Hi everyone I'm Jack Red, today I will be doing another round of old vs. new versions of classic horror movies. Let's take things up a notch as I take on some very good horror movie classics. Today we are going the distance within paranormal movies. Basically it must have ghosts in these movies to be considered. As a kid ghosts wasn't much of a interest for me. More recently ghosts are really growing on me in the last few years.
Round 1: The Haunting (1963) vs. The Haunting (1999)
During the era of ghost theme horror movies. Many seem to forget about the classic The Haunting. This was one of the best of it's era hitting all the right notes. Of course there had to be a remake of it. Both do share many key elements but still different movies. This is always a great way to kick off any paranormal movie comparisons.
The best version of The Haunting is 1963 version
This was no content for so many great reasons. Simply because I don't want to go on for hours & waste everybody's time. Allow me to give it the fast way as I possibly can give it. The new version of the mansion isn't bad but I question some of it's interior designs. I felt everything about the original house was spot on. The audio in general of 1963 version nails it incredibly well. Not so much in 1999 version with some of the worst CGI of it's time. I like we never get to directly see the ghosts in 1963 version. Now compared that to the ghosts you do see in 1999 version not even big bad himself is scary. 1963 version does a great job keeping you on your toes about what's about to happen. You get bored very likely to lose interest in 1999 version. I felt the biggest reason why 1999 version sucks so bad was because of the cast. Not even Liam Neeson can save that movie. All of them felt miscasted & bring absolutely nothing to the movie. I do feel the original cast plays their characters perfectly. Both their endings are different but I still prefer 1963 version ending more. There was some mystery following Eleanor's death that left some fear in your hearts.
Winner: The Haunting (1963)
Round 2: House on Haunted Hill (1959) vs. House on Haunted Hill (1999)
William Castle was an huge inspiration for the horror movie industry. This guy went out of his way to add some changes around your movie theater. Thus does help make scare most of his fans by making them unexpectedly a part of it. Sadly no body does his methods of getting people scared anymore. Why am I talking about this you ask? One of his best movies with that concept in mind was House on Haunted Hill. A true horror movie classic that more people need to see. Obviously there had to be a remake more recently possibly forty years later. Oddly enough both versions are in the public domain. Despite sharing some key elements these are very different movies.
The best version of House on Haunted Hill is 1959 version
This was once again no contest for many reasons. It is debatable if 1959 version had ghosts in the first place. Even if it didn't this still gave off the same feeling you would get with them around. Every scene works incredibly well for it's time. Easily an great cast playing their characters perfectly. In comparison yes 1999 version does have ghosts. Most of them you get to see appear more like zombies or demons than actual ghosts. I felt 1999 version could've had a little better of a cast. Still way below how good the original 1959 cast was. The same major twists relating to their host & wife are in play. Personally I prefer how it plays out in 1959 version. To me it comes off like a mixture of a puppet & magic show of death. In vice versa their doctors dies very differently. Let's talk about the man that got everybody together. In the original movie he got all five people involved to this event for 10,000 dollars each for staying the night. In 1999 version ghosts changed the names to people their host wanted to invite. Someone who wasn't invited taking someone else's place for 1 million dollars each. Vincent Price was amazing late in 1959 version. I felt they wanted Gregory Rush to be the next Vincent Price. Seriously his character is too similar to his from 1959 version & doesn't work. They should've made him a very different person instead of directly copying one of many Price's characters. Rush is an amazing actor that even in bad movies he stands out. Some could argue this is indeed one of his worst movies. Although majority of both movies takes place locked inside a house. 1999 version actually more of a asylum than anything else. Yet even among terrible horrible movies I seen better looking asylums. Yes both these movies end very differently. Both endings for 1999 version ruins the entire movie with the cut ending being worse. I love how in 1959 version after their host confesses to what just happened then leaves the room. Watson starts freaking out about being next to die by ghosts. Oh wait it gets more interesting the very last thing he says is the ghosts are after us the viewers. Now how many horror movies would go that far to scaring people & actually worked. I do recommend 1959 version a lot more over it's remake any day.
Winner: House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Round 3: 13 Ghosts (1960) vs. Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
Did you think we were done talking about William Castle? Of course not he also made 13 Ghosts shortly after House on Haunted Hill. Another forgotten horror classic that I highly recommend to those into paranormal movies. They actually would give us glasses similar to 3D glasses. Often during the 1960 version it will tell you to put them on & take them off. In order to get a better look at the ghosts in the movie. Yes there's exist a remake that's more likely seen by many people than the original. Despite sharing some key elements these are incredibly different movies. I would even go as far to say this is more like it. The challenge here is guessing everything they have in common.
The best version of Thirteen Ghosts is 1960 version
I do like seeing the ghosts more in 2001 version. Also adding in more details relating to each ghosts is a nice touch. I felt a lot of things went wrong in 2001 version. 1960 version had a great cast nailing their characters perfectly. They could've had a better cast overall but I do kinda praise F. Murray Abraham's performance. His character stands out the most out of every one including the ghosts. The way they handle each ghosts did ruin the fear factor. In 1960 version they had no real way of protecting themselves from ghosts. I also like despite being classified as a ghost movie is more of a murder story. I really prefer the original house over that of 2001 version. Let's be honest I do feel like it could've work for a non horror movie. This house was more of a machine with glass areas having spells to limit ghosts to places. What really ruins the entire place is it constantly changing shape. Both guys that started their own take on 13 ghosts with different goals in mind. In 1960 version a scientist related to Arthur as his uncle got ghosts trapped inside this house including himself. All ghosts believes a thirteenth ghost will free them from this place. Trust me it will surprise you who actually becomes that ghosts. In 2001 version Arthur's uncle Cyrus trapped house inside this mysterious place. He plans to have his own nephew sacrifice himself for his children to become the thirteenth ghost. In doing so would open up insane possibilities beyond your wildest imagine. In this version the fourth ghost so happens to be Arthur's wife. I always felt some ghosts in 1960 version doesn't stand out much. Of course having a ghost lion loose in your house is terrifying. Ghosts aren't that bad in the original movie while they're mostly the opposite in 2001 version. The overall pace of 2001 version does hurt the movie. In 2001 version the ghosts after killing Cyrus becomes free. I love the huge surprise twist at the very end of 1960 version. No I'm not spoiling that otherwise I just ruined the best twist of the entire movie. As stated before yes 1960 version is more about a murder story with someone after Arthur's uncle money. Yet it comes off being better put together & way more scarier. Considering this is a William Castle movie just imagine being in any movie theater with this movie? Now that by itself is a great reason to go with 1960 version. I will say 2001 version is the best remake out of all those I'm doing in this blog entry.
Winner: 13 Ghosts (1960)
Round 4: The Fog (1980) vs. The Fog (2005)
John Carpenter did make some great horror movies after Halloween. Hell yeah The Fog was hands down one of those movies. It is a story about a century gone by with a near by town built on a lie. A mysterious fog filled with pirate ghosts is going around killing people. This concept was genius because who would ever expect the fog itself being dangerous. Yes there so happens to be a remake of this Carpenter classic more recently. Although this sadly isn't much of a comparison.
The best version of The Fog is 1980 version
This was way too easy 2005 version did little to nothing new. All they really did was add in their captain's lover was stuck inside a living woman. Which by itself kinda ruins the movie. Everything in terms of acting, audio and cast all of that was way better in 1980 version. Honestly 1980 version was way more terrifying compared to a somewhat watered down version of it. It just simply doesn't work at all folks. I would go on but I already said what needed to be said. Bottom line if you plan on giving us a proper remake of a horror classic. Please do what Thirteen Ghosts did by making it as different from the original as possible.
Winner: The Fog (1980)