I’ve been a horror fan for as long as I can remember, and admittedly sometimes today’s technology actually improves a few of these old school horror reboots. While I cherish the originals, I appreciate the remakes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Now, they can’t all be winners as The Fog and The Amityville Horror lacked that special something that made the originals such classics.
They’ve been called remakes, reboots, and even movies re-imagined. Whatever you call them, some people embrace them while others are appalled by them. What happens when all the classic horror movies have been remade? Let’s look beyond the genre, and explore some possibilities of non-horror movies being rebooted to fit into the horror spectrum. Here is a list of ten shining examples of comedies, dramas and even family films that would benefit by adding the element of horror.
10. Freaky Friday (1976)
A mother and daughter find their personalities switched and have to live each other’s lives on one strange Friday.
There have been a lot of movies that have followed this format; Tom Hank’s BIG, Vice Versa, and 18 Again all made in 1988, then you had The Hot Chick in 2002, 13 Going on 30 in 2004, and The Change-Up in 2011. There were plenty others as well. I would personally love to see the Freaky Friday body switch gimmick taken to the another level within the horror genre. It could be a mother / daughter exchange, just like Freaky Friday or maybe best friends, but the key point would have to be that one of them is a murderer. You automatically have a dark horror-comedy in the making.
9. Night Shift (1982)
A morgue attendant is talked into running a brothel at his workplace after a deceased pimp is sent there. However, the pimp’s killers don’t look too kindly on this new ‘business’, nor does the morgue’s owner.
Do I really have to explain? A morgue full of call girls and their John’s when the undead decide to rise and join the party. This could be very Return of the Living Dead-esque.
8. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
It’s a timeless classic that has already seen a science fiction reboot, but not the horror treatment. If you’ve ever seen McFarland’s Twisted Land of Oz toy collection, then you can appreciate where I’m coming from. The Scarecrow carrying a Grim Reeper sickle with crows pecking him to pieces. The Cowardly Lion is a battle worn beast. The Tinman can only be described as a cross between a zombie and the terminator. Dorothy… well, she’s no longer the innocent farm girl.
7. Heaven Can Wait (1978)
A Los Angeles Rams quarterback, accidentally taken away from his body by an overanxious angel before he was meant to die, returns to life in the body of a recently murdered millionaire.
In the original story, James Mason played an angel from the Heaven to help Warren Beatty’s character, Joe Pendleton, find a new body to inhabit. You can go so many directions to turn this into a scary paranormal remake. The possibilities are unworldly! What if Joe’s dead body rises and becomes a zombie after his accidental premature death. Now, Joe’s ghost must face off against his own undead body and try to lay it to rest before he can move on. Talk about DEAD afterlife!
6. The Muppet Movie (1979)
Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog-legs merchant is after Kermit.
We have all seen dolls that come to life an kill from Child’s Play to Annabelle. What the horror genre needs is a group of lovable muppets or puppets that somehow come to life and viciously turn on their handlers. Children’s programming will never be the same again.
5. Weird Science (1985)
Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.
I can imagine this is a modern day Bride of Frankenstein, but instead of being created in a laboratory she’s made from the technology of iPhones and Apple Computers. Weird Science was a great teen comedy, but make ‘Lisa’ more wicked with Wyatt and Gary quickly losing control of the situation. They forgot to add compassion. She’s still Kelly LaBrock hot. I wouldn’t dare change that fact but her desire to protect the geeks leads her to slaughtering some of their classmates. What happens to Chet is anyone’s guess.
4. A Christmas Carol (1935)
Scrooge, the ultimate Victorian miser, hasn’t a good word for Christmas, though his impoverished clerk Cratchit and nephew Fred are full of holiday spirit. But in the night, Scrooge is visited by spirits of another color. Straightforward adaptation of Dickens
It’s been remade many times over but has it ever been adapted into a horror movie. Can you picture Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by three ghosts from The Conjuring? Victorian England is the perfect creepy backdrop for a classic ghost story. It could most certainly have the same ambiance as a Hammer Film, similar to Dracula has Risen from the Grave or The Evil of Frankenstein.
3. Taxi Driver (1976)
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.
This is already two steps away from being a full blown horror movie. You just need to give Travis Bickle a little shove and you have yourself a serial killer movie. The movie centered around the world of politics, which is certainly a timely topics being that the country has become so divided on issues. The biggest obstacle would be re-casting the legend himself, Robert De Niro.
2. After Hours (1985)
An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop.
Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf In London) in the original ‘After Hours’ is up all night long in the city with no money to get home. If you add a taste of horror to this equation, you will have one bad ass thriller. They’re already giving you the dead body of Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction), so just imagine a scenario where she returns as a zombie. There’s so many directions you can go with a horror all-nighter.
1. Breakfast Club (1985)
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.
It’s the perfect set up for a teen slasher movie. Think about it, 5 high school students trapped in a empty school for Saturday detention. They are being watched by a disgruntle teacher who hates kids. Let’s not forget about the janitor, a former student who never made anything of himself. You add a dead body to the mix and you have yourself a quite the mystery to solve. Who is the murderer… the princess? the athlete? the criminal? the brain? or the basket case? Yes, The Breakfast Club is prime for a remake, but not as a teen coming of age comedy. What did you do to get Saturday detention, hmm?