“The Fly” (1986) This is what happens when a real cinematic artist (David Cronenberg) takes a known story and makes it his own.
|'The Fly', 1958.|
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978) By far the best of the films based on Jack Finney’s novel, “The Body Snatchers.” Ultra-paranoid and set in San Francisco, with Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, the foxy Brooke Adams and — wait for it — Leonard Nimoy.
“Dawn of the Dead” (2004) Directed by a then-unknown Zack Snyder. Takes the superior running zombies of “28 Days Later” and puts them in the irony-dripping world of George Romero’s shopping mall of the apocalypse. And the cast features Sarah Polley and Ty Burrell. What more could you want?
|Dawn of the Dead, 1978.|
“The Thing” (1982) One of John Carpenter’s best films. Also one of Kurt Russell’s best. Truly freaky stuff with actually scary moments. The 2011 version deserves props for being a clever prequel.
|'The Thing,' 1951.|
|(Overture Films / AP)|
“Let Me in” (2010) A worthy English-language version of the 2007 Swedish hit, it's one of the few recent vampire movies that seems to care at all about the rules.” Fine performances by both young leads, Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”) and rising star Chloë Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass”).
|The Swedish film Let the Right One In.|
“The Ring” (2002) Definitely not as freaky as Ringu, the 1998 Japanese film, but worthwhile nonetheless, especially if you haven’t seen the original.
“The Crazies” (2010) Effective remake that improves in many ways on another George Romero work. Co-written by Scott Kosar (“The Machinist”).
“Evil Dead 2” (1987) More of a reboot than a sequel to Sam Raimi’s 1981 Evil Dead. Same cabin, same guy, different story. If only Ash (Bruce Campbell's character in Raimi’s three films) had been in the latest.
|the latest Evil Dead we speak of.|
”The Blob” (1988) Fun, and unambiguously better than the original in just about every way despite the fact that it replaced Steve McQueen with Kevin Dillon as the film's leading man. Co-written by Frank Darabont.
|Movie art for the film 'The Blob', 1958|
“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) Who better than Gary Oldman to don fangs and chew the scenery?
Bela Lugosi in the 1931 film, Dracula.