8 Great Remakes… And the Movies that Inspired Them

December 27, 2013

1. The Ring

The Ring

A 2002 remake of a 1998 Japanese film, “The Ring” told the story of a killer video tape and a very scary looking little girl.

While the original “Ringu” might be even more chilling, Naomi Watts does a great job in this psychological horror film. It’s also fun to see what director Gore Verbinski can do without a pirate ship.

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tim Burton’s 2005 remake of the beloved 1971 children’s classic “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was controversial largely because of Johnny Depp’s choice of how to portray Wonka.

Nevertheless, it did a great job of tapping into the underlying creepiness of both the underlying film and book. The visuals were a feat for the eyes, as well.

3. The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven

A translated remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film “Seven Samurai,” this John Sturges western tells the story of a small Mexican village that recruits seven gunfighters to protect it from bandits. A faster-paced version of the story designed for American viewers, this 1960 film still stands up in 2014 as a must-see.

If you’re looking for another example of how a Kurosawa film can turn into a beloved modern classic, compare the original “Star Wars” to “The Hidden Fortress.”

4. Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean 11

The 2011 remade of a classic Lewis Milestone 1960 heist film takes everything that made the original great and takes it one step further. Las Vegas? Check. Awesome cast with the coolest actors of the day? Check. Mucking with casino electrical systems? Check.

Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Don Cheadle might not be as cool as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr, but this remake still takes the original to a new level.

5. The Fly

The Fly

David Cronenburg’s 1986 remake took a different take from the 1958 Kurt Niemann original. While the first “The Fly” was an above-average cheesy 1950’s sci-fi horror film, Cronenburg decided to focus on the impacts of the transformation and provide more – at times disturbing detail – of Goldblum’s metamorphosis.

6. The Mummy

The Mummy

Steven Sommers’ 1999 remake of the 1932 Boris Karloff classic didn’t win any Academy Awards for acting or directing.

However, it took a classic of the genre and turned it into a fun-loving action-horror blend, aimed at family audiences. Great chemistry between leads Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz made it even more fun to watch.

7. 12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys

Technically not a remake, “12 Monkeys” was inspired by a French short film called “La Jetee.” While this time-traveling and mind-bending science fiction film has Terry Gilliam’s idiosyncractic style, it’s a lot more accessible — and enjoyable — than the original.

8. Little Shop of Horrors

Shop of Horrors
In 1960, Roger Corman released a low-budged horror film about a man eating plant. After a Broadway adaptation, comedy director Frank Oz turned it into a well-loved musical comedy. Between a sadistic dentist, a gentle florist, and a gap-toothed man-eating plant, it’s an easy film to love.