Thursday, May 4, 2017

Old vs. New Horror Movie Remakes Universal Monsters Edition

Hi everyone I'm Jack Red, I really wanted to do something this big for a long time. I am covering some of the biggest old vs. new horror movie topics in history. This isn't going to be in the slightest bit. Hell it is always more fun for those being challenging especially with some high profile movies. Of course a major time difference is present. I am going to be doing Universal Monsters movies against their remakes.

Some movies aren't actual horror movies but are related in some way to these horror movie classics. Also this is going to be the closest series of them I done so far on my blog. There is so much to cover within just doing one of them.

Round 1: The Wolf Man (1941) vs. The Wolfman (2010)
Universal tried the werewolf concept prior to The Wolf Man back in 1933 with Werewolf of London. Most horror fans doesn't know this fact. They decided to give it one more try with possibly the greatest 1940s horror movie classic. The Wolf Man may not been the first werewolf movie. But many things that came from those movies became stables of werewolves for many years to come. Surprisingly in 2010, Universal allowed another company to make their version of The Wolfman. So how does this remake fair with possibly one of the greatest horror movies ever made?

The best version of The Wolf Man is 1941 version
It's no contest I had so many problems with 2010 version. Honestly just prior of making this blog, I finally seen the 1941 version. I am amazed how damn good it was for it's time. How everything including special effects were impressive for it's time. It is the absolute opposite with 2010 version. Barely anything works with the movie. I could respect they wanted their version to remind people of the classic version. But I felt that by itself was a miss opportunity. Also considering all the werewolf movies or those with them in it makes this movie even more less notable. The Wolf Man wasn't just the best horror movie of it's era. It had one of the longest horror movie series from Universal. Lon Chaney Jr. played the monster in four movies being one of the first actor. Ever in movie history to reprise their role in a horror movie franchise. Even by today's standards not many actors got that on their records. The Wolf Man also helped made way for the future within the entire movie industry. In all honesty that's how damn good the 1941 version actually is. No body can truly do this movie justice alone. My big problem with the 2010 version is Anthony Hospkins was great in many movies. This is one of the select few I seen where not even he stands out. The entire direction of the story can be really off putting to people. Bottom line go find yourself a copy of the 1941 version instead.

Winner: The Wolf Man (1941)

Round 2: The Invisible Man (1933) vs. Hollow Man (2000)
Let's get something straight here officially there isn't a remake of The Invisible Man. All of it's sequels are basically their own stories of a similar concept. I had to look far & wide for the closest movie that could be considered a remake. Thankfully I seen that movie many years before seeing The Invisible Man. I am talking about Hollow Man which has some strong similarities yet two very different movies. So what is the connection between both these movies you ask? It turns out while The Invisible Man is based on the book of the same name. This particular book was inspiration for the movie Hollow Man. Therefore I thought it was obvious I should compare these two movies.

The best movie based/inspired on the book entitled The Invisible Man is The Invisible Man
Roughly a little over sixty five years difference. This wasn't going to be a clear land slide. But ultimately Hollow Man fell flat in comparison to The Invisible Man. Both involves a scientist that becomes invisible that becomes mad with power & do horrible things to people. In The Invisible Man, we don't get to see the same experiment that turned him invisible. Although at several points in the movie he does talk about it. In Hollow Man, they started a similar experiment on a gorilla. Sebastian who is running the entire thing decides to make himself into a guinea pig. By putting himself in the same experiment. He does become invisible but he doesn't fully become visible. Sebastian became something that most world shouldn't know about. His own team makes sure to keep him locked in & safe. It turns out parts of the DNA was more complex on humans than animals. In The Invisible Man, he already starts off being angry to quickly lose it over little things. Sebastian can't sleep due to his eye lips are transparent. In time, both scientists decides to take advantage of things while being invisible. As stated before they're both very different movies. In The Invisible Man, this guy terrorizes a town. In Hollow Man, Sebastian starts with little things but late in the movie to kill off the staff of his lab. At one point Sebastian rapes a neighbor woman. Moving on, the authorities take on the situation in a different way. In The Invisible Man, shortly after killing an police inspector. The townspeople & police officers go on a town search constantly searching for him. In Hollow Man, his own staff realizes after Sebastian killed a general. Instead of turning himself in, he plans on destroying everything in the lab. Basically giving himself a excuse to kill his own team. In The Invisible Man, he wears bandages all over his head. He also wears long gloves to hide his true appearance from people. In Hollow Man, his mask & gloves are made out of plaster. Thus makes Sebastian look more like a regular person. Of course both of them wears sun glasses to hide their eyes are invisible. In the end both finally become visible in death. It is done a little differently between these two movies. In The Invisible Man, he got almost got burned & escaped. Someone seen his foot prints in the snow that ended up getting shot that killed him. In Hollow Man, Sebastian was kissing his ex prior to falling down while on top of an elevator into a explosion. Just before he fully hit that explosion, his entire body became visible again. I will say Hollow Man isn't that bad of a movie. Kevin Bacon is easily one of the best characters of that movie. Sadly it all falls incredibly short of a true horror classic. The Invisible Man is seen in so many movies & shows since this mvoie. The very concept of a man going insane & being invisible is already scary enough. Now make that man a scientist then all Hell breaks loose. The main reason The Invisible Man really works is because of the cast. Everyone including those playing briefly parts help bright light to such an amazing movie. Also huge points for pulling off parts of him being invisible. Back then there wasn't special effects like this movie so it was amazing for it's time. I also can't help to compare how funny at random parts this guy was in The Invisible Man. He went out of his way to be a dick to several people including a old bearded man wearing a hat. This seem so real like for many reasons. I know I am going a little longer than needed but this wasn't a major surprise to fellow horror movie fans.

Winner: The Invisible Man (1933)

Round 3: The Mummy (1932) vs. The Mummy (1999)
Believe it or not The Mummy at the time was a very original idea for a movie. Now a days so many movies & shows has mummies it is ridiculous. All of that you can thank The Mummy from 1932. Easily one of Boris Karloff's best roles. Universal did make a new version of this movie. Although it is more of a Indiana Jones style action adventure movie. Yes I know about the newest version coming out in 2017. I might cover it alone in a future blog. For right now let's talk about these two movies.

The best version of The Mummy is 1932 version
Surprisingly both of these movies are great for their genres. Both involves a mummy awaken killing people to bring back the love of his life. Honestly both movies got their own series of movies. Despite all sequels for 1932 version just like The Invisible Man are their own stories. Both versions has a great cast with a good story. I am not going to lie this is the second hardest I ever covered on my blog. Both have a very different take on the same concept. The 1932 version was just one mummy compared to a handful of them. Both movies has a lot of good things going for them. For me the big deciding point is the mummy. Of course you want the mummy to stand out just enough for you to wanna keep watching. This is where the 1932 version shines. Boris gave an amazing performance as Imhotep. Everything about his portrayal of the character works. I don't feel the same about Arnold Vosloo's version. I will say the 1999 version does has some interesting ideas. I simply more into the 1932 version.

Winner: The Mummy (1932)

Round 4: Frankenstein (1931) vs. Frankenstein (1994)
There is so many Frankenstein remakes it is ridiculous. It simply would take too long to find & watch them all. So I decided to put the classic 1931 version against 1994 version. Maybe not the best version of this face off but could you find another worthy enough remake? Both movies are based on the same book with very clear differences. Only one will rise while the other stays inanimate.

The best version of Frankenstein is 1931 version
I am not going to say this was obvious because it wasn't. Both versions are great takes of a classic story. Both have a good cast with the creature being rememberable. A lot of the same moments occurs in both movies. Personally I prefer 1994 version of Dr. Frankenstein a little bit more. Maybe there's just something about him that stands out more. In vice versa, the creature is much better in 1931 version. Boris Karloff gave us an amazing performance. Easily one of his greatest movies from early on his career. Robert De Niro's portrayal of the creature is a little mixed for me. His appearance does take time getting use to since he actually looks more like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. I do like we learn more about the creature in 1994 version. We actually see him of what he's capable of in just a short amount of time. All of that is good but let's be honest. Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors of our time. He wasn't all that convincing as the creature. He simply wasn't the right guy to play that role no offend to him in any shape or form. The endings in both movies are rememberable for different reasons. In 1931 version, it seems like this was the end of the creature. You find out in Bride of Frankenstein it wasn't. In 1994 version, the creature kills his own creator after chasing him a great distance. Also present in 1994 version is the concept of a bride. You know the same concept that was talked a little about in the book but actually done in Bride of Frankenstein. Yes 1994 version has it's version of that concept because the creature killed his creator's lover. Instead of simply putting her in the ground like normal. He does the same experiment on her to bring her back to life. Unfortunately she ends up getting too upset over it to commit suicide. It is easier to follow the 1931 version. Surprisingly how Dr. Frankenstein creates his monster is done differently too. I actually like how original parts of 1994 version was for it's time. There are plenty of great parts in both movies. It simply came out to the creature himself. It is really obvious Boris gave us a very good performance.

Winner: Frankenstein (1931)

Round 5: Dracula (1931) vs. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Just like Frankenstein, there's so many remakes of Dracula. I am going with two of my favorite versions based on the same book. I'm not considering Nosterfatu 1922 movie because it has it's own remake. Dracula is easily one of the most remade movies in cinema history. Also every decade or two has it's own version I'm not kidding. This may not be the best face off between Dracula movies but still a good one.

The best version of Dracula is 1992 version

This is a rare occasion I'm going with the remake. Most remakes are okay to bad with not many being good. The same guy behind the Godfather trilogy made this version. Now going just by that many won't try or even acknowledge this version's existence. Yet many horror movie fans will agree it is one of the best adaptations of the book ever made. Both movies has a great cast that are amazing for their time. Two of the greatest actors portraying Dracula. Even comparing the two is difficult due to how different they actually are from each other. Two very different takes of the same story. Honestly this is for me the closest one by far. Both have some of the finest audio in any horror movie. Both have a great retelling of the novel story with most key characters. This is really close in my opinion that even just comparing Dracula himself is a nail bitter no pun intended. Clearly two of their finest performances within a horror movie that rivals most people playing Dracula. Yes both of them are really that good as Dracula. I hate to say it, I was so close of making this a tie. Then I realized one key factor that 1992 version has and I'm not hinting at blood. There is going to be blood in an vampire movie it's common acknowledge. What I am talking about is Dracula's back story. Yes we do learn a lot about the 1931 version Dracula but not nearly as much as 1992 version Dracula. Also he actually has more impressive transformations. A slight edge in transformations & having more back story. I must give this to the 1992 version. I know a lot of you aren't going to like this. Both movies are amazing for their time. It really came down to those things.

Winner: Dracula (1992)


  1. Thanks man it means a lot to me. Also I really want to do a vampire edition.