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Original Vs Remake: Which one do you prefer?
By James Whittington, Thursday 15th July 2021
RABID POSTER

Horror Channel has always celebrated the classics as well as the more recent chillers around. Inevitably we come across some remakes which have either caused celebration or contention among viewers.

But are all remakes bad? Here's five of the finest which are showing at the moment on Horror.

Night of the Living Dead (1990)
SFX maestro Tom Savini was given the job of bringing George A Romero's all-time classic back to the big screen, and in doing so gave the classic a colourful retelling. Set during an unexplained event, namely the dead rising from their graves, strangers stranded in a house battle the undead as well as themselves. Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, and Tom Towles take on the lead roles and add a new edge to each one of them, Todd is stand-out in this version. Its tense contains some subtle special effects work (it's not as bloody as you'd expect it to be) and really does bring the idea back to life, as it were. Romero's script is tight allowing the characters to become more fully formed. Although Savini went on record saying that making the movie was incredibly difficult it is undeniably one of the best zombie movies of the last 30 years.

I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
If there's one movie that defined the Video Nasty era, then it was Meir Zarchi's I Spit on Your Grave from 1978. Still unavailable uncut in the UK this very challenging film led to an incredibly compelling remake from prolific director Steven R. Monroe. When Jennifer (Sarah Butler) heads to the woods to write and is brutally raped by a gang of locals, she seeks bloody revenge. With a stunning central performance from Sarah Butler, this is a version that takes its source material and twists it into one of the most gripping of the genre. The revenge set-pieces are detailed and prolonged with the whole movie shot in the greyest palette I ever seen.

Maniac (2012)
Another classic from the Video Nasty era was Maniac, William Lustig's 1980 grindhouse shocker which made a genre star of Joe Spinell. A disturbed mannequin shop owner tries to subdue his violent urges after he falls in love with an aspiring photographer. Starring Elijah Wood in the lead role of Frank, this is a smart re-imagining with the movie shot from the perspective of Frank himself. Sticking close to the original it retains the grindhouse feel and gave Wood a truly gritty character to bring to life.

Rabid (2019)
Canadians Jen and Sylvia Soska came to our attention way back in 2009 with their debut directorial, Dead Hooker in a Trunk. In 2019 they were given the go ahead to remake a true classic, David Cronenberg's Rabid. After an accident leaves her horribly disfigured, a woman undergoes a seemingly miraculous medical procedure - only to discover the chilling side-effects. A festival favourite across the globe, the movie proves that the Soskas can be trusted with such a revered piece.

When a Stranger Calls (2006)
Released during the slasher boom era, the original from 1979 is a riff on the "the killer is already in the house" urban legend. A student settles in for a night of babysitting, but when a series of eerie phone calls insist that she 'check the children,' she begins to panic. Directed by Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2) this is a polished take that allows the story to naturally progress into a tense and smart piece of horror cinema.


Related show tags: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2, MANIAC, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, RABID
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