by Patrick Bromley
The horror genre is in a constant state of remaking itself. Some of these remakes are among my favorite horror movies of all time -- The Thing, The Fly, The Blob -- but most of them remain terrible. I don't know why I these six movies didn't work for me in every case, though it seems like it's a different reason for each one (and sometimes has nothing to do with the film itself, but rather the circumstances under which I saw it). I'm happy to say I've changed my mind about them.
Here are six movies I initially thought were bad, but which I gave a second (or third) chance and realized that I like them a lot more than I thought.
1. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009, dir. Patrick Lussier)
Avatar wouldn't ruin movies for another 10 months. But I didn't fully appreciate all the movie's 3D craziness -- pickaxes swinging towards the camera and JAWS BEING TORN OFF. I thought the 3D was, as evidenced by the above photo, an excuse to film every shot through chain link or some sort of fence. I WAS WRONG ABOUT THIS MOVIE, which is fun in the exact '80s throwback way that director Lussier (a former editor for Wes Craven) and screenwriter Todd Farmer intended it to be. It's one of the best straight-up slasher movies of the last decade, and I have no idea why I resisted it in theaters. I blame it on my son, who was born only weeks before. You're on notice, Charlie.
2. Evil Dead (2013, dir. Fede Alvarez)
3. Let Me In (2010, dir. Matt Reeves)
4. Silent Night (2012, dir. Steven C. Miller)
our commentary for the movie, which was a lot of fun to do, and partly because it's one of a few horror movies that belongs to my wife Erika and I love that it's a horror movie she grew up watching and I didn't. Steven C. Miller's Silent Night borrows very little beyond the "killer Santa" premise; the warning of the catatonic man makes an appearance, as does the famous antler kill and a forced reference to "Garbage day" (which, to be fair, is actually a line in Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2). But Miller does borrow the original movie's hateful spirit; he just puts it inside a better-made movie. He has a great eye and Silent Night is an incredibly well-directed horror movie that failed to connect with me the first time. Rewatching it recently opened my eyes to the fact that it's beautifully shot, features some brutal gore scenes and is a lot of ugly fun.
5. House of Wax (2005, dir. Jaume Collet-Serra)
Tourist Trap than it is House of Wax, and that's such a spot-on observation that I'll never be able to look at the movie the same way again. I'm still not sure I love the remake -- of all the movies on this list, it might still be my least favorite -- but it's better than I initially thought it to be.
6. The Hills Have Eyes (2006, dir. Alexandre Aja)