The remake craze is certainly dying down and at this point, it feels like there’s almost nothing left to remake. We’ve covered basically everything. All of the major franchises and so many of the original crop of slashers were given the treatment. From Black Christmas down to Piranha, it felt like the remake phenomenon left no stone unturned.
It’s no secret that most of these movies didn’t need to happen. That’s almost always the first thing a fan says when explaining why they’re not going to see the movie. But the truth is that remakes really never need to happen. They’re made because someone owns the rights to a recognizable title and wants to make a profit. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be good.
Everyone always insists that remakes should only happen for movies that weren’t that good to begin with—but the truth is that this has rarely happened, except for the cases in which a director remakes his or her own film. But it would be interesting to see.
Personally, I believe that the only prerequisite for a remake is that the person coming aboard the project have an original take on the concept, a new angle, anything that warrants the updated version’s existence—something that has enough in common to be recognizable, but is different enough to be its own beast.
With that in mind, here are some features that miraculously have yet to undergo this treatment, but could actually benefit from it if they did.
While it might be an obscure title to pick right off the bat, I’m actually a little surprised Intruder didn’t get remade during the period of time where we were getting remakes of titles like April Fool’s Day and Toolbox Murders. I think the concept of being locked in a store with a maniac still works, and it would be interesting to see a new approach.
This one has a few more fans out there than Intruder, so I’m actually a little surprised it hasn’t been remade already. Once It’s Alive got remade I thought for sure that this was going to follow it. I think it could work. The sleazy New York atmosphere could still be recaptured today. It could be something stylistically similar to the Maniac remake, only with the addition of a murderous conjoined twin in a basket.
The Deadly Spawn
This is where I think the argument of “only remake movies that need it” could actually apply. The Deadly Spawn has terrific creatures. The design of them is amazing, especially for the budget. But the film is not great and the monsters aren’t even given that much to do. I’m not talking a huge, big-budget remake, either. Something that just gives us a little more and tells a tighter story would actually be kind of cool.
I have a soft spot for Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing but it’s not much of a secret that it’s not the best adaptation of that source material that we could have had. It’s a campy, fun monster movie, but Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing is genuinely one of the greatest comic book series ever written. There’s such a rich backlog of stories waiting to be adapted, that I actually think out of everything on this list, this one needs to happen.
I’m a huge fan of the original. I genuinely think it’s a pretty good movie, and a lot of people who love it don’t even think that. I’m not saying it needs a remake because it’s bad, I just think that it could be interesting to see a new approach to the material. I think it would be neat to see a movie where we know Angela is the killer from the get-go and make it more of a Maniac type slasher where we are virtually inside her head as she struggles to keep control of her identity. Felissa Rose could even come back to play Aunt Martha.
Shivers (AKA They Came From Within)
I don’t think Shivers holds up quite as well as Cronenberg’s later body horror films. With Rabid being remade, I think the original could actually benefit from the same treatment. Everything about the concept still works: the high-rise, the isolation, the idea of a parasite that completely overtakes your sexual impulses—I think all of that could still be explored in a really interesting way. I’d genuinely like to see a new approach to this one.
This is my favorite haunted house film of all time, so I don’t want a straightforward remake that’s going to spit in the face of what I think is one of the scariest movies ever made. Having said that, I do think it could be explored and re-examined in an interesting way, given the mix of paranormal and political thriller aspects. There’s an unraveling mystery at the heart of The Changeling and I think it would work great as a miniseries, which would give that mystery time to develop.