We live in the age of reboots and remakes, don’t we? While there are plenty of cringe-worthy TV remakes in the works, the worst culprits by far of celebrating non-original ideas are movie studios. For instance, I’ve been through three different Spidermen since I hit puberty. Yes, the movie biz loves to recycle old ideas, even if it means breaking some hearts and brushing some childhood memories under the carpet.
We have to wait until the new all-female Ghostbusters reboot is actually out to decide whether or not it would fall on this list, but its trailer released earlier this month has garnered a lot of attention and some very mixed reviews. I’m hoping the new one holds up.
2. Godzilla (the 1998 version, not the 2014 one)
While I really enjoyed the most recent Godzilla reboot from 2014, I don’t enjoy the 1998 one. You know, the one where The Wallflowers did the “Heroes” cover and which starred my childhood crush Matthew Broderick. At the time, when I was in elementary school, I really loved the movie, but it just wasn’t the same as the Saturday Night Creature Feature ones from the ‘50s and ‘60s. It was cartoonish and relied so heavily on CGI that was outdated almost as soon as the movie premiered.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
If I were about ten-years-old and had never seen the TMNT movies of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, then I too probably would’ve loved the Michael Bay explosion-filled pseudo-adrenaline rush that is the reboot. What happened to nuclear waste spilling into a storm drain and transforming the turtles and Splinter into nun-chuck-wielding vigilantes who just also really love pizza? Wait, you’re telling me now that it’s basically some scientific animal testing? No. No, thank you.
Truth be told, I’m a huge Rob Zombie fan. Zombie did add some extra dimensions to the iconic Mike Meyers character, making him a more fleshed out and motivated villain than the original Halloween did in 1978. But still, when I’m given the option to watch the original or the remake, I choose the original every time without hesitation.
Its show tunes are iconic on a global level, but part of what makes Annie so great is its ability to hold up over time. The original Annie was made with care and consideration; akin to a great Oscar-nominated flick, it still holds up. The new Annie, released in 2014, was filled with campy, over-the-top acting (even for a musical).
6. Stephen King’s It
This hasn’t come out yet, but it’s in the works. Actually it’s been in the works for a while, but just as it was getting close to starting production, Cary Fukunaga (director of the entirety of Season 1 of True Detective) stepped away from the two-part-movie project due to creative differences. As a huge fan of the book, this two-part-movie idea made a lot of sense. If Fukunaga isn’t directing and Will Poulter isn’t playing Pennywise, then I’m just not onboard. Though you sign up Tim Curry to reprise his role as the clown that haunted all of my childhood nightmares and maybe I’ll reconsider.
7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Okay, I get it. There are a lot of horror movies on this list, but that’s because horror movies tend to get the most makeovers. But to take an absolute classic horror movie that has been part of the zeitgeist for so long, that you can just say Leatherface and practically hear the shivers climbing up someone’s spine, you can’t expect to recreate that—even for a new generation of movie goers.
The problem with reboots and remakes is that, by nature, they rely on the tropes and storylines and jokes that work really well in its original form, but often fall very flat when they’re being recycled. That joke that was funny twenty years ago is now a bit offensive or totally outdated, not matter how much you try to improve it. Ed Helms’ Vacation tried to update the jokes and classic vacation scenarios that once made the franchise a goldmine for Chevy Chase, but despite a valiant effort, they came across less as jokes in their own right and ended up more like winky-winky references to its counterpart’s blockbuster past.
9. Jurassic World
Yes, this is one of the biggest movies of all time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t plagued by memes and being ripe for fodder for sites like Honest Trailers. Unfortunately, I watched the movie after it was in theaters, which is probably why I wasn’t as engrossed by it as nearly everyone else on the planet was. Overall, the movie was kind of eh, meh. Besides the massive plot holes and utter lack of chemistry between virtually all the characters, including the two love interests, the movie just couldn’t step completely out of its predecessor’s shadow and become its own entity.
10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This is a case of a remake trying very, very hard to separate itself from its predecessor, which makes you wonder: if you have to forcibly try so hard, maybe it’s not worth the effort? What made this movie so hard to watch was the in-your-face cartoonish aesthetic—bold colors, weird costumes, which made Johnny Depp’s Wonka feel like a candy man version of Michael Jackson, juvenile and wide-eyed, rendering him just a tad creepy.