the film. But at least Michael Caine makes an appearance in the remake in a small supporting role. Source:

2. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Released in 1967 and starring screen legends Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner is a movie about a middle aged couple whose attitudes are challenged when their daughter returns home with a black fiancé (Sidney Poitier) in tow. Groundbreaking at the time, the film said a lot about race relations in the United States during the 1960s and was timely given the civil rights movement of the era. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, the film is still considered a watershed moment in movie history and a breakthrough in how interracial couples are portrayed in popular culture. Why Hollywood felt the need to remake the movie in 2005 defies explanation. Reversing roles and starring comedian Bernie Mac as a black father whose daughter brings home a white fiancé played by Ashton Kutcher, the remake plays for cheap laughs and sarcasm, and it says nothing meaningful about race in America or modern society. Source:

1. Psycho

Ouch. Why anyone would feel the need to remake any Alfred Hitchcock film, let alone one of his finest, is a mystery. But that is exactly what acclaimed director Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho) did in 1998 to disastrous results. Of course it didn’t help that Van Sant’s version was a shot-for-shot remake of the original, or that actor Vince Vaughn was cast as classic psychopath Norman Bates. While the original 1960 movie starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates remains a classic in terms of suspense and horror, and the infamous shower scene continues to be studied in film schools around the world, the remake of the film ended up being washed down the shower drain with all that blood. Source:
Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.