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In Anticipation of the ‘SPEAK NO EVIL’ Remake: 5 Great Horror Remakes That Live Up to Their Source Material

To celebrate the imminent release of James Watkins‘ (Eden Lake, Bastille Day) new take on the Danish shocker Speak No Evil, we thought now would be a better time than ever to resurrect some of the greatest horror remakes to grace the big screen in a “best of” list.

Adapted for the screen and directed by Watkins, and starring Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate, The Turning), James McAvoy (Split, It Chapter Two), Scoot McNairy (A Quiet Place Part II, Nightbitch), Aisling Franciosi (The Last Voyage of the Demeter, Stopmotion), Alix West Lefler (The Good Nurse), and Daniel Hough, the film chronicles how an American family is invited to spend the weekend at the idyllic country estate of a charming British family they befriend on vacation. But, much to their chagrin, what begins as a dream holiday soon warps into a snarled psychological nightmare.

Speak No Evil will hit theaters exclusively on September 13, 2024. Until then, enjoy this selection of fantastic horror remakes that truly captured the spirit of their source material.

The Thing – John Carpenter (1982)

Carpenter’s vision of The Thing from Another World is a masterclass in the technical achievement of practical effects to horrify. It originally debuted to underwhelming reception, with some labeling it “instant junk” – but of course, formed a cult following which eventually pivoted the passion of The Thing from disgust to adoration. Every element of this film could and perhaps should be acclaimed. The practical effects, which were once shrugged off, now stand as a testament to the timelessness of sticking to classical forms of scares, rather than digitizing them.

The Crazies – Breck Eisner (2010)

A remake of a Romero classic could be labeled as sacrilege or it can be acclaimed, as shown with Steve Miner’s Day of the Dead or Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead. Eisner’s The Crazies occupies a slightly surreal middle ground between the two, incorporating elements of the original whilst redefining within a modern context, allowing for greater play in this hellscape. We have government espionage and military intervention against the backdrop of a zombie-like virus that still feels fresh even as we approached zombie oversaturation point. The maniacal and unhinged nature of The Crazies is chilling, having been completely overridden by an almost-heightened intelligence alongside a hunger for unadulterated slaughter.

Evil Dead – Fede Alvarez (2013)

It allowed The Evil Dead to re-enter the public consciousness and to ensnare a new generation with the fascination for the Necronomicon, as well as a re-examination and a revival of the original adoration that “Ash and the Evil Dead” series received in its heyday. While it may not be universally loved, it is nevertheless an impressive attempt to add to the canon of a respected and adored franchise, rather than a disrespectful cash grab as is the way of many horror remakes.

It – Andy Muschietti (2017)

Stuck in development for the better part of a decade, swapping out directors and writers, with at one point Cary Fukunaga attached to write and direct, we eventually received what could be considered one of the greatest Horror remakes of all time. Having achieved the highest-grossing horror of all time, this is a brilliant coming-of-age adventure encased in a horrifying context. Above all else, the characterization is what drives this film, both in the relationships between the Losers Club and their own twisted connections to Pennywise. If the Losers’ Club is the scaffolding, then Pennywise is the foundation of It.

Suspiria – Luca Guadagnino (2018)

Guadagnino instills a great complexity into Suspiria’s lore, entwining the themes of abuse and motherhood, complicating the viewpoints of who we follow. The exploration of sisterhood, the matriarchal figures behind the Academy, and a greater enrichment of the characterization of the witches within the film don’t go unnoticed, elevating it to a level of seriousness the original did not obtain, mostly due to its Giallo nature. It would be amiss to not highlight Tilda Swinton’s powerhouse triptych performances film – the mystery of who she plays is only one of the many pieces of this sensational piece of art, that come together to make a violently striking and phenomenal horror that celebrates the original whilst firmly standing on its own.

Are there any other great remakes that you would include in this list? Let us know over on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Speak No Evil will hit theaters exclusively on September 13, 2024.

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