To celebrate the release of super entertaining horror Final Cut, the French remake of the acclaimed J-Horror One Cut of the Dead, we look at some of the greatest horror remakes to grace the big screen. Final Cut follows a low-budget zombie film shoot thrown into chaos after their demanding director unleashes an ancient curse causing the real undead to rise from their graves, in the pursuit of ultimate filmmaking realism. Now, the actors must fight the undead and their director, desperately attempting to make sure they’re not left on life’s cutting room floor. Final Cut is written and directed by Academy Award®–winning writer- director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) and stars Romain Duris and Bérénice Bejo (The Artist).
The Thing – John Carpenter (1982)
Carpenter’s vision of The Thing from Another World is a masterclass in the technical achievement of practical effects to horrify. It originally debuted to underwhelming reception, with some labelling it “instant junk” – but of course, formed a cult following which eventually pivoted the passion of The Thing from disgust to adoration. Every element of this film could and perhaps should be acclaimed. The practical effects, which were once shrugged off, now stand as a testament to the timelessness of sticking to classical forms of scares, rather than digitizing them.
The Crazies – Breck Eisner (2010)
A remake of a Romero classic could be labelled as sacrilege or it can be acclaimed, as shown with Steve Miner’s Day of the Dead or Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead. Eisner’s The Crazies occupies a slightly surreal middle ground between the two, incorporating elements of the original whilst redefining within a modern context, allowing for greater play in this hellscape. We have government espionage and military intervention against the backdrop of a zombie-like virus that still feels fresh even as we approached zombie oversaturation point. The maniacal and unhinged nature of The Crazies is chilling, having been completely overridden by an almost-heightened intelligence alongside a hunger for unadulterated slaughter.
The Fly – David Cronenberg (1986)
The original 1958 version starred master of horror Vincent Price in a relatively tame horror about a scientist (Price) working on a teleportation device (or a molecular matter transmitter, if you will), and a terrible accident occurs during a test that sees him take on fly-like characteristics. Perhaps shocking for its time, the original is a compelling film, but David Cronenberg’s full on body horror masterpiece remains the stuff of nightmares more than three decades after its release. Starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, the horrific practical special effects deservedly won an Academy Award. They were so convincing it remains the sole reason I can’t eat porridge to this day.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Philip Kaufman (1978)
In his second entry on this list after The Fly, Jeff Goldblum bagged an early supporting role in Philip Kaufman’s excellent remake of Don Siegel’s beloved 1956 adaptation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. While there is no shortage of versions of Jack Finney’s book, Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake remains the best. Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy lead the charge against the original secret invasion in a stone-cold sci-fi horror classic.
Stephen King’s IT – Andy Muschietti (2017)
Stuck in development period for the better part of a decade, swapping out directors and writers, with at one point Cary Fukunaga attached to write and direct, we eventually received what could be considered one of the greatest Horror remakes of all-time. Having achieved the highest-grossing horror of all time, this is a brilliant coming-of-age adventure encased in a horrifying context. Above all else, the characterization is what drives this film, both in the relationships between the Losers Club and their own twisted connections to Pennywise. If the Losers’ Club is the scaffolding, then Pennywise is the foundation of It.
Suspiria – Luca Guadagnino (2018)
Guadagnino instils a great complexity into Suspiria’s lore, entwining the themes of abuse and motherhood, complicating the viewpoints of who we follow. The exploration of sisterhood, the matriarchal figures behind the Academy and a greater enrichment of the characterisation of the witches within the film don’t go unnoticed, elevating it to a level of seriousness the original did not obtain, mostly due to its giallo nature. It would be amiss to not highlight Tilda Swinton’s powerhouse triptych performances film – the mystery of who she plays is only one of the many pieces of this sensational piece of art, that come together to make a violently striking and phenomenal horror that celebrates the original whilst firmly standing on its own.
Signature Entertainment presents Final Cut on Digital Platforms 7th November