The 1980s has been an excellent decade for horror, producing such classic, timeless gems as The Thing, Beetlejuice, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, some of the great horror movies from that era might look dated, awkward, or just in need of a new take — something that can be easily fixed with a modern remake that can add a breath of fresh air into the dusty yet promising feature.
In recent years, there have been several successful remakes of '80 horror, including My Bloody Valentine, Fright Night, and The Woman in Black. These 5 horror movies are excellent candidates for a modern remake.
This cult '80 horror written and directed by Mike Marvin is a thrilling mix of old-school drag racing, a ghost story, and a supercar on a killing spree. It stars young Charlie Sheen, Sherilyn Fenn, and Nick Cassavetes and has everything from apparent nods to the classics like The Thing, Mad Max, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to brotherly love, mysterious romance, and an excellent revenge plot. The story follows Jamie Hankins, who comes back from the dead in a sleek, invulnerable Turbo Interceptor to seek revenge on the gang who murdered him and win back his girlfriend at the same time.
While there have been rumors about a possible remake, nothing concrete has been announced so far. The best the fans of this '80s horror gem got was a Lionsgate's Vestron Video Collector's Series Blu-ray edition. A remake can add some Fast & Furious pace and action, ramp up the violence/gore factor, patch up some plot holes, and bring in a modern, recognizable cast. In the hands of Justin Lin or Robert Rodriguez, it can make a heart-pumping, supernaturally-infused, and turbocharged rollercoaster of a ride.
A decent remake of David Cronenberg's massively successful classic that featured remarkable performances from Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, and John Getz is long overdue. Interestingly enough, the movie itself is a remake of the 1958 horror flick, starring the genre's icon, Vincent Price, that was inspired by George Langelaan's eponymous 1957 sci-fi short story. Cronenberg's version paid homage to the original while ramping up the romance elements, adding the comedy, psychological torment, impressive gore, remarkable make-up work (that rightfully won an Academy Award), and an epic Howard Shore soundtrack.
The movie follows the story of an eccentric scientist, Seth Brundle (Goldblum), whose teleportation experiment has gone awry, gradually turning him into a human-fly hybrid. What starts as a quirky rom-com turns into a gruesome shape-shifting horror, fueled with madness, desperate need for acceptance and love, and seriously slimy action. After a flopped 1989 sequel, there have been talks about a 20th Century Fox/Disney remake with Sleight's J.D. Dillard at the helm, with the director hinting at a more emotional take and even a potential female lead. However, nothing has been set in stone yet.
Ken Russell's adaptation of Bram Stoker's underrated novel of the same name is an excellent example of chilling, original, and eccentric British horror. Starring Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, and Peter Capaldi, the film follows an archeology student (Capaldi) who discovers an unusual snake skull and unleashes an ancient curse. While being an acquired taste, the story has everything it needs for a successful modern remake — seductive vampires, snake-like demonic priestesses, a lovable protagonist, and a dark final plot twist.
The fans discovered that Russell has originally intended Tilda Swinton (rather than Donohoe) for the role of the snake-worshiping priestess, and it still would be an excellent casting choice for a remake. Guillermo del Toro could turn it into a beautifully gothic tale akin to Crimson Peak, while Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez could come together to whip up a gory From Dusk Till Dawn-style horror action.
John Carpenter's famous adaptation of Stephen King's eponymous novel became an iconic killer-machine movie and a modern horror classic. It follows the story of a classic 1958 Plymouth Fury that has a jealous personality and becomes possessive of her new owner, Arnie (Keith Gordon). The car goes on a killing spree, methodically eliminating anyone it perceives as a threat to Arnie, and mysteriously repairs itself after any damage. Carpenter creates an eerie and chilling atmosphere, masterfully fused with heart-pumping action, nail-biting suspense, occasional gore, impressive practical effects, and a killer '80s soundtrack.
While Christine has become an iconic '80s horror masterpiece, some of its elements seem dated and would benefit from a fresh remake. Fortunately for the fans, Sony Pictures and Blumhouse Productions seem to be on the job. It has been confirmed that Bryan Fuller, who previously worked on Heroes, Hannibal, American Gods, and Star Trek: Discovery, will take up the roles of a writer and director, while Jason Blum will act as a producer. While other details are still shrouded in mystery, the remake's future seems in good hands.
While this quirky horror-comedy, co-written by two classmates, Fred Dekker and Shane Black, flopped in the box office on its release, it gained a cult status and a loyal following over the years. The story follows a group of pre-teens, the Monster Squad, who worship classic horror movie villains. However, when the real Universal Monsters like the Mummy, Gil-man, the Wolf Man, and Count Dracula himself show up, the kids work together to stop them from taking over the world.
The Monster Squad bursts with countless classic horror movie references, does a great job reviving the beloved classic villains, and has heartwarming twists and an undeniable '80s charm. While there were talks about Paramount launching a remake TV series, the project never happened. Dekker was worried it would have been too close to either Stranger Things — the series was released just before the studio's offer — or It, if the remake was to show the Monster Squad's members grown up. Perhaps, with the right timing, fitting script, and the fresh cast, the cult '80s B-movie horror classic might yet make a comeback. Here's hoping.
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