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: 62.614%
Critics Consensus: This gory, senses-assaulting slasher film is an unpretentious, effective mix of old-school horror stylings and modern 3D technology.
Synopsis: A psychopathic miner terrorizes the town of Harmony in this retelling of one of the most underrated slasher films of... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Lussier

#24

Evil Dead (2013)
62%

#24
Adjusted Score: 69.262%
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: In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote... [More]
Directed By: Fede Alvarez

#23

Cat People (1982)
61%

#23
Adjusted Score: 65.054%
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 loose adaptation of the 1942 horror classic of the same name, a 2001-style opening montage establishes some sort... [More]
Directed By: Paul Schrader

#22

Willard (2003)
64%

#22
Adjusted Score: 67.309%
Critics Consensus: In this creepy story of a man and his rodents, Glover seems born to play the oddball title character.
Synopsis: Willard is a social misfit who is made fun of by his co-workers. When he is squeezed out of the... [More]
Directed By: Glen Morgan

#21

Suspiria (2018)
65%

#21
Adjusted Score: 78.647%
Critics Consensus: Suspiria attacks heady themes with garish vigor, offering a viewing experience that's daringly confrontational - and definitely not for everyone.
Synopsis: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe's artistic director (Swinton),... [More]
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 69.634%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Makeup wizard Tom Savini's color remake of George A. Romero's 1968 classic follows the original almost shot-for-shot, so quality comparisons... [More]
Directed By: Tom Savini

#19

Red Dragon (2002)
68%

#19
Adjusted Score: 73.239%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Synopsis: Ex-FBI agent Will Graham is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in the process... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#18

I Am Legend (2007)
68%

#18
Adjusted Score: 74.994%
Critics Consensus: I Am Legend overcomes questionable special effects and succeeds largely on the strength of Will Smith's mesmerizing performance.
Synopsis: Adapted from acclaimed author Richard Matheson's influential novelette of the same name, Constantine director Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend follows... [More]
Directed By: Francis Lawrence

#17
Adjusted Score: 68.201%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: 65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so-called 'moonlight murders' begin again. Is... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#16

Body Snatchers (1993)
71%

#16
Adjusted Score: 72.602%
Critics Consensus: Body Snatchers may not topple previous adaptions, but it boasts an effective sense of dread and strong characterizations.
Synopsis: Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers is the third screen version of Jack Finney's cold war science fiction novel Invasion of the... [More]
Directed By: Abel Ferrara

#15

The Crazies (2010)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 75.178%
Critics Consensus: Tense, nicely shot, and uncommonly intelligent, The Crazies is a horror remake that, unusually, works.
Synopsis: David Dutten is sheriff of Ogden Marsh, a picture-perfect American. But one night, one of them comes to a school... [More]
Directed By: Breck Eisner

#14

The Ring (2002)
71%

#14
Adjusted Score: 76.836%
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: A disturbing videotape appears to hold the power of life and death over those who view it in this offbeat... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 76.812%
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: Based on Bram Stoker's classic 1897 novel, this film from Francis Ford Coppola and screenwriter James Victor Hart offers a... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#12

Fright Night (2011)
72%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77.12%
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: Senior Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all-he's running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#11

Piranha 3-D (2010)
74%

#11
Adjusted Score: 77.237%
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: After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band... [More]
Directed By: Alexandre Aja

#10

Cape Fear (1991)
75%

#10
Adjusted Score: 78.301%
Critics Consensus: Smart and stylish, Cape Fear is a gleefully mainstream shocker from Martin Scorsese, with a terrifying Robert De Niro peformance.
Synopsis: A remake of the 1962 version, this nail-biting and brutal thriller tells the story of a vengeful ex-con who sets... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#9

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
75%

#9
Adjusted Score: 79.978%
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: Packed with more blood, more gore, and more bone-chilling, jaw-dropping thrills, Dawn of the Dead Unrated Director's Cut is the... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#8

The Thing (1982)
84%

#8
Adjusted Score: 89.812%
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: John Carpenter's The Thing is both a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 film of the same name and a re-adaptation... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#7

It (2017)
86%

#7
Adjusted Score: 101.562%
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: New Line Cinema's horror thriller "IT," directed by Andy Muschietti ("Mama"), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 88.774%
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 have always kept to themselves, and for good reason. Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank rules his family with... [More]
Directed By: Jim Mickle

#5

Let Me In (2010)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94.767%
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: Twelve-year old Owen is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#4

The Fly (1986)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97.612%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.
Synopsis: Considered fairly gruesome in its day, the original 1958 The Fly looks like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood compared to this 1986... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#3
Adjusted Score: 100.107%
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: For Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 silent horror-fest Nosferatu, star Klaus Kinski adopts the same makeup... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#2
Adjusted Score: 100.856%
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: In this elaborate remake of the 1956 horror classic, health inspector Donald Sutherland is dispatched to investigate the curious behavior... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#1
Adjusted Score: 102.661%
Critics Consensus: Evil Dead 2's increased special effects and slapstick-gore makes it as good -- if not better -- than the original.
Synopsis: This sequel is better, funnier, scarier and superior to the first indie gore-fest. Never before has there been such an... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

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