We’re in the midst of something of a horror renaissance. Relegated for years to the lower echelons of cinema, the last decade or so has brought a resurgence of horror as art. Of course, any time you have an upswing like this, Hollywood begins looking backward to find old movies that might deserve another go.
The horror remake is as old as cinema itself. The studios have been revisiting classics with each new era of movies, and that’s not a trend likely to end anytime soon. In fact, we can certainly expect more. This month alone has brought us Halloween and Suspiria, as well as director Mike Flanagan’s reimagining of The Haunting of Hill House for Netflix. Early next year we’ve got a remake of Pet Semetary hitting theaters. As we speak, director Lars Klevberg is shooting his remake of Child’s Play. Lebron James has even expressed interest in financing and producing a remake of Friday the 13th.
So ubiquitous is the horror remake that some are even putting odds on what films will be remade. There’s a good chance that almost every horror movie ever made has been considered for a potential remake. With that in mind, we took a look at some classics of the genre to pick what films we’d like to see remade for a new generation.
David Cronenberg’s blend of psychological horror and body horror would offer a unique experience in the hands of the right director. Following the story of a man searching for the truth behind his wife’s treatment at a mental hospital, The Brood takes some wild, unexpected turns that make it a classic of the genre. Given the political and social climate of the modern era, however, there are some potential new depths that can be plumbed from this tale if treated by the right team.
Tod Browing may be best known for directing Bela Lugosi’s performance in Dracula, but in terms of raw horror his work on Freaks might be his best work. Unfortunately, by today’s standards, it looks and feels incredibly dated. The story of betrayal and revenge, however, remains timeless and could, today, be updated to new levels of horror and, well, freakiness. It wouldn’t be easy, and it would certainly have a lot to live up to (the “one of us” chant is one of the most well known moments of horror) but a modern update could scare an entirely new generation.
Tales from the Crypt
Before HBO’s beloved horror series debuted in 1989, the classic EC anthology comic got its chance to shine on the silver screen with 1972’s Tales from the Crypt. Though fallen somewhat by the wayside, the horror renaissance has brought with it a resurgence of the horror anthology and updating the classic EC stories for a new generation would be a gift from the horror gods. A new series was supposedly in development for some time before falling through, but a classic, traditional return of the Crypt Keeper—perhaps even his buddies, The Old Witch and The Vault Keeper—would almost all but ensure a new Halloween classic
Corridors of Blood
A lesser known but effective thriller, Corridors of Blood would be a magnificent film to remake for a new generation. This morality tale follows a well-intentioned doctor who finds himself paving his own path to Hell after falling from grace thanks to drug addiction and an experiment gone wrong. Finding himself involved in murder and body thieving, the film is a terrifying exploration of how a few bad decisions can lead to complete ruination. This could be a fantastically dark, gothic tale to update for the modern viewer and would provide plenty of opportunity for technical exploration.
This would be less a remake or reboot than it would be a reclamation. The Hellraiser series has gone off the rails for about two decades now, with each successive sequel becoming more and more an attempt to hold the rights than a film worth seeing. Author Clive Barker, who wrote The Hellbound Heart, on which the first film and series is based, has been trying to get the rights back for years to no avail, but it’s beyond time to get this series back to its truest form. As great as the original is, so much damage has been done to the name that there’s little choice but to scorch the earth and start anew.