‘Firestarter’ is heading back to the big screen on 13th May 2022 under the direction of Keith Thomas (‘The Vigil’) and starring Zac Efron (‘The Greatest Showman’) and Ryan Keira Armstrong (‘The Tomorrow War’).
The original Stephen King adaptation was released in 1984 and starred Drew Barrymore, and it’s considered a horror classic. Whether or not the remake is worth watching remains to be seen but it got us thinking about movie remakes that we actually adore.
It’s true that remakes usually don’t best the original films but there are some exceptions along with some remakes that do something a little different, making them worth checking out.
We’ve picked 5 remakes that we think you should watch if you haven’t done so already…
1. ‘A Star Is Born’ (2018)
Can Lady Gaga really act? Can Bradley Cooper sing? Did we really need another remake of this film? All of those were questions ahead of the film being released but ‘A Star Is Born’ went on to be a huge box office smash with a huge-selling soundtrack and electric chemistry between Gaga and Cooper. The fourth version of ‘A Star Is Born’, this one was contemporary, leaned into rock and pop, got Gaga an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (she walked away with Best Original Song for ‘Shallow’) and was directed and co-written by Cooper! It’s emotional, funny, engaging, romantic… pretty much everything you want in a movie.
Buy ‘A Star Is Born’ on Blu-ray and DVD now
2. ‘King Kong’ (2005)
The 1933 ‘King Kong’ is still a classic but it’s fair to say that technology and movie-making has moved on hugely since its release. In 2005 Peter Jackson, fresh from his ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, turned his hand to remaking ‘King Kong’ with Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody leading the cast. At a lengthy 3 hours and 7 minutes, the film is a bit of an endurance test but it’s a well-crafted blockbuster with jaw-dropping special effects and a surprisingly emotional conclusion.
Buy ‘King Kong’ on Blu-ray and DVD now
3. ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (2003)
OK, hear us out before you start telling us we’re wrong. The original 1974 ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ by Tobe Hooper is an undeniable horror classic but it’s pretty hard to get through given all the screaming you have to endure. Marcus Nispel gave the film a contemporary makeover in the wake of the revival of the horror genre in the late 90s and with Jessica Biel and Mike Vogel in his cast, he crafted a genuinely enjoyable horror that did its own thing, while keeping Leatherface as scary as ever. We think this one is underrated.
Buy ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ on Blu-ray and DVD now
4. ‘The Mummy’ (1999)
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love ‘The Mummy’? The film was a remake of the 1932 Boris Karloff film and it was given a bit of an Indiana Jones vibe by director Stephen Sommers. Brendan Fraser and Rachael Weisz had great chemistry, the special effects were boundary-pushing in their day and the storyline is a great bit of pure cinema escapism. It’s an easy watch and one you can enjoy with the family too.
Buy ‘The Mummy’ on Blu-ray and DVD now
5. ‘Cape Fear’ (1991)
The 1962 original starred Gregory Peck and it’s a classic. The 1991 version was directed by Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro leading the cast, and it was a much more violent and harder-hitting film. Cranking the tension up a few notches, and featuring a knockout performance from Juliette Lewis, as well as standout turns from De Niro, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange, ‘Cape Fear’ is a pure adrenaline-pumping nightmare of a film. Very different from the original but a true 90s classic.