In honor of the 20th anniversary of Dawn Of The Dead (2004) and the slate of horror remakes available from Scream Factory, the Shout! team is weighing in on some of our favorites!

DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004) – Emily H.

Dawn Of The Dead from director Zack Snyder also boasts a screenplay from James Gunn, making it a collision of all things movie geeks love (and love picking apart). The film is an amped up remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 original, with action-packed zombie fights giving the undead new life. Ridiculously gory and horrifying, the film’s strong cast including Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer, and Ty Burrell has strong leads plus the requisite human villains that make life life in a zombie apocalypse so much more difficult.  The soundtrack of Dawn Of The Dead is incredibly strong, with Zack Snyder choosing most of the music used in the film himself. Johnny Cash, The Stereophonics, and a cover of Disturbed’s “Down With The Sickness” all feature prominently.

NOSFERATU (1979) – Ben S.

When Werner Herzog set out to tackle remaking one of the most renowned silent German films of all time, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, it was no mere cash grab. Herzog's Nosferatu The Vampyre was a spiritual necessity to connect with German film culture. “We were the first postwar generation and we had no fathers, we had no mentors, we had no teachers, we had no masters, we were a generation of orphans. Many of us actually were orphans.” Herzog reimagines Murnau’s visually striking classic with his own brand of stunning imagery and pairs it with a captivating soundtrack of classical cues and mesmerizing Popol Vuh jams. Klaus Kinski, repulsive and pathetic as Count Dracula, is on screen for a fraction of the film’s runtime but casts a long and terrifying shadow over the whole affair.

THE THING (1982) – Emily H.

John Carpenter’s chilly classic is so good that not everyone knows it’s actually a remake. The Thing followed after Howard Hawks’s The Thing From Another World in 1951, with a similar remote arctic setting being the hunting ground for an alien organism. But Carpenter’s 1980 version has become a bonafide classic in the years since its release, with unforgettable performances from the likes of Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and Keith David. As the men turn on each other trying to determine which of them is an alien in disguise, you go to some of the darkest parts of the human mind. The paranoia and fear of those you thought you knew ground the film even as strange alien limbs skitter along the ice. Man is the warmest place to hide… so get under a blanket, side-eye your dog, and hit play on this beloved horror classic.  

CARRIE (2013) – AJ M.

It goes without saying that Brian De Palma’s original from 1976 has risen to a class of its own. So much so that I have never seen such bloodthirsty rage sweep internet forums as when the Carrie remake was first announced. A modern-day interpretation of Stephen King’s already-minted classic … was this even a little bit necessary?

While remakes are almost never necessary, they are sometimes worth it. Such is the case with Kimberly Peirce’s 2013 adaptation of Stephen King’s bloodsoaked classic about a bullied high school student with a telekinetic secret. This 2010s era remake gets solid mileage from a talented cast that swaps in Chloë Grace Moretz for Sissy Spacek and Julianne Moore for Piper Laurie, who chews the scenery raw as Carrie’s deranged zealot mother Margaret.

By revisiting each unforgettable story beat without trying to upstage the original, this millennial re-imagining pulls no punches as it builds up to the infamous prom night from hell. If you’ve got a Carrie-shaped hole in your heart this Spring, plug it up with our 4K release, available now. 

CHILD’S PLAY (2019) – Emily H.

Chucky is a character beloved by so many, so if you’re going to do a reboot of the film that spawned his empire, you’d better get a good actor to step into the toy-sized shoes of Brad Dourif. Mark Hamill takes on the mantle of the tiny terror in Child’s Play and while he is perhaps most famous for his role as Luke Skywalker, it’s his voiceover work as the Joker in works like Batman: The Animated Series that serves him so well as Buddi the doll. The contemporary reimagining of the original Child’s Play gives its doll a new name and some fancy technology, but he’s up to his old tricks.

HOUSE OF WAX (2005) – Joey G.

Though it plays more like a slick update of its slasher kin Tourist Trap than the original 1953 schlocker it shares its name with, House Of Wax is still one of the more enjoyable remakes we were delivered in the early aughts.

Spooky atmosphere, goopy practical effects, and plenty of “whoa, I didn’t see that coming” moments help this one stand out from the other cash-grab remakes that were being foisted upon us at the time.

It’s so good, you’ll hardly even mind that Paris Hilton is in almost every scene!

THE BLOB (1988) – Emily H.

The Blob oozed back onto the screen in this remake of the 1958 original, a perfect film to get an ‘80s update because the monster really lends itself to the decade’s juicy, visceral practical effects. Disgusting yet impossible to look away from, the film revels in creative, gooey kills and is helmed by genre star Shawnee Smith pre-Saw and a young Kevin Dillon. Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont wrote the script and agreed that the creature was akin to an inside-out stomach, meaning that acid eats away at its victims. When so many horror films pit their heroes against the traditional monsters of legend, it’s always fun to see something with such a radically different design.

EVIL DEAD (2013) – AJ M.

With full backing from Sam Raimi himself, Fede Álvarez conjured a remake in Evil Dead that pays homage to the original while grounding itself in unflinching realism. The premise is familiar enough; it follows a group of twenty-somethings who venture to a remote cabin to help Mia (Jane Levy) overcome an opiate withdrawal. After finding a strange book in the basement, an evil force is awakened, wreaking foul and fatal havoc among them.

Marketed as “the most terrifying film you will ever experience,” the film’s bare-knuckled spirit isn’t diminished in light of its $17 million budget. Unsparing in its graphic depictions of violence, the film shattered a record for its use of practical effects, spewing 70,000 gallons of fake blood in its 92 minute runtime. That’s more than 3 swimming pools of goopy red paste tinting each frame of this splatter flick.

In a rare turn of events, the original fanbase couldn’t have been more approving of Álvarez’s ability to capture the spirit of Raimi’s original while having the (literal) guts to let it be something new altogether. As it walked a bloody tightrope between departure and homage, Evil Dead broke through shackles of reboot culture and won acclaim as one of the best horror films of the 2010s, even spawning a sequel of its own. For those with filthy souls, you can own Evil Dead on 4K UHD Blu-ray today!

THE SHINING (1997) – Emily H.

Director/writer Mick Garris (Hocus Pocus, Sleepwalkers) brought us Stephen King’s favorite version of his unforgettable novel in the miniseries The Shining. The screenplay was written by Stephen King himself and is a much more faithful adaptation than Stanley Kubrick’s film. The longer run time means the viewer is given us more time with the complicated characters inhabiting the Overlook, with Steven Weber as Jack building up his aggression more naturally as opposed to starting the film in an already heightened state. Rebecca DeMornay is a more confident Wendy, and Elliott Gould makes an appearance as the general manager of the hotel.  

THE RING (2002) – Emily H.

This American remake of Hideo Nakata’s Ringu also features a cursed video tape, but its shades of Zodiac, green-tinged visual horrors, and deft direction from Gore Verbinski make The Ring wholly its own experience and well worth a watch. Never have wells or wet stringy hair been so scary! Naomi Watts is a wildly underrated actress who pulls off the slightly clinical investigative journalist mother role beautifully, just as interested in uncovering the mystery of Samara and her tape as she is in protecting herself and her family. The film firmly cemented itself into our pop culture lexicon – “Seven days…” – and kicked off a wave of J-horror remakes that had varying levels of success.