At this stage, when we hear that one movie or another is being remade, we hardy bat an eye, so desensitized we have become these rehashed versions of films we love. Too often it seems that these movies miss the point of the original, skip over all the things that made the first ones great, or just plain aren’t very good. This especially seems to be the case with horror movies. And with a new Poltergeist hitting theaters this week (and not screening in advance in most areas, which is never a good sign), this is at the forefront of our minds right now.

As worried as we are about Poltergeist being terrible (we’ll give it a fair shake, but there are some big ol' red flags), and as bad a rap as horror remakes get, they don’t all suck. In fact, there are some that are downright awesome. Maybe they capture the essence of the original and give it a modern makeover, maybe they take the original story in a new and unexpected direction that adds new depth, or perhaps they took a movie with some intriguing pieces but that never quite achieved what it was capable of and gave it a do-over. In that spirit, here are ten horror remakes that turned out awesome.

The Thing
From the late 1970s to the late ‘80s director John Carpenter was at the height of his considerable powers, and nowhere is that as apparent as in 1982’s The Thing. A loose reworking of the source material for Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World, Carpenter’s film melds horror and science fiction as a crew at a research facility in Antarctica deal with a malevolent alien presence that takes the shape of any living creature it touches. The cast, including Kurt Russell, Keith David, and Wilford Brimley, must contend with horrifying creatures, mounting suspense, and overwhelming paranoia as they begin to suspect one another of being monsters. Topped off by an ambiguous ending that still inspires debate today, The Thing stands among Carpenter’s best.

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