* Flatliners remake now in theaters
* Based on the 1990 film, the remake offers a new vision on an older theme
* Flatliners only has 4% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes
How far would you go to prove there really is life after death? In Flatliners, five medical students embark on a daring journey that brings them all a little closer to the afterlife. With an all-star cast led by Ellen Page, this faithful update to the 1990 original film is now in theaters. But while the original was a popular hit (Spoiler alert: Kiefer rules), the new version isn’t getting as much love, garnering only a 4% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sure, remakes usually flop. But sometimes it takes a second chance for Hollywood to get it right. Check out these seven remakes that are every bit as good as the original.
1. Total Recall (Original)
The only thing better than barbarian Arnold is dystopian Arnold. Set in the distant future of 2084, Arnie stars as Quaid, a seemingly normal construction worker who comes to realize he may or may not be a secret agent sent from Mars. Based (loosely) on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” this action-packed 1990 flick is a classic.
Total Recall (Remake)
This 2012 update came and went with very little fanfare, which is a shame considering the film is actually quite good. Knowing they could never recreate Arnold’s signature swagger, this Colin Farrell flick takes a different tact. Upgraded visuals and stunning cinematography make this a great sci-fi flick in its own right.
2. Star Trek (Original Series)
Even if you’re a staunch Star Trek fan, there’s no denying the impact the original Star Trek series had on the pop culture sphere. Starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, this 60s series boldly went where no series had gone before.
Star Trek (Remake)
Only J.J. Abrams could take a coveted series like Star Trek and successfully update it for the next generation (get it?) of moviegoers. Instead of going into the future, this remake centers on a dashing and young James Kirk as he takes hold of the S.S. Enterprise.
3. War of the Worlds (Original)
Based on H.G. Wells’ classic novel, this 1953 horror hit is widely regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. Sure, the effects are dated now, but there’s enough mystery, suspense and allure to keep everyone glued.
War of the Worlds (Remake)
With Spielberg at the helm, this 2005 update stars Tom Cruise as your everyday American trying to stave off an alien apocalypse. With beautiful cinematography, epic explosions and great on-screen chemistry between Cruise and his kids, this entry stands a worthy update to the original classic.
4. 12 Monkeys (Original)
Bet you didn’t know this 1962 French New Wave film was what inspired the Brad Pitt masterpiece. This 28-minute film is shot entirely in black and white still frames. 50 years later, the images are still as captivating. Critics say this film also inspired The Terminator series.
12 Monkeys (Remake)
Strange to think a film this dark was directed by a Monty Python member. Set in 2035, this dystopian film features bravado performances by Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. Plus, it solidified Terry Gilliam’s role as one of the greatest directors of our time.
5. Solaris (Original)
The slow-moving pace and hypnotic nature of this Russian 70s film is more a study on mankind’s psychological nature than anything else. Tacking some seriously intense themes, there’s a reason this sci-fi film is so highly regarded.
The 2002 update stars George Clooney as a psychologist tasked with treating a group of paranoid astronauts. Confronted with his own internal demons, Clooney must face a growing threat that may be too big for him to handle.
6. Planet of the Apes (Original)
Sure, it looks hokey now, but back in the day, this Charlton Heston flick was probably scary as hell. After his ship crash lands on a distant planet, George Taylor (Heston) is confronted by a race of seemingly intelligent apes. The ending still stands as one of the greatest in film history.
Planet of the Apes (Remake)
Okay, sure: the Mark Wahlberg remake might not be as good as the more recent installments, but the newer installations probably wouldn’t have been possible had Marky Mark not paved the way. Directed by Tim Burton, keep an eye out for that Charlton Heston cameo.
7. Robocop (Original)
The original Robocop was one of the most violent films of the 80s – no joke! It may look a little silly now, but those early scenes were enough to make many filmgoers walk out of the theater. While the sci-fi elements are dated by today’s standards, the film’s take on human nature is still totally relevant.
Unlike the majority of Hollywood remakes, this 2014 update stays true to its original source material, which seems even more relevant today than it did 30 years ago. Starring Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy, this film is a welcome addition to the Robocop family.
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