Best Horror Movie Reboots

Samara from The Ring, the American reboot of horror film Ringu, staring ominously in shadow with a ring of light behind her.

Image Credit: iSkyloft on Deviant Art.

There’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to horror, but some reboots prove that just because a director is remaking something doesn’t mean it will be a boring rehash.

These horror movie reboots and imaginative remakes will send all-new shivers down your spine—even if you already know the ending.

 

 

 

Halloween H2O (2018)


Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

The Halloween franchise is widely known and regarded as one of the best. This film, however, throws out the majority of the plots from the previous movies, and flips the script.

Meyers comes back after being locked away for 40 years. He then faces off against Laurie Strode—only this time, she’s ready to bring the fight to him.

 

Maniac (2012)


Director: Franck Khalfoun
Starring: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%
Where To Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Although the excessive gore puts some people off this reboot, others see it as a staple of the horror and slasher genres.

Maniac follows a serial killer who restores the old mannequins in his mother’s shop…by scalping his victims. What this movie lacks in mystery, it makes up in heart-pounding anxiety.

 

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)


Director: Philip Kaufman
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Apple TV

The original movie was released in the 1950s, and the sheer difference in special effects alone makes this reboot vastly superior.

What’s more, a fantastic cast lends a special something to this reboot, despite its admittedly silly premise.

Aliens take over the population, by adopting the appearance of existing people and ruining their lives.

 

The Ring (2002)


Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 71%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Exactly seven days after watching a confusing, disturbing videotape, people die a gruesome and mysterious death.

The Japanese original, Ringu, is fantastic, and often cited as superior to its American version. However, this reboot definitely holds its own. It offers audiences more explanation for the supernatural horror that ensues, with fewer loose ends than the original.

There’s nothing wrong with watching both and judging for yourself—in fact, it’s highly recommended that you do—but if you’re one of those horror fans who just has to know the “why” of things, then you’ll probably prefer the reboot.

 

 

The Thing (1982)


Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Wilford Brimley, Kurt Russell
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Although this has been remade a few times by now, the 1982 remake is the best by far.

A group of scientists stationed in Antarctica try to help a sled dog apparently attacked by a helicopter.

Soon, it begins attacking the researchers and other sled dogs, revealing itself as far more monstrous than imagined.

 

 

My Bloody Valentine 3-D (2009)


Director: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Edi Gathegi
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 61%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

This remake doesn’t follow My Bloody Valentine’s original plot, but instead forges its own path—and in 3D, no less.

Taking place after the events of the first movie, it functions as a sequel as well as a remake.

A miner returns to his hometown, haunted by the memories of a slaughterer. Now the killer seems to have returned…picking right up where he left off.

 

 

Let Me In (2010)


Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

While it’s based on a Swedish film from a few years prior, this movie has enough differences to stand on its own.

A lonely boy notices a girl about his age, hanging around his apartment complex in the evenings. As they spend more time together, he realizes there’s something inexplicably strange about his new friend.

 

 

Cape Fear (1991)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75%
Where To Watch: Peacock, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

An attorney makes the tough call to suppress evidence, which would allow a known sex offender to be found not guilty during a trial.

However, the man finds out about the held-back information, and decides to make the attorney’s life a living hell.

The attorney soon realizes that it isn’t just his life in the balance—but that of his wife and daughter, as well.

 

 

Fright Night (2011)


Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Anton Yelchin, David Tennant
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

A high school senior notices that his new neighbor is behaving very strangely, and he eventually comes to the conclusion that he is living next door to a vampire.

Since no one believes his wild claims, he goes to an illusionist. Together, they decide the vampire needs to be put down for good.

 

 

Sorority Row (2009)


Director: Stewart Hendler
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Rumer Willis
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 25%
Where To Watch: Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

When a group of friends plays a prank that takes a turn for the worse, they all decide to cover up the accidental death instead of reporting it to police.

However, a year later, someone with evidence of the cover-up begins to stalk the group, seeking revenge.

 

 

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)


Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Addison Timlin, Gary Cole
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66%
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

A town is terrorized by a serial killer known as the Phantom Killer. Decades later, the residents continue to live in fear of his return.

Now their worst fears have been realized: the Phantom Killer has come back to finish what he started.

 

via GIPHY

Sure, plenty of horror reboots are thinly veiled attempts to boost dying franchises, or the result of studios running out of original ideas. Not every movie needs a remake, yet it seems Hollywood never got that memo.

Every now and then, however, a remake comes along that truly breathes new life into its concept and characters.

Reimagined plots, upgraded special effects, or a clever new twist can improve old favorites, or even carve out an entirely new path of its own.

For more spine-tingling recommendations, check out the funniest moments in horror, the scariest films from every year this century, or the best survival horror video games.