When reimagining a popular movie or TV show, most people are left feeling underwhelmed. While some remakes improve on the original by offering fresh new perspectives or interesting new characters, others swap one set of actors for another and leave it at that.
The result is a collection of movies that tend to be either forgettable or downright embarrassing. Fortunately, there are also a handful of rare cases where a remake is better than the movie from which it originates. Such films don’t just offer an alternative take on an existing story. Instead, they create something wholly new and exciting. Here are some movie remakes that exceed the originals in almost every way.
The original RoboCop was a cult classic, attracting fans from all over the world. It was also one of the first films to explore the idea of cybernetics and the social impact of robotics in a chilling and darkly humorous way.
The film has since become synonymous with ’80s action movies, but its remake managed to outshine it in almost every way. The 2014 version of RoboCop is a full-blown sci-fi action flick unafraid to get political. What’s more, it managed to create a robot-human hybrid that was both terrifying and heart-wrenching.
Many critics consider RoboCop to be one of the most relevant films of the 21st century. It’s a rare case where a remake offers a genuinely new perspective on its source material.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The original Dawn of the Dead is a classic horror film known for its terrifying images of zombies swarming a shopping mall. While the remake couldn’t recreate the original’s iconic blood-stained poster or classic ‘kill of the week’ format, it was praised for its tense focus on the characters’ desperate attempts to survive.
It also managed to explore issues of consumerism, world health, and humanity’s reliance on technology in a clever and relevant way. The remake’s director, Zack Snyder, took the opportunity to make a bold statement on current events, including the War in Iraq, the SARS epidemic, and the rise of reality TV.
While many remakes are content to retell an old story with a new set of actors, Snyder’s film was a fresh and unique take on the zombie genre.
The original Dumbo was a classic Disney film that explored identity, self-confidence, and family themes. Although it was a moving and powerful story, some critics felt that it focused too much on its central message and failed to engage viewers on a deeper level.
On the other hand, the remake was praised for its ability to transcend its source material. It managed to create a timely and relevant story while honouring the original’s spirit. The remake was praised for its depiction of parents who struggle with addiction.
It also explored important themes such as poverty and classism thoughtfully and sensitively. In other words, the remake was a fully-fledged film with an interesting narrative and a cast of complex characters. It was, in short, everything that the original Dumbo was not.
The Fly (1986)
The original The Fly was a classic sci-fi horror film that featured an agonizing transformation sequence and some genuinely unsettling moments of body horror. There was, however, a sense of restraint to the film that prevented it from going too far.
On the other hand, the remake threw caution to the wind, creating a truly terrifying experience that was on par with the most disturbing popular films of recent years. The remake was unafraid to explore the full extent of Seth Brundle’s transformation, creating images of body horror that were both grotesque and shocking.
The result was a film that was both terrifying and thought-provoking. It was also a rare example of a remake that surpassed the original in every way. For more information on this and other related movie subjects you can check out film industry news.
These examples show that a remake must not be a pale imitation of its source material. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight, it can be used as an opportunity to reimagine a story with a new set of tools and techniques. Hopefully, these examples will inspire filmmakers to reimagine some of their favourite stories with a new set of ideas.
There is no reason why a remake cannot surpass the original in terms of quality, relevance, and depth. It just takes a filmmaker willing to challenge the conventions of the genre and create something new.