Movie Review

5 Revitalized Horror Franchises of the New Millennium

For horror fans that cut their teeth on the horror franchises of the 1980s, a slew of reimagined movies were released in the new millennium. Whether or not these movies were meant to illicit new fans, and/or to bring back lost fans to the fold, these new horror movies are becoming the classics of a new generation.

Fright Night 1985/2011

A vampire movie, Fright Night was reimagined with much better special effects than 1985 could have provided. The original Fright Night from 1985 starred Christopher Sarandon, ex-husband of Susan Sarandon. Sarandon’s star power was replaced in 2011’s version by Colin Farrell. This reproduction is great visually, but does little to push concept forward. This movie remains a teen scream.

IMDB Score: 1985 – 6.9/ 2011 – 6.4

Friday the 13th 1980/2009

The original Friday the 13th released in 1980 terrified people. The premise of setting the movie at a summer camp likely struck a stronger chord at the time. Long time horror fans were disappointed (as evidenced by the IMDB score) by this film that was visually updated, but lacked a newness that would have given more punch and franchise possibility.

IMDB Score: 1980 – 6.4/ 2009 – 5.4

A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984/2010

The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is home to Freddy Krueger, the blade glove wielding killer that attacks the teens of Elm St. in their dreams. This extremely popular franchise of the 1980s and 1990s fell short of expectations. Many expected great things, but were served another helping of “let’s just redo it, and hope for the best”. While graphically better, it was never the special effects of the original movie that made it a hit. Perhaps fans were tired of seeing Thomas Dekker playing a teenager in film for the previous decade (i.e. Boston Public 2003).

IMDB Score: 1984 – 7.5/ 2010 – 5.1

Hallowe’en 1978/2007

The classic Jamie Lee Curtis movie brought the killer Michael Myers to the big screen. The remake of this film by Rob Zombie can scarcely be compared to the original. Rob Zombie’s version delves deeper into the mystery of Michael Myers, and examines his time in psychiatric care. The remake of this movie creates a much more cerebral and realistic look at a killer that is in many ways more disturbing than the first. The remake has spawned its own franchise with Hallowe’en II in 2009.

IMDB Score: 1978 – 7.9/2007 – 6.0

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974/2003

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a film that no one thought would make it. It became one of the most famous and recognizable horror franchises in history. The 2003 remake starred Jessica Biel as she tried to abandon her 7th Heaven reputation. This remake followed the same classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre storyline, however did not try to reproduce the same movie. The remake added depth to the story, and was successful enough to have two sequels: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, and Texas Chainsaw 3D.

IMDB Score: 1974 – 7.5/2003 – 6.1

Whether you were first introduced to the originals or the remakes of these movies, they continue to be a part of the horror landscape. It is likely that other classic franchises will have their kick at the can – but which will they be?

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