What Were the Worst Hollywood Remakes of the Decade?

Of the many crimes foisted upon humanity by the faceless filmmaking syndicate known as Hollywood, perhaps none are as loathsome as the subpar remake. A practice that hearkens back to the dawn of cinema (little known fact: the Lumière Bros.' 1898 Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat was actually a remake of the far superior train-arriving-at-a-station movie Tout Abord le Choo Choo! from twenty years prior), it seems that the 21st Century has brought something of a Golden Era for truly craptastic, reconfigured cinematic entertainments. After the jump, we run through 11 of the best worst Hollywood remakes, and invite you to add your own in the comments.



10. Down to Earth (2001)

Remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Still feeling warm and gooey after the success of American Pie, brothers Chris and Paul Weitz took a promising premise -- Chris Rock dies, gets reincarnated as a white, billionaire coot -- and ruined it by turning it into a toothless fable about the importance of inner beauty. His feature film starring debut, this could have been Rock's Trading Places. Instead, it was Imagine That for grownups.


9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

Remake of Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)

Bankrolled by Philip Anschutz, the Denver-based billionaire founder of Qwest, this Jackie Chan version departed completely from the Jules Verne source material to instead provide him with a high-altitude platform for his trademark pratfalls and increasingly childish persona. No one was charmed: It grossed a total of $24 million, making the $110 million movie one of the biggest flops of the decade.


8. Anything to Come Out of Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes

A specialty label founded by Michael Bay, whose specialty appears to be turning beloved, low-budget horror classics into artless, music-video-uninspired remakes starring a cast of interchangeable dropouts from The WB. Between 2003 and 2009, the company was responsible for no less seven completely unnecessary releases, beginning with 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2005's The Amityville Horror, 2007's The Hitcher, and this year's The Unborn and Friday the 13th. Next up: A Nightmare on Elm Street, currently rumored to be in reshoots, presumably to render it even more unnecessary.

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  • marcus says:

    Reading these comments I am utterly amazed at how some people think their opinion dictates reality. All these lists are subjective, they should be taken as such. What does not amaze me is all the horror fans said to chime in. I have nothing to more to say than I have pretty much given up on the genre, remake or not.
    Anyway a runner up to the runner ups would be Vanishing Point

  • Deaf Ears says:

    I thought CD's performance was the one element that improved on the original. Having said that, I liked VANILLA SKY and including it on this list instead of THE WICKER MAN or PLANET OF THE APES mystifies me.

  • Sophie says:

    Agreed that CD was the only good thing about Vanilla Sky. The rest of it was just awful, though. I don't understand how people can have seen Abre Los Ojos and not hate VS. Penelope Cruz is terrific in the first and abject in the second.
    I was dumbstruck at how appalling the remake was.

  • Laura Lee says:

    I have to agree with you about M. Night Shyamalan's the "Happening" being the worst movie of the decade. I left the movie theater resenting (myself) for having not only wasted money to see this movie, but for allowing myself to sit through it. The movie wasn't well written, developed, directed, edited, or cast. Mark Whalberg with his limited acting range, was not convincing as a teacher, in fact most of the cast, I felt, were cast for the wrong parts. The movie was esoteric, disjointed, and nonsensical. And I hate to say it but I also think Mr. Night may have poached the movies plot line. The Happening hands down was the worst movie of the decade, and for all the right reasons.

  • Laura says:

    maybe because people haven't seen the original, I'm just guessing? maybe? yeah, I think that may be the case. But I agree Vanilla Sky is leaps and bounds from being the worst movie of the decade. The problem with this movie my be that, You're forced to think with this movie. And for some people that may be a bit much, when all anyone really want to do is veg out in front of a screen, with a movie that requires little to no thinking at all. Yes I'm calling it most American's are too lazy to think for themselves, and expects the director to do their thinking for them. Hate me! I said! If you can't figure out Vanilla Sky then it's your own lazy fault!

  • Laura says:

    You're absolutely crazy! NO WAY! LOL!!!! but for real, that movie was very entertaining. I loved Johnny Depps interpretation of Willy Wonka. I thought the collaboration between Depp and Burton worked for this movie, and I loved it. I think you may want to re-watch this movie again alone, that way your opinion can't be influenced.

  • I myself am new to marathon running and have not qualified for Boston, but its certainly a goal of mine, so I would hate to see the qualifying times changed. People have invested years training towards a 3:10 time and I think it would be devastating and defeating to suddenly find out that its no longer good enough. Personaly, Im wondering if it wouldnt help to limit or better monitor Boston qualifying races. I recently ran a Marathon that was a Boston qualifier. It had turn-around points at mile 8.5 and mile 21. However there were no D-tag check points at either of them. My husband who was spectating watched two different people cut the turn-arounds by 3/4 of a mile. I was surprised that as a Boston qualifying race, official times were not more appropriately enforced. Perhaps monitoring the qualifying races to ensure Boston type quality would limit the field.

  • Dan says:

    Halloween was worse than all of these films combined.

  • Andy says:

    A very interesting read, you make some very interestingpoints. I look forward to reading your next blog.

  • Aw, this was a very good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make a good
    article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot
    and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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