15 Movie Remakes That Might Have Been Better Than The Originals

Sarunyu L / Shutterstock.com

Classic movies have a special place in our hearts, often regarded as masterpieces that have stood the test of time. However, creating modern remakes of classic films has risen in popularity in recent years as an attempt to bring them to a new generation of audiences. While some remakes are successful in capturing the essence of the original, others fall short of capturing the magic that made the original film a classic. But out of all of these beloved films and their modern counterpart, which of them is worth watching?

King Kong (1933) vs. King Kong (2005)

King Kong (1933)/themoviedb.org

The original “King Kong” is a groundbreaking film that set the standard for action-packed monster movies today. Besides, who doesn’t recognize the iconic scene of this massive gorilla climbing the Empire State Building while carrying Ann Darrow in its hand? However, the 2005 remake directed by Peter Jackson is arguably superior due to its stunning visuals and strong character development. Critics have often praised this remake for its state-of-the-art special effects and for delving deeply into the psychology of its character, all while keeping the spirit of the original film alive.

The Parent Trap (1961) vs. The Parent Trap (1998)

The Parent Trap (1998)/themoviedb.org

This original family comedy is a beloved classic that tells the story of two teenage identical twins who, after meeting each other at a summer camp, switch places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents. While the original has stood the test of time as a lighthearted film that marked a turn towards a more natural, realistic form of acting, the 1998 remake starring Lindsey Lohan is a charming and heartwarming adaptation. Numerous critics have praised this movie not only for its humor and nostalgia factor, but also for hitting more emotional moments that work better here than in the original.

Psycho (1960) vs. Psycho (1998)

Psycho (1960)/themoviedb.org

Alfred Hitchcock’s original “Psycho” is a masterpiece of suspense and psychological horror that still shocks audiences to this day. This movie, arguably considered to be Hitchcock’s most famous and influential work, set a new standard of the amount of violence considered acceptable in American films and considered to be one of the earliest examples of the slasher film genre. On the other hand, the 1998 remake directed by Gus Van Sant failed to capture the same fear and intensity of its original counterpart, making Hitchcock’s version the clear winner in this comparison.

Scarface (1932) vs. Scarface (1983)

Scarface (1983)/themoviedb.org

“Scarface” is a classic crime movie that depicts the rise and fall of an immigrant turned wealthy drug lord, and despite facing censorship and backlash from critics, the film established new standards for storytelling, character development, and visual style that paved the way for future gangster films. But when you think of the main character, Tony, there is probably one face that comes to mind – legendary actor Al Pacino. The 1983 remake of “Scarface” is often seen as better than the original version due to Pacino’s iconic performance as Tony, making this a must-watch for all movie lovers alike.

Beauty and the Beast (1991) vs. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (2017)/themoviedb.org

Over the past ten years, it seems that Disney has been on a mission to release live-action versions of beloved animated Disney movies that people of all ages have grown to love. One of the earlier releases in this live-action movement was the 2017 remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” with a star-studded cast including Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Emma Thompson. But despite its over-the-top visuals and its elaborate, detailed production and costume designs, this version lackshe charm and magic of the original animated film. The 1991 version captured the essence of the fairy tale and remains a cherished classic.

Aladdin (1992) vs. Aladdin (2019)

Aladdin (2019)/themoviedb.org

Speaking of live-action remakes of Disney animated movies that did not live up to its expectations, add the 2019 version of “Aladdin” to the list. From the beginning, there were already big shoes to fill, especially with the role of the Genie – previously filled by the late Robin Williams, and also considered by critics as arguably one of William’s best performances. To be fair, he remake does try its best to honor its nostalgia factor by recruiting Alan Menken, music composer for the original film, to score the remake’s music, and including several references at paid tribute to the original, such as subtle nods to the Genie’s various pop culture impersonations. However, the addition of new characters and plots that weren’t present before are confusing, and overall makes the 2019 version not worth the hype.

The Karate Kid (1984) vs. The Karate Kid (2010)

The Karate Kid (1984)/themoviedb.org

“The Karate Kid” is a treasured coming-of-age story that has inspired people for generations, so it is no wonder why there are several remakes of this movie, including the 2010 version starring a young Jaden Smith. Despite this, the original remains superior to this remake for several reasons. Firstly, the chemistry and emotional depth between Ralph Macchio as Daniel and Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi is unmatched to the characters in the 2010 version. Additionally, the original film also captures the struggles and triumphs of the characters in a more relatable and meaningful way, making the 1984 version the clear winner.

A Star is Born (1937) vs. A Star is Born (2018)

A Star is Born (2018)/themoviedb.org

If you’re a fan of Lady Gaga or Bradley Cooper, or you enjoy watching heartfelt musical movies, then you’ve likely heard about or watched “A Star is Born.” But did you know that this Oscar award-winning movie is one of four adaptions of the 1937 version with the same name? Probably not, and that’s okay! While the original film may have set the standard for its future remakes, the 2018 version brings a fresh perspective to the storyline, with more nuanced character development and a deeper exploration of themes such as addiction and fame. Additionally, the music in the 2018 version, mostly written and performed by Cooper and Gaga themselves, adds another layer of depth and authenticity to the film.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) vs. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Sponge on the Run (2021)

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)/themoviedb.org

He’s absorbent, yellow and porous, and kids – and parents – have grown to love him over the past 25 years; why, of course, it’s SpongeBob SquarePants! While the movies released after the original “SpongeBob SquarePants” are considered a series rather than remakes, the drastic differences in animation style and storylines serve as a reminder that some movies are not meant to be adapted into remakes. Yes, the basic plot element of a potentially stolen Krabby Patty secret formula is present in both the original and “Sponge on the Run,” but the use of CGI instead of the traditional 2D animation used in the TV show and the addition of characters that were never present before feels like an effort to reinvent the wheel that went horribly wrong.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)/themoviedb.org

For lovers of all things strange and whimsical, the film adaptations based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a wonderful option for people of all ages. Both the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder and the 2005 remake featuring Johnny Depp have qualities that make each of them great in their own way, but when compared to each other, the original reigns far superior to its remake. While the 2005 remake directed by Tim Burton offers a darker and more fantastical take on Roald Dahl’s classic story, it lacks the charm and heart that Gene Wilder captured in the original.

Ghostbusters (1984) vs. Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters (1984)/themoviedb.org

Whether you’re older or younger, you probably know that when there’s something strange in your neighborhood, you got to call Ghostbusters! This well-known comedy film from 1984 contained a stellar cast including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver, and it is considered to be a classic in the realm of comedy and supernatural films. The 2016 all-female remake, starring Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy, tried its best to add a fresh perspective to this story by gender-swapping its cast, this remake failed to capture the humor and wit of the original, making it a disappointment in comparison.

True Grit (1969) vs. True Grit (2010)

True Grit (2010)/themoviedb.org

The original “True Grit, starring John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, is a classic Western film that tells the story of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, who is hired by a young girl, Mattie Ross, to avenge her father’s death after he is murdered by his hired hand. While the original movie starring legendary actor John Wayne helped Wayne to earn his Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, the 2010 remake is considered to be more iconic for several reasons. For instance, the chemistry between Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn adds depth and emotion to the story, making it more engaging for audiences. The cinematography and direction in the 2010 version are also more modern and visually striking, creating a more immersive experience for viewers. 

Ocean’s 11 (1960) vs. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Ocean’s 11 (2001)/themoviedb.org

Do you get a thrill from watching elaborate heist films where a group of people try to get away with robbing banks or casinos? If so, “Ocean’s Eleven” is the ideal movie for you. While the 1960 version may have set the standard for future heist films and is a classic in its own right, the 2001 remake is a must-watch for a few key reasons. Not only does it have a star-packed cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, it also introduces intricate and clever plot twists that keep the audience engaged and on the edge of their seats throughout the film, making it a more polished and entertaining take on this classic heist film.

The Amityville Horror (1979) vs. The Amityville Horror (2005)

The Amityville Horror (2005)/themoviedb.org

If you’re a horror enthusiast or just starting to test the waters in the horror genre, then you’ve likely heard about “The Amityville Horror,” which is based on the claims of paranormal events that the Lutz family experiences after moving into a house in Amityville, NY in 1975. Film critics and historians consider the 1979 film to be a horror classic, so it is no surprise that a number of sequels and a remake featuring Ryan Reynolds have popped up over the years. Despite this, the original film benefits from the gritty, practical effects and filming techniques of the 1970s, creating a more authentic and eerie atmosphere. The slower pace of the original compared to the 2005 adaptation also allows for more tension to build and for the audience to become fully immersed in the supernatural events unfolding in the house.

Planet of the Apes (1968) vs. Planet of the Apes (2001)

Planet of the Apes (1968)/themoviedb.org

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if it wasn’t run by humans? If so, then “Planet of the Apes” is the right choice for you. While the most recent adaptations of this series gives more action-packed perspective to the story of a futuristic world run by apes, the original version from 1968 reigns superior for several reasons. The original film’s groundbreaking makeup and special effects, while not as advanced as it is today, are still considered some of the best in cinematic history. Plus, the twist at the movie’s end still remains as of the most memorable and thought-provoking moments in the science fiction genre.


Leave a Reply