In the world of moviemaking, remakes are generally not held in high regard. Besides being easy targets for the usual criticisms about Hollywood’s lack of creativity, remakes are inevitably compared to the original films and in most cases are dismissed as inferior copies. Case in point would be director Spike Lee’s 2013 remake of director Chan-wook Park’s 2003 cult classic Oldboy. The critical response to the remake was overwhelmingly negative and the film currently has a mere 41% approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes. In contrast, Park’s original film has an 80% Certified Fresh rating.
While Oldboy appears to be one of the many cases of an unnecessary remake, this is certainly not always the case. In certain situations, remakes have been able to build upon the original in productive and positive ways, creating a film that is actually superior to the original. Here are ten examples of remakes that are widely considered better than the original.
1. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Directed by Philip Kaufman and released in 1978, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a remake of the 1956 film of the same name by Don Siegel, with both films having been based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. The sci-fi thriller tell the story of an alien invasion in which humans are slowly replaced by perfect duplicates, devoid of emotion.
Often ranked among the best movie remakes of all-time, the San Francisco-based 1976 remake adds a gritty layer of realism that the original film lacks, while adding strong performances by Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, and Jeff Goldblum. Although the 1956 film remains a staple of the genre, there’s no denying that the film shows it age while the 1978 remake is just as scary as it was at the time of release.