After all, remember when Halloween helmer John Carpenter
tried to escape the grimy world of teenage chillers by remaking that much-loved
fifties sci-fi classic The Thing From Another World?
The remake he directed in 1982 flopped hard at the box
office, proving viewers never want to see classic sci-fi reheated for a new
generation, and—wait hang on, the eighties remake of The Thing is roundly
beloved for being a genius retelling of the original story. Harsher, darker,
and smarter than its fifties inspiration, the film is widely considered a
masterpiece of sci-fi horror and one of the genre’s most enduring influences.
Okay fine, so that’s one good remake. But what about say,
Cronenberg’s eighties remake of the classic fifties sci-fi The Fly? Oh right,
that’s also considered far superior to the original, and is also an undeniable
masterpiece adored by critics and audiences alike, which has proven almost as
influential as Carpenter’s flick.
Huh. We’re starting to think some sci-fi remakes might
actually not be so bad. Okay, so there was admittedly a string of woeful Paul
Verhoeven remakes circa 2012 which put us all off the idea of revisiting
classic sci-fi. But that’s because Verhoeven and PG-13 ratings go together like
Tom Hooper and felines.
So to prove a point, we’ve assembled a list of sci-fi
remakes often written off by critics which are actually—whisper it—pretty decent.