Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

Friday The 13th 2009 601x360 Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

We’ve all noticed Hollywood’s original creative output is less prolific than it was during previous eras. It’s easy to assign blame for the lack of unique titles at the feet of the studios and you’ve indeed every right to! While studio heads are lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills and whipping at the hind quarters of cabana boys with Egyptian cotton handkerchiefs – they’re still making a profit by churning out films based on existing franchises.

If you compare the top ten grossing films of 2011 to the top ten of 1981 – a mere two films in 1981 were sequels, whereas in 2011 eight of those ten were sequels. That’s bonkers. So, whether you like it or not the franchise redo is here to stay, with one boot firmly planted into the nutsack of cinema and another onto a nearby footstool to steady itself.

With an increasing number of films in development emerging as reboots, sequels or prequels –it’s only fair that the village bike of cinema; horror, gets her fair share. Each film in the following list has existed previously and varies from those in development to those awaiting release. Whether by remaking an already-existing film, rebooting a franchise via a new approach, reinterpreting the source material or re-editing an existing picture, the chances are you’ve heard of them all before.

And they’ll all be back to cause horror fans nosebleeds, slight foaming at the mouth and frantic commenting on a horror film franchises article written by a British lass. So, without further ado, here they are.

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30. V/H/S 2


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With the first V/H/S only having raked in a mere $100, 345 so far, it’s a surprise that a sequel was announced. A terrifying found footage film, V/H/S consists of a series of vignettes all helmed by different directors which follow a group of students hired to retrieve a VHS tape from a desolate house.

It was only fitting that a sequel be announced around Halloween though with a new glut of directors already confirmed. Gareth Evans (The Raid), Eduardo Sanchez & Gregg Hale (The Blair Witch Project), Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre), Adam Wingard (You’re Next) and Simon Barrett (Writer of V/H/S segments) are all set to direct segments.

While you’d have to knock this writer out with a couple of bars of gold before getting her into an abandoned house to look for a sodding videotape, the sequel’s story will tread the same path as the original, thus proving characters in contemporary horror have genitals of steel. The first image has been released from the film and it was pulled from Evans’ segment. Uniting smiles and a bloody torso, it’s almost like The Hangover meets Martyrs. On a considerably smaller budget.

The first outing received a mixed bag of reviews, with only a 50% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so we’re betting that the notoriety surrounding the film’s intensity (including the fainting at Sundance) fuelled interest enough for this small indie horror to warrant a follow-up.

V/H/S 2 premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival (read our review), but no theatrical release has been announced.

29. The Mummy

the mummy Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

Brought to life by Universal back in 1932, the original version of The Mummy featured Boris Karloff as the bandaged monster bumbling about petrifying early cinema audiences. In 1999 the studio awoke the franchise again with Billy Zane-lookalike, Arnold Vosloo as the High Priest Imhotep Mummy in Stephen Sommer’s CGI-filled adventure romp which went on to spawn two further sequels.

Now, The Mummy is being woken again! (No wonder he’s always such a murderous bastard.) This time, Underworld and Total Recall director, Len Wiseman is being pursued by the studio to helm the next reboot. A script penned by Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts is reportedly much darker than prior versions – probably best to leave the kiddies at Grandma’s for this one – and with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens) producing, there’s a chance it will deliver.

Wiseman stated in an interview last year for his wish to create something edgier, with more twists and to craft a new vision of The Mummy – you know, so he’s scarier. While it’s all well and good promising that now, once the powers that be realise it won’t rake in the $415 million that the 1999 Brendan Fraser family friendly version did…then you can kiss that risqué R-rating goodbye.

The Mummy is scheduled to arrive in Summer 2014, probably with Kate Beckinsale in the lead.

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28. Harker

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Following on with another Universal token, Harker dons a new title for an old tale: Dracula. Under the direction of blood spatter expert, Eli Roth, Harker will focus the camera in the direction of one Jonathan Harker. Known in the cinematic Dracula canon as a Keanu-shaped sourpuss, Harker will this time take the form of a Scotland Yard detective on the hunt for the fanged one in London.

Warner Bros. have been trying to get the project going for a while but has run into various delays. But, with Russell Crowe confirmed as the pointy-toothed blood sucker, all we’re waiting for now is a leading man.

The flick is being touted as the first in a franchise – gasp – and was penned by Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy. Don’t know who they are? They’re already bum chums with Roth, the Texas twosome also co-wrote and exec-produced Hemlock Grove – the Hostel director’s upcoming Netflix series; and the Zorro Reborn reboot.

As soon as the script and story are locked in, apparently they’ll settle on a leading man for the role of the sleuth. But who’s it gonna be? Gotta go with Cumberbatch.

27. Paranormal Activity 5

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The question was never would they make another sequel, but when would they announce it? Mere days after Paranormal Activity 4 hit cinemas it was reported a fourth sequel would be produced in time for a Halloween 2013 release on October 25th. The fourth film’s opening weekend raked in $26.5 million – not as much as the previous sequels but not bloody bad for a film which cost $5 million to make.

At the moment there’s no definitive news on the direction the story will take. Chances are the scariest sounding demon in the world, Toby, will be there and Katie Featherston has confirmed her reappearance. A completely pointless Latino version of the film is also set for Spring 2013 to be directed by Disturbia writer, Christopher Landon, who also scribbled the first three PA sequels. What purpose it serves to hash out another tale when I’m sure Latinos everywhere are just as sick of the franchise as we are, is anyone’s guess (money?)

To dismiss Paranormal Activity now is an easy swipe, but somewhat deserved. The franchise started with an original premise and was scary to boot. Now though, the creativity and consideration prevalent in that first film has been exhausted, despite PA3 bringing aboard new talent and some clever gimmicks (the fan-cam – terrifying!)

We’ll keep you posted when further news lands on the Paranormal Activity franchise.

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26. The Woman In Black: Angel of Death

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The highest grossing British horror film in over twenty years, The Woman In Black, succeeded critically and financially and now a sequel is in the works. With the tagged on subtitle Angel of Death, the film has Brit director Tom Harper and writer Jon Croker attached. Croker’s script is based on an idea by Susan Hill, the author of the novel on which the original is based.

Set forty years after the first film, this time Eel Marsh House has been seized by the government and transformed into a mental hospital. After receiving bucketloads of troubled World War II soldiers, the woman in black wakes and immediately sets about disposing of them. After scaring the shit out of them. Luckily for the inhabitants, Eve, a beautiful young nurse, arrives to care for them and or morphs into some sort of Jovovichian kicker of paranormal arse.

When the first artwork surfaced it did raise some eyebrows as the image depicts a gaggle of children all entering Eel Marsh House alongside a nurse-schoolmarm figure. Original reports about the plot made reference to evacuated WWII children being relocated to the house – but hasn’t been mentioned since.

There’s yet to be any casting announcements apart from rumours of Daniel Radcliffe returning and as it stands, Croker’s gonna have to pull off one hell of a Keyser Soze to make that one fly.

The Woman In Black: Angel of Death is scheduled to start shooting in 2013.

25. The Last Exorcism 2

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The mere existence of this film renders the title of the first The Last Exorcism redundant. Well it wasn’t the last exorcism was it? No, Daniel Stamm’s first film could accurately have been called The Penultimate Exorcism. Or this upcoming sequel could be retitled The Last Exorcism Lasted A Bit Longer Than Expected. Crappy hypothetical titles aside, the first flick’s contrived plot twists meant that it missed the chance to explore new angles of exorcism lore.

Nevertheless, a sequel was announced and is now in post-production with new director Ed Gass-Donnelly taking over for Stamm. Eli Roth is also back in the role of producer. Also returning is star of the original, Ashley Bell, reprising her role as possessed girl Nell Sweetzer and Louis Herthum as her father Louis Sweetzer.

The sequel continues Nell’s story six months after the original where we find her in the woods with no recollection of the events of the previous film (possibly because she went on a Windex-fuelled bender.) Not one to be stopped by amnesia, evil and in particular the demon, are back in full force to make Nell’s life even more miserable. How nice of them.

The film is also boasting a surprise twist never before seen in an exorcism film. Our guess? The butler did it.

The Last Exorcism 2 will hit theatres March 1st, 2013.

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24. Troll Hunter

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Troll mythologies and legends are derived from Norwegian folklore, which shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who have seen the original found-footage Troll Hunter film. The film is constructed from supposed footage shot by a group of students who begin pursuing a man cross country whom they believe to be an illegal bear poacher. As the film’s not called Bear Poacher you can correctly assume he wasn’t.

As soon as the Norwegian original hit U.S. cinemas, the rights for the remake were snapped up by Chris Columbus’s 1492 production company. Columbus, well known for directing the first two Harry Potters, also penned the horror-comedy goblin flick Gremlins, so it’s a shame he’s not writing this remake. Men In Black II producer Marc Haimes has bagged the scripting duties so it’ll be intriguing to see where he steers the American counterpart.

Will it take place in the U.S. or in Norway? Either way, Haimes could create a nifty stateside equivalent to the Norwegian troll myth and have free rein to embellish on ground covered in the original.

We’ll keep you posted when more details are revealed, as Troll Hunter is still in development.

23. I, Frankenstein

I Frankenstein1 Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

This version of Frankenstein isn’t a reimagining of the original Universal flick (that remake is still in development), but instead is based on a comic which reinstates Frankenstein’s monster as a saviour of sorts. Adapted from a Darkstorm comic book by Underworld scribe Kevin Grevioux, I Frankenstein pits Frankenstein’s monster in the middle of a battle between humans and a glut of old school monsters including Dracula, The Invisible Man and Skeletor.

Stuart Beattie, the man behind the brilliant 30 Days Of Night, wrote and directed the film which filmed over ten weeks last summer in Australia with Aaron Eckhart in the lead role as Frankenstein’s creation. Set to play a demon prince is Pirates Of The Caribbean stalwart, Bill Nighy who’s got the chops to lay on the kitsch as witnessed in his genre jaunts, which also include a zombified stepdad in Shaun Of The Dead.

Universal’s back catalogue of ghoulies have been wheeled out countless times to varying degrees of success. This time it sounds like Frankenstein’s monster is getting the opportunity to bust out of the same old plot and strut his bumbling stuff across new cinematic terrain. All the while, probably looking rather handsome (oh come on, it’s Aaron Eckhart! Even when he had half a face he was still charismatic!)

Lionsgate have pushed the release from the slated date of February 22, 2013 to September 13th, 2013.

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22. Maniac

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A pot-bellied New York landlord with a penchant for hunting down women and removing their scalps does not immediately strike you as a remake Elijah Wood would be perfect for. But he’s back, channelling the dark side from Sin City, as Wood stars in the upcoming remake of William Lustig’s 1980 misogyny slasher, Maniac.

Wood plays billy-no-mates serial killer Frank Zito under the direction of Franck Khalfoun (P2) from a script written by remake maestro Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur and C.A. Rosenburg. In this latest take, the action is relocated to a grimy Los Angeles, where Woods befriends a young artist but struggles to quell his desires. You know, the ones where you want to chop off someone’s scalp.

The film completed shooting in December 2011, debuted at Cannes early in 2012 and a bloody new international trailer has landed. Since then it has hit the festival circuit to enthusiastic reviews praising Wood’s return to nutter territory and a storytelling technique in which the film is shot from the killer’s POV.

That technique was first used back in 1960 in Peeping Tom, which emptied the bowels of many amidst an uproar of controversy and has not been employed successfully since the original Halloween. It’ll be worthwhile to see Maniac just for that restricted narration plot device.

Maniac was released in France on December 26th but has no domestic release date yet.

21. Insidious Chapter 2

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The little horror film that could, Insidious, was one of the most successful movies of 2011, bringing in a worldwide gross of $97 million – astonishing compared to its $1.5 million budget. James Wan’s original film united a cast from outside the genre to stunning effect. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne shrugged off the shackles of their usual dramatic casting and brought heart and depth to the haunted house creepfest.

Unsurprisingly, a sequel was announced.

What’s surprising is how long it took for that announcement. As often is the case with box office hits, the studio will greenlight a sequel after the opening weekend figures are in. The intriguingly titled Insidious Chapter 2 was lit 20 months after it opened. This leads us to believe that Wan’s been working on the follow-up with consideration and care, instead of dashing off a script hastily in order to cash in.

The first film frightened audiences by removing all known horror scare tactics and replacing them with a simpler, bare-boned terror. Wan and writing comrade, Leigh Whannell know one thing for certain: you don’t need blood and guts to truly haunt. No, just some deft editing which made this writer shriek like a little girl.

As the original’s cast are all set to return, the continuation of this story will hopefully generate new chills. With a release date penned in for August 30th, 2013 we’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

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20. Van Helsing

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If you enjoyed Universal’s Van Helsing back in 2004, then you’re probably the only one. The film had rich source material to draw inspiration from in its titular hero, Abraham Van Helsing. The original vampire slayer from Bram Stoker’s Dracula was pitted against a back catalogue of monsters but still managed to become a string of set pieces tied together with help from Hugh Jackman’s shiny hair extensions.

Snow White and the Huntsmen’s Rupert Sanders is rumoured for directing duties on a reboot with Tom Cruise set to star as Helsing. Both have upcoming commitments though, in the shape of a Huntsmen sequel for Sanders and three sci-fi pictures for Cruise.

What is the most reviving chunk of news for the reboot comes from the project’s producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, scribes responsible for Star Trek and Transformers, who’ve got the notion to root Van Helsing in a darker universe. Back in May 2012, Kurtzman cited The Dark Knight as inspiration for a film that could be “really grounded in reality…that’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element.”

A gritty Van Helsing channelling the harsh reality of batboy? Sounds smashing, we’ll have half a dozen.

19. Bates Motel

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Alfred Hitchcock ‘s Psycho has already been butchered on the small screen as a made-for-TV movie starring Bud Cort, Lori Petty and a young Jason Bateman. Don’t remember it? It matters not, as this version of Bates Motel functions as a prequel to the events depicted in Psycho.

Freddie Highmore is to play Momma’s boy Norman Bates, with Vera Farmiga as his interfering mother, Kathy Bates. Just kidding. Norman’s mother’s name is Norma.

A joint effort by A&E and Universal, this time Carlton Cuse of Lost and Kerry Ehrin of Friday Night Lights have picked up the project which so far has been confirmed for a 10-episode run which will apparently be set in modern times. The rest of the Bates family are along this time too, including Norman’s brother and his father, who are both presumably also called Norman.

With Cuse at the helm and the faint scent of the pine forests of Twin Peaks lingering in the pre-release teasers – there’s definite hints that this series could attract the attention of Lost fans. And the casting of Nestor Carbonell as the Sheriff, who previously creeped it up as Richard Alpert in Cuse’s island sci-fi romp is the icing on the cake.

The show premieres March 18th on A&E.

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18. The Exorcist

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As the 40th anniversary of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist is imminent, a remake was to be expected. This time it’ll be hitting the small screen in the shape of a ten-part TV series created by Sean Durkin, writer and director of indie hit, Martha Marcy May Marlene. Announced back in May 2012, the show is being handled by Morgan Creek with Roy Lee, executive producer of The Ring and The Departed joining him.

This adaptation will broaden the scope of the original film, which concentrated solely on the possession and exorcism of 12-year old Regan McNeil. The arc of the show’s story will begin with the period leading up to her possession, the exorcism and the effects on the family afterwards.

Days after Morgan Creek’s announcement, author of The Exorcist novel William Peter Blatty hit back. Debunking the entire announcement, he stated that he owned the rights and the miniseries he and Friedkin were planning back in 2009 was something they still hoped would get picked up.

Looks like the chances are good either way for a TV series based on The Exorcist – and one which could start with a good old fashioned rights scuffle.

17. It.

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There’s a lot of folks petrified of clowns. This almost guarantees that those same folks will be emotionally destroyed by a clown with the volition to file his teeth into points so as to appear even more petrifying. As personified by Tim Curry’s Pennywise in the first adaptation of It. But will those teeth be as razor sharp in the newest remake?

The first screen outing for Stephen King’s mammoth tome came in 1990 when a TV mini-series brought to life the tale of an evil life form which manifests as the victim’s worst fears. A remake has been on the cards since 2009 when Warner Bros hired screenwriter Dave Kajganich to rewrite the script which had attached an R-rating allowing for scarier elements of the novel to be depicted.

Cut to 2012 and reports now show the project has changed hands as Cary Fukunaga is now directing and co-writing the script with Chase Palmer. The film intends to be split into two parts like the 1990 adaptation with producers Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Seth-Graeme-Smith and David Katzenberg on board.

No release date has been set as It is still in pre-production.

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16. Candyman

candyman Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

The original Candyman landed in 1992 as an adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story, The Forbidden. With Tony Todd as the slave-turned-mirror-monster Candyman and a supporting cast of Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons it turned out to be one of the more successful of Barker’s filmic re-imaginings.

In 2008, Sony dabbled with the idea of bringing Candyman back to the big screen and earlier this year another rumour found its way online: let’s bring him back as a white guy. Considering the existence of the Candyman hinges upon his former life as a slave murdered after his affair with a white woman was uncovered, Sony are going to have to rewrite the entire backstory, otherwise it’ll make as much sense as a chocolate tea cosy.

Speaking with Fangoria, Todd revealed his desire to play the hooked villain again and that he had met with Clive Barker, but due to the rights ownership it’s still up in the air. Barker has made no secret of the fact he wishes to buy back the rights to the franchise as well as his Hellraiser series so as to film: Candyman Vs. Pinhead.

As it stands, Candyman is still in development.

15. Friday the 13th

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A found footage remake sequel of a slasher? Isn’t that like crossing the streams? Or that other popular adage: too many gimmicks ruin a perfectly average franchise.

After the last Friday the 13th rebooting back in 2009, directed by Marcus Nispel, Jason is set to return once more from the depths of Camp Crystal Lake/Manhattan/Atlantis. A year after the first remake, the follow-up was ready to go until producer Brad Fuller announced on Twitter that for whatever reason, it was “dead – not happening.”

In 2011, Fuller than declared it alive as scriptwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift had delivered a great script and were ready to go when New Line Cinema gave them the go ahead. Recently over at Starseeker their source shared two further possibilities: it’s to be set during winter and it’ll also be a prequel (possible unimaginative tagline: “Older and colder.”)

For the time being, Friday the 13th: Part 2 – The Found Footage Prequel Remake is still in development.

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14. Jeepers Creepers 3

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It’s been nearly a decade since the sequel hit screens and production on the final Jeepers Creepers has been ready to go for seven years. Director Victor Salva who helmed the first two has been struggling to secure financing for the script which has an ending leading directly into a 13-part TV series. A final chapter of a successful horror franchise with an accompanying TV series? It’s a wonder why it hasn’t been snapped up!

Set 23 years after the sequel, the story will pick up with Trish, who we left back at the end of the first film. Now a mother, she fears for the life of her son after she dreams of him suffering the same fate at the hands of the Creeper as her brother, played with a challenging ocular disorder in the first film by Justin Long. It’s also alleged to contain flashbacks revealing the origin of the monster.

For now the project is suspended until Salva can rustle up investors to fund the flick – which is a damn shame as Jeepers Creepers 3 could be an intriguing end to the franchise.

13. Halloween

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Halloween is one franchise which has been brought back from the dead more times than its antagonist, Michael Myers. The most recent incarnations in 2007 and 2009 were handled by goth-rocker Rob Zombie, who spun a new backstory for Myers which diluted the impact of the original’s motivation: he’s just crackers.

The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films teamed up with Drive Angry directors, Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier to churn out the next version but that project was abandoned. Thank God, as it was to be in 3D.

Dimension Films are now joining forces with Michael Bay’s remake production house, Platinum Dunes, to re-remake the franchise. If successful, Halloween will be the latest addition to their back catalogue of regurgitated horrors including Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street. It’s unknown if it will follow on from Zombie’s entries, from the original franchise or explore new territory.

No news of a director, cast or release date have yet been announced.

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12. Scream

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The meta-textual postmodern horror which expanded on ground covered by Wes Craven’s New Nightmare the previous year, Scream was the catalyst for a new avenue of self-aware scare flicks.

After the first two sequels arrived in the four years following, it took a decade-long break for Scream 4 to land to mixed reviews and critique. It brought in enough revenue for Harvey Weinstein though, as he stated that a Scream 5 could go ahead. Wes Craven is game, and last month on Twitter, David Arquette put forward that he’d love to work on another sequel.

Writer and creator Kevin Williamson was contractually obligated for Scream 4 and 5 with the option for a sixth. He had plotted out a storyline for the new trilogy but announced in February this year that if the series goes forward he will not be a part of it. As with Scream 3, the studio elbowed Williamson out mid-production and brought on rewriter Ehren Kruger to “punch up” the script. That’ll be that bridge burned, then.

With the fate of the fifth entry uncertain, MTV announced in June 2012 that they were developing a Scream TV series. Following in the steps of their success with the Teen Wolf TV adap, they’re hoping to expand the world of Ghostface into a weekly serial. Whether Craven or Williamson will be involved in this version is unknown but David Arquette tweeted that he would not take part.

Neve Campbell, when asked about the fate of Scream 5 told Collider in January 2013: “We’ll see. I’m not sure they’re going to make it, to be honest. If that were to come up again and they were to approach me, I’d have a chat with them about it.”

No details of a cast or release date have been announced for either project.

11. Nightbreed

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Clive Barker’s subterranean otherworld opus, Cabal, which arrived on screens in 1990 as Nightbreed, was a box office flop. The story follows Boone, a mentally unstable man framed for a slew of murders committed by his psychiatrist, Decker. He seeks sanctuary in the underground world of monster-populated Midian.

Trouble emerged when Fox and Barker butted heads over the final cut running time: Barker’s submitted version ran to two-and-a-half-hours. Fox demanded an hour be cut. The heads at Morgan Creek didn’t even sit through the whole feature before engineering a misleading marketing campaign purporting Nightbreed to be a slasher. A bit like advertising Twilight as a kitchen sink drama.

Creek also refused to screen the film for critics, claiming people who watch horror don’t read reviews. When the film opened it bombed at the box office but still gathered a cult following.

Jump to 2012 and a film lecturer at the University of Derby in England (ahem, where this writer attended as a film student) assembled a new cut combining the lost footage from the 159-minute director’s cut (a VHS print was found on a shelf in Barker’s office) and the regular DVD version.

Re-integrating footage, stories and characters much loved by fans of the novel this new version has been dubbed Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut and is currently touring cinemas worldwide to raise funds for a full-blown Blu-Ray release.

Find a screening or request one near you at Occupy Midian.

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10. The Evil Dead

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One of the first cabin in the woods horror flicks to fill your trousers with whiff juice and cause girlish whimpers to emanate from your unkissed teenage lips, Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead embodied the low-budget terror of the 1980s video nasties era.

Now the Necronomicon is about to be re-opened. Produced by Raimi, original producer Rob Tapert and star of original Bruce Campbell, the remake has a new director in Fede Alvarez. Alvarez landed the gig after his short, Panic Attack! caught the attention of producers. He then bashed out the first drafts of the script. Diablo Cody, Juno and Jennifer’s Body scribe then came aboard to give the final draft a touch of contemporary sparkle.

As evidenced in the first red band trailer, Alvarez’s The Evil Dead cuts back on the original’s humour and ups the triptych of gore, possession and tree assault for a new generation. Jane Levy tackles the lead duties as Mia, the remake’s equivalent of Ash, and is joined by Lou Taylor Pucci, Shiloh Fernandez, Elizabeth Blackmore, and Jessica Lucas.

The Evil Dead will hit theaters on April 5th, 2013.

9. Wolf Creek 2

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The film which made handfuls of backpackers rethink their hipster road trip through the outback, Wolf Creek, revived the Australian horror genre and brought our Antipodean film-maker chums to the forefront of the “torture porn” movement. A twisted tale which raked in $16 million worldwide was no doubt going to delve back into the sick world of Mick Taylor and another throng of gullible youngsters.

With a script and directorial duties handled by Greg McClean, writer and director of the original, Wolf Creek 2 promises to terrify the shit out of even the most backed-up of viewers. This time around the three backpackers are Rutger, Katarina and Paul, who visit the Wolf Creek Crater and soon encounter the area’s resident serial killer, Mick Taylor. Back in that role is the brilliant John Jarratt, for a sequel that director McClean describes as bigger and badder than the first. How anything can be “badder” than someone’s spine being severed after having several fingers removed is beyond me. Perhaps something involving a mouse trap and a bucket of acid.

Production started January 2013 in South Australia, seven years after the original. The flick already has worldwide distribution, although no release dates have been confirmed.

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8. Hellraiser

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Based on The Hellbound Heart, a novella by Clive Barker, the original Hellraiser with Doug Bradley as the walking pincushion imaginatively named Pinhead, proved the author could direct his own work to massive success.

The remake has suffered hellish development setbacks since 2007 when Dimension Films hired Inside directors, Alexander Bustillo and Julian Maury to work a script written by the scribes behind the Saw sequels. After Bustillo and Maury bowed out, Pascal Laugier of Martyrs took up duties. Laugier aimed to take Hellraiser in a darker direction whereas the studio wanted a lighter, teen-friendly affair, so he too left the project.

Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer took to developing the film in 2010, but again were at loggerheads with the studio over the direction they wished to take.

Then in August 2012, a glut of new artwork proposed for a remake surfaced alongside a teaser trailer – which sadly is unavailable online. The artwork by Paul Gerrard of Battle: Los Angeles and Wrath Of The Titans show a more tortured Pinhead (see above picture), whose pins appeared to have been hammered in leaving remnants of blood teeming down his face. Mike Le Han directed the trailer based on the artwork, incorporating 100 extras and multiple FX houses to pitch a new outline for a new Hellraiser.

For now, no new details have surfaced but considering the amount of labour Dimension have dedicated to finding a vision they wish to back, let’s hope Gerrard and Le Han’s proposal won them over.

7. Pet Sematary

petsematary Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

Another Stephen King adaptation, Pet Sematary could probably do with a remake (but not as much as his killer-car flick, Christine) and Paramount agrees. Two years back, Dave Kajdanich, also hired to deliver the first draft for the It remake, completed a screenplay but didn’t satiate Paramount bosses, who then brought in 1408 scribe Matthew Greenburg for a rewrite.

Last year, Paramount were actively pursuing remake maestro Alexandre Aja to direct. Aja is no stranger to remakes after delivering The Hills Have Eyes and Pirahna 3D with sufficient gore and shock, which could be just what this remake needs.

In the late 1980s when the original Pet Sematary was released, audiences weren’t saturated by zombie films as they are today and so it wasn’t marketed as one. Discussion on the novel and film seldom classify it as a zombie tale but come on, bringing the dead back to life? If that’s not zombie then I’ll buy a hat and then eat it.

This time around, whoever lands the director’s gig has a quirky spin on the zombie mythology ready to exploit as in the world of Pet Sematary, the dead are buried with the intent that they will return. Pull your finger out Paramount and get a director!

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6. Curse of Chucky

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The demonic ginger-haired stepchild that is okay to ridicule in jokes; Chucky, is back! The sixth title in the Child’s Play series, Curse of Chucky started shooting in Winnipeg, Canada in September.

Don Mancini, the film’s creator and director has angled the latest scribblings in the direction of a straight-up horror. This marks a departure from the tongue-in-cheek flavour of the previous two outings. It’s not a huge surprise Mancini is reverting the tone, as Seed of Chucky was a disappointment compared to the schlocky blood soaked brilliance of Bride of Chucky. Those last two entries will be struck from the canon as Curse of Chucky follows on from where Child’s Play 3 left off.

This time around, Chucky wreaks havoc (i.e. kills people) in a household wherein two sisters are struggling to deal with their mother’s suicide. When one of their daughters stumbles upon a red-haired doll which arrived mysteriously in the mail, well, folks start getting murdered horribly.

Keeping it in the family with the cast, Mancini has Brad Dourif back as the voice of Chucky as well as his daughter Fiona Dourif in one of the starring roles.

Horror stalwarts may rejoice at the notion of a return to the scarier Chucky present in the first three films but this writer is going to miss the camp comedy which essentially threw Team America in the blender with Child’s Play.

Curse of Chucky is due for release on DVD in 2013.

5. Videodrome

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David Cronenberg’s techno-surreal bloody horror, Videodrome, which wins sci-fi crossover points for James Woods inserting a videotape into his abdominal cavity willingly – is being remade.

Universal Pictures announced in 2009 they had obtained rights for a remake and brought in Transformers: Dark Of The Moon scribe Ehren Kruger to write and produce the flick with his partner Daniel Bobker. In updating the film’s premise Kruger and Bobker are to introduce nano-technology with hopes the finished product will resemble a grandiose sci-fi actioner. Sounds like a major thematic departure from the original which clung to Cronenberg’s intimate body horror scare tactics.

The 1983 original sees James Woods’ cable TV programmer desperate to discover new content for his struggling network. He soon discovers a surreal show called Videodrome with transmissions that come at a price for his mind and body.

Despite Cronenberg already addressing Videodrome’s implied future in 1999’s eXistenZ, the remake is going full steam ahead after landing a director in August 2012. Relative newcomer Adam Berg was given the gig with a resume chock-full of ads, which could raise red flags for fans.

It’s often hit-n-miss when directors make the transition from commercials to features but other than further conjecture, that’s all that’s known on the Videodrome remake.

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4. Poltergeist

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A house built on desecrated burial ground, a child who talks to ghosts, a spiritual medium drafted in to help a suffering family are horror clichés – some of which recycled recently in the thieving Paranormal Activity franchise. Before that, one of the first commercially successful films to include them was Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist.

A collaborative effort by Hooper and producer/writer Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist was a smash when released in 1982. The story of a family who move into a new house to discover it is haunted is a tale older than the amber they extract dino DNA from in Jurassic Park. It was only a matter of time before a remake was announced. Put into production by an MGM back from bankruptcy, Sam Raimi has been attached to produce alongside his Oz: The Great and Powerful writer David Lindsay-Abaire.

Abaire’s got the knack for relishing in the tumult of the family dynamic after firing off the brilliant Rabbit Hole. If he can relocate the tension from a melodrama to horror then the script’s got potential to live up to the original. Rumours recently surfaced that Raimi would also direct. While this is probably the wishful thinking of an overactive rumour mill – it’s still an exciting glimpse at what could be the second cracking collaboration on Poltergeist.

3. Martyrs

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French extremist cinema has yielded tons of clever, gory and unique titles, none as outstanding and shout-at-the-TV-inducing as Martyrs though. The nearest Hollywood equivalent would most likely be the original Saw, which meshed philosophical musings about man’s existential dilemma (sort of) with gut-wrenching torture. Martyrs poses similar questions, frames them in a genius plot and ups the violence. You should rent it now, hence no more story discussion.

Unfortunately, the remake is to be directed by Daniel Stamm who helmed the insipid The Last Exorcism. When interviewed in 2010, Stamm made public his wishes to tag on a hopeful endnote onto the film to dismiss the nihilism of the original. Well that’s a bit like trying to outwit a xenomorph with a bucket of soapy water. By diluting that which lent the original strength pretty much guarantees the remake will have its backbone replaced with something less gritty. Like a jam sandwich.

On the plus side, when interviewed about the project in 2010, Stamm dismissed rumours that Kristen Stewart was to star but no other actors have been confirmed. Mark L. Smith, writer of Vacancy is also on board to pen the script.

Martyrs is still in development.

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2. Suspiria

suspiria21 Repeat Business: 30 Horror Film Franchises Getting A Restart

The refreshing notion of the Dario Argento giallo classic is that upon viewing, you find yourself terrified and you can’t pinpoint why. Suspiria’s moodscape of the bizarre and brutal casts quite the spell – and can also lead to a life-long fear of private schools.

The remake is being directed by David Gordon Green who has been attached since 2007. A somewhat odd choice for the task, Green’s low-brow comedies such as Pineapple Express and The Sitter are the cinematic antitheses to Argento’s surreal and sickening brand of horror.

Green’s Your Highness star, Natalie Portman was attached early on but has since dropped out – no points for guessing that her Oscar-winning turn in the bonkers ballet psychodrama, Black Swan may have been a deciding factor.

In the original, the story follows an American ballerina who relocates to a prestigious European ballet school only to find out there’s something sinister afoot at the hands of a gaggle of women who prefer broomsticks to public transport. Based on a script penned by Green and Chris Gebert, this new version is said to now be shedding the ballet aspect and instead pay homage to the original via shots, dialogue and the score.

In May 2012, Isabelle Fuhrman, of The Hunger Games and slappable antagonist of Orphan was announced as the lead with rumoured supporting roles for Isabelle Huppert, Michael Tyqvist, Janet McTeer and Antje Traue.

Filming was scheduled to start in September 2012.

1. Carrie

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Kimberly Peirce, director of the Carrie remake has got quite the act to follow. With a stellar starring cast of Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie and Julianne Moore as her religious zealot mother, Margaret, Peirce has certainly got talent on her side. At the New York Comic-Con, where the first teaser trailer debuted, Peirce stated her allegiance to King’s source novel and her intention of creating a Carrie for a new generation.

A bloody-rags-to-sticky-britches story, the film centres on Carrie White, a socially-awkward teenager who gets her first period during a locker room shower and believes she’s dying. Following a callous prank initiated by the school bully, Carrie begins to show symptoms of a unique and powerful skill which prove unfortunate for those who thought it helpful to pelt her with tampons.

Producer Kevin Misher, on the panel at the NYCC hinted at a broader scope for the film’s finale enabled by changes in technology in the last thirty years. For those familiar with King’s novel, the differences between it and the 1976 version are considerable. It’s welcoming to hear of a remake taking advantage of advances in tech to actually assist the story as opposed to replacing it.

From the teaser trailer, teaser poster, mad viral marketing campaign and the winning panel at the NYCC, Carrie is shaping up nicely to be a serious contender for the horror to watch this year.

Carrie opens in theatres on October 18th 2013.

That’s it folks: now, which of these horror film franchises are you looking forward to seeing reanimated? Any that you want to see? Please, as per usual, let us know in the comments below.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rileykabear Riley Kent

    Now I have a huge list of horror films to catch up on! I still can’t get over some remakes even trying to exist because the original is too close to my heart (Exorcist, Videodrome), but some of them sound pretty good…. i think…. I don’t know what to do with Carrie. Also close to my heart, but when it looks like they’re making the effort to reboot it *well* then I’m kind of at a loss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Donato/556930521 Matt Donato

    I seriously hope Maniac and Evil Dead can do something no remake has done in forever – actually be a good film. I’m super excited to see how these play out, and these are seriously my two most anticipated horror flicks of they year even with all the original material slated for release. Could this be the year of the remake?

  • thegreatgriffin

    Nightbreed is long overdue some re-appreciation and greater exposure. if a remake/reboot can generate interest in the original, then I think that’s a good thing and I would also be intrigued to see what impact modern technologies could bring to the table.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karla.l.sky Pandora Sky

    Ive been waiting for evil dead remake for many many years finally my wishes come true

  • http://www.facebook.com/karla.l.sky Pandora Sky

    They need to let some films die

  • http://www.facebook.com/WickedEndings Russell Jack Whites Cortez

    evil dead will be the only success because the original director producer and actor is involved deeply, poltergiest will fail because what made it really terrifying was the fact that they used real dead bodies, with out that at its heart the remake will bomb same with carrie