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10 Best Horror Reboots, Ranked According To Rotten Tomatoes – Screen Rant

With the Cenobites making their triumphant return in the new Hellraiser, now is the time to look back at the horror movie reboots of the past.
After years of churning out sub-par direct-to-video sequels, Hellraiser is getting a high-profile reboot that looks to reinvigorate the franchise. Early reviews have been quite positive, and with a talented director in David Bruckner, perhaps Clive Barker's classic story will have new legs after all.
Looking back at horror reboots of the past, one thing that stands out is just how hard they are to pull off, and the laundry list of poorly received ones surely makes the new Hellraiser look even more impressive. However, some reboots of beloved horror films succeed on their own terms, and Rotten Tomatoes has fans' backs as they rank the best (and worst) ones.
When Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes acquired the rights to remake a slew of old-school slashers, a reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street was probably inevitable. Sure enough, it came in 2010, largely retelling the original's story, but dispensing with the sequels' jokester Freddy in order to darken the tone.
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The remake/reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street is held in low regard by both critics and fans of the series, who saw generally view it as merely a weak imitation of the original. However, Jackie Earle Haley's Freddy Krueger is a notable bright spot, with his performance being terrifying enough to make one wish he got another chance.
As many times as Jason Voorhees has "died" onscreen, watching him brutalize unsuspecting campers never gets old, so after Freddy vs. Jason, a reboot of Friday the 13th seemed a logical way to go. Unfortunately, it received largely negative responses despite being financially successful, and the franchise has been mostly dormant since.
While often considered a remake, Friday the 13th '09 is better described as a re-imagining, taking elements from the first three movies to tell a new story. Stuntman Derek Mears makes a great Jason, but the film is overall forgettable, and even the kills are too generic to leave much impact.
Poltergeist is one of the most beloved '80s horror films, perfectly combining tense atmosphere, disturbing imagery, and a touch of Spielbergian adventure. Given how tough an act the original is to follow, it's not surprising that its 2015 remake, despite being a decent financial success, was largely written off as an inferior product.
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The 2015 Poltergeist's basic premise of a family being terrorized by a supernatural entity is very similar to the first movie, but all the characters' names are changed and the family is made far more dysfunctional even before the horror kicks in. The main thing the film has going for it is a terrific cast, led by Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Jared Harris as a charismatic occult expert.
As the movie that kickstarted the 2010s found footage craze, Paranormal Activity was a bona fide phenomenon, with its documentary style making some viewers think it was real. While its sequels were generally considered lesser in quality, plenty of them were still successful enough to make Blumhouse think a reboot had potential.
Next of Kin follows Margot, a young woman who travels to Amish country with a camera crew in search of answers about her long-lost mother. Even with leaps in technology leading to a more polished look, the movie was a dud with critics and audiences, and even Jason Blum called it "terrible".
Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil had enough fans to justify six entries, but viewers consider it to be one of the worst horror franchises, especially if they're fans of the games. That being said, the games themselves are enormously popular, and Welcome to Raccoon City seemed like it could be a breath of fresh air for being more faithful to its source material.
While the previous movies focused mainly on the non-game character Alice, Raccoon City stars many fan favorites, from the Redfield siblings to Leon Kennedy. Reviews were certainly mixed, but some singled out some notable positives, particularly its John Carpenter-inspired atmosphere and fun tributes to the early games.
Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the great proto-slashers, so its 2003 remake being the first movie produced by the horror remake factory Platinum Dunes makes perfect sense. Like the original, the remake/reboot was a box office hit even with mainly negative reviews, leading to a prequel in 2006.
One thing that helps the movie is keeping the original's '70s setting, which increases the tension (no cell phones) and allows for some period touches, like the characters heading to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert before Leatherface and family come into the picture.
The Child's Play franchise has made a comeback with the TV series, which brings back Brad Dourif as Chucky, but 2019's reboot took things in a very different direction. The movie is a loose remake of the first film, changing Chucky from a serial killer possessing a doll into an AI-driven toy gone horribly wrong.
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Among the fanbases of many horror franchises, saying one likes the remake is often an unpopular opinion, but plenty of Child's Play fans liked the 2019 version just fine. A commonly cited positive is the relationship between Chucky and Andy, the former of whom comes off as a genuine friend whose sabotaged programming makes him something of a tragic figure.
Wrong Turn was released in 2003 to mixed reviews and only modest box office numbers, but it gained enough of a fanbase to spawn a direct-to-video franchise that continued the backwoods horrors. But in 2021, the series returned to theaters in reboot form, with a plot following a group of friends who discover a mysterious wilderness cult.
While the new Wrong Turn's Rotten Tomatoes score may not look particularly impressive, many consider it an improvement on the original "with a lot more on its mind than just a cool kill." (via RogerEbert.com) The movie also takes a unique approach to the reboot formula, making the original series movies-within-the-movie.
The original Piranha films were low-budget horror flicks most famous for giving directors Joe Dante and James Cameron some early directorial work, but they are largely forgotten today. Instead, the reboot Piranha 3D has eclipsed them, being a box office hit that earned surprisingly positive reviews.
Piranha 3D stars Elisabeth Shue as Julie Forester, an Arizona sheriff who must become a hero when her son's Spring Break is ruined by ravenous fish. Taking a page from the first movie, the reboot is a largely comedic B-movie, but with a lot more gore and nudity that makes it feel more like a deliberately trashy exploitation film.
Bram Stoker's novel Dracula has inspired countless adaptations, and while the 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi is widely considered the definitive version, the Hammer's Horror of Dracula at the very least gives it a run for its money, with Christopher Lee's portrayal of the title character immortalizing him as a cinematic icon.
Like many Dracula movies, this one follows the classic vampire formula, but takes significant liberties with the source material that helps it stand alone as an original work. One of the most notable changes comes with Peter Cushing's Van Helsing, whose man-of-action portrayal undoubtedly influenced the character's future performers, from Anthony Hopkins to Hugh Jackman.
NEXT: Hellraiser & 9 Other '80s Horror Movies That Have The Potential For Great Remakes
Pierce Brenner is a freelance list writer for Screen Rant. He graduated from California State University, San Marcos in 2019 with a BA in History, with a minor in Film/Video Production. Pierce’s childhood love of Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars sent on him the path to movie fandom early, but it was The Lord of the Rings trilogy that inspired him to become a filmmaker. His love for film knows no bounds, and he’ll watch anything from prestige epics to 70s/80s exploitation. Currently writing a script for a horror-thriller feature.

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