Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros.

(Photo by Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros.)

The 25 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The idea of a horror movie remake probably terrifies you. Not because you think of horror remakes as particularly scary, but because so often they can be scarily bad – think 0%-ers like Day of the Dead from 2018 and 2016’s Cabin Fever, or 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (you’ve wiped it from your memory, but it starred Rooney Mara – ! – and earned 15% on the Tomatometer, a 79% drop from the Certified Fresh original).

But not all horror remakes are terrible; some, in fact, are genre standouts in their own right. They can be smart translations of foreign horror hits, movies that take a scarily effective premise and seamlessly apply it to American society (The RingLet Me InWe Are What We Are). They can be clever updates of classics that find new and relevant terrors in old story beats (The ThingDawn of the Dead). They can be wildly different new takes (Suspiria). Or they can be simply brilliant, and top their source material (Evil Dead 2, which, despite its title, is considered by many to be a remake of Evil Dead 1).

Over the next year, audiences are about to be hit with a slew of horror remakes: April’s Pet Sematary (trending Fresh at 80%); Child’s Play, which opens June 19; and then next year, Grudge, which was moved from 2019 to January 2020, and is a remake of a an American remake of a Japanese hit. Will these movies make it to Fresh – or even Certified Fresh? Time will tell. If they do, they will join the ranks of the below 25 Fresh horror remakes – all Fresh, and ranked by Tomatometer – the rare scary retreads and reinventions that connected with critics and scared the s–t out of audiences.

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 65175%
Critics Consensus: This gory, senses-assaulting slasher film is an unpretentious, effective mix of old-school horror stylings and modern 3D technology.
Synopsis: Ten years ago, an inexperienced coal miner named Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) caused an accident that killed five men and... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Lussier

#24

Evil Dead (2013)
63%

#24
Adjusted Score: 70457%
Critics Consensus: It may lack the absurd humor that underlined the original, but the new-look Evil Dead compensates with brutal terror, gory scares, and gleefully bloody violence.
Synopsis: Mia (Jane Levy), a drug addict, is determined to kick the habit. To that end, she asks her brother, David... [More]
Directed By: Fede Alvarez

#23

Cat People (1982)
62%

#23
Adjusted Score: 65775%
Critics Consensus: Paul Schrader's kinky reimagining of Cat People may prove too grisly and lurid for some audiences, but its provocative style and Natassja Kinski's hypnotic performance should please viewers who like a little gasoline with their fire.
Synopsis: In this sensual and violent horror tale, Irena Gallier (Nastassia Kinski) has a dark family secret, one that resurfaces dramatically... [More]
Directed By: Paul Schrader

#22

Willard (2003)
64%

#22
Adjusted Score: 68420%
Critics Consensus: In this creepy story of a man and his rodents, Glover seems born to play the oddball title character.
Synopsis: Desperate for companionship, the repressed Willard (Crispin Glover) befriends a group of rats that inhabit his late father's deteriorating mansion.... [More]
Directed By: Glen Morgan

#21

Suspiria (2018)
65%

#21
Adjusted Score: 85580%
Critics Consensus: Suspiria attacks heady themes with garish vigor, offering a viewing experience that's daringly confrontational - and definitely not for everyone.
Synopsis: Young American dancer Susie Bannion arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. When she... [More]
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 66635%
Critics Consensus: Night of the Living Dead doesn't quite reinvent the original's narrative, but its sleek action and amplified gore turn it into a worthy horror showcase.
Synopsis: For reasons unknown, the recently deceased are rising from the grave as flesh-hungry zombies. Fleeing from the undead horde, a... [More]
Directed By: Tom Savini

#19

Red Dragon (2002)
68%

#19
Adjusted Score: 74498%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Synopsis: Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#18

I Am Legend (2007)
68%

#18
Adjusted Score: 77794%
Critics Consensus: I Am Legend overcomes questionable special effects and succeeds largely on the strength of Will Smith's mesmerizing performance.
Synopsis: Robert Neville (Will Smith), a brilliant scientist, is a survivor of a man-made plague that transforms humans into bloodthirsty mutants.... [More]
Directed By: Francis Lawrence

#17
Adjusted Score: 65328%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A masked maniac terrorizes the same small community where a murderer known as the Phantom Killer struck decades earlier.... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#16

Body Snatchers (1993)
70%

#16
Adjusted Score: 70380%
Critics Consensus: Body Snatchers may not topple previous adaptions, but it boasts an effective sense of dread and strong characterizations.
Synopsis: When Environmental Protection Agency inspector Steve Malone (Terry Kinney) travels to a remote military base in order to check for... [More]
Directed By: Abel Ferrara

#15

The Crazies (2010)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 75921%
Critics Consensus: Tense, nicely shot, and uncommonly intelligent, The Crazies is a horror remake that, unusually, works.
Synopsis: Anarchy reigns when an unknown toxin turns the peaceful citizens of Ogden Marsh into bloodthirsty lunatics. In an effort to... [More]
Directed By: Breck Eisner

#14

The Ring (2002)
71%

#14
Adjusted Score: 77090%
Critics Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.
Synopsis: It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 80031%
Critics Consensus: Overblown in the best sense of the word, Francis Ford Coppola's vision of Bram Stoker's Dracula rescues the character from decades of campy interpretations -- and features some terrific performances to boot.
Synopsis: Adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. Gary Oldman plays Dracula whose lonely soul is determined to reunite with his... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#12

Fright Night (2011)
72%

#12
Adjusted Score: 79481%
Critics Consensus: It may not have been necessary to remake the 1985 cult classic, but the new Fright Night benefits from terrific performances by Colin Farrell and David Tennant -- and it's smart, funny, and stylishly gory to boot.
Synopsis: Charley (Anton Yelchin) is a high-school senior who's in with the "in" crowd and dating Amy (Imogen Poots), the most... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#11

Piranha (2010)
74%

#11
Adjusted Score: 78929%
Critics Consensus: Playing exactly to expectations for a movie about killer fish run amok, Piranha 3-D dishes out gore, guffaws and gratuitous nudity with equal glee.
Synopsis: Spring break turns gory when an underground tremor releases hundreds of prehistoric, carnivorous fish into Lake Victoria, a popular waterside... [More]
Directed By: Alexandre Aja

#10

Cape Fear (1991)
74%

#10
Adjusted Score: 77617%
Critics Consensus: Smart and stylish, Cape Fear is a gleefully mainstream shocker from Martin Scorsese, with a terrifying Robert De Niro peformance.
Synopsis: When attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) knowingly withholds evidence that would acquit violent sex offender Max Cady (Robert De Niro)... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#9

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
76%

#9
Adjusted Score: 82969%
Critics Consensus: A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms.
Synopsis: When her husband is attacked by a zombified neighbor, Ana (Sarah Polley) manages to escape, only to realize her entire... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#8

The Thing (1982)
83%

#8
Adjusted Score: 88155%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#7

It (2017)
86%

#7
Adjusted Score: 116170%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart.
Synopsis: Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare -- an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 88362%
Critics Consensus: A compelling story cleverly told, We Are What We Are quenches horror buffs' thirst for gore while serving up serious-minded filmmaking and solid acting.
Synopsis: The Parkers, reclusive people who cling to ancient customs, find their secret lives threatened when a torrential downpour and the... [More]
Directed By: Jim Mickle

#5

Let Me In (2010)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 97648%
Critics Consensus: Similar to the original in all the right ways -- but with enough changes to stand on its own -- Let Me In is the rare Hollywood remake that doesn't add insult to inspiration.
Synopsis: Bullied at school, neglected at home and incredibly lonely, 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) spends his days plotting revenge on his... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#4

The Fly (1986)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98716%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.
Synopsis: When scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#3

Nosferatu (1979)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99895%
Critics Consensus: Stunning visuals from Werner Herzog and an intense portrayal of the famed bloodsucker from Klaus Kinski make this remake of Nosferatu a horror classic in its own right.
Synopsis: Jonathan Harker is sent away to Count Dracula's castle to sell him a house in Virna, where he lives. But... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#2
Adjusted Score: 98385%
Critics Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.
Synopsis: This remake of the classic horror film is set in San Francisco. Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) assumes that when a... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#1

Evil Dead 2 (1987)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 99530%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
Synopsis: The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell)... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

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