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At first, I thought it was blasphemy that Zack Snyder was remaking one of the greatest zombie films ever made. After seeing his rendition of George Romero's classic, I felt that it had retained a majority of the original, minus the social commentary. With a great script from James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and a fantastic cast, with the likes of Sarah Polley , Ving Rames and Ty Burrell, Dawn of the Dead is a sure fire example of how to to a horror remake properly.
9. The Ring
The film that created the J-Horror remake craze in Hollywood, just so happens to be one of the best horror films of the 2000's. A remake of the Japanese film Ringu, The Ring really showed how great of a storyteller Gore Verbinski is and contains some of the best uses of atmosphere in any recent horror film.
8. 3:10 to Yuma
The Western is most certainly a dead genre in American cinema, only to have a few come out every few years to remind audiences of how wonderful it can be. James Mangold's rendition of Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma is a fine example of how the Western genre can be as invigorating in this day and age. While it certainly helps to have actors like Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Ben Foster to carry your film, but just about every facet of filmmaking is top notch in Mangold's film.
I'm sure there's a lot of people don't even know that Brian De Palma's classic 1983 film is based on the original Scarface (1932). It was supposed to be a similar remake, set in Chicago, but due to budget restraints, they had to scrap that idea and go in a completely different direction. With a fantastic script from Oliver Stone and a brilliant, over the top performance from Al Pacino, Scarface is one gangster film of epic proportions that deserves to be seen.
6. The Fly
Where the classic Vincent Price horror film was pretty great, David Cronenberg's 1986 remake presents the material in a gruesome manner. As another vehicle to show his obsession with the body, Cronenberg's film explores this through the teleportation experiments of Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldlbum). When things go wrong, he accidentally gets cross mutated with a fly and becomes one of the greatest movie monsters ever designed.
5. 13 Assassins
Takashi Miike has managed to make all kinds of films, in all kinds of genres, in his native Japan. While he had dabbled with elements of the chanbara (Swordfight) film, in things like Izo and Sukiyaki Western Django, his presentation on Eiichi Kudo's samurai classic is nothing short of brilliant. By adding his usual creepy fare, Miike creates a villain far more sinister, than the original. With a final duel that is over 40 minutes long, filled with sword fights, explosions and even cows on fire, you should make it a point to see this film, ASAP!
4. The Good Thief
Sometimes watching a great remake, leads you into the right direction in finding a great filmmaker, which is why I've thrown The Good Thief on this list. Taking a cue from Jean Pierre Melville, Neil Jordan decides to work from his 1956's classic Bob The Gambler (Bob le Flambeur), in order to not only offer up a fantastic heist film, but one of the greatest roles Nick Nolte has ever played in his entire career.
3. 12 Monkeys
Terry Gilliam is a filmmaker that has managed to astonish in a multitude of ways, from his early Monty Python days, to films like Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In 1995, Gilliam decided to remake Chris Marker's incredible La Jetee, a film mostly made of still photographs and transformed it into 12 Monkeys. One of the best examples of time travel in a film, 12 Monkey expands the scope of La Jetee and allows the audience to be captivated by its production design, intricate plotting and solid acting.
2. The Thing
John Carpenter's The Thing is a harrowing experience, which most certainly does not require one to have seen the original film, The Thing from Another World. From its themes of isolation, to the intensity of Rob Bottin's practical effects, The Thing is a benchmark of a horror film that still impresses audiences till this day.
1. The Departed
I had already seen the entirety of the Infernal Affairs trilogy for years, before Martin Scorsese became attached to a remake that holds its own to its predecessor. The Departed opts for borrowing Affairs' plot, in order to service a different tone for the gangster film and shows the director's stylistic approach towards identity, duty and honor. I think both sets of films are pretty fantastic, but The Departed reminds people of why Scorsese is one of America's greatest living directors with his rendition of the Hong Kong classic.