Epic Film Fails: 14 Movie Remakes That Failed To Impress

Unfortunately, not all remakes are as good as the original movie. In a popular online forum, one film fan asked, “What is the most pathetic movie remake of all time?” Many people shared their picks for underwhelming remakes. Here are 14 movies that didn't win fans over. 

1. Mulan (2020)

mulan remake
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Many film lovers named the live-action Mulan remake, with one harsh critic calling it “hot garbage.” People were especially disappointed that this version didn't live up to the animated film, which is a Disney fan favorite.

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

charle and the chocolate factory
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Some people had strong feelings about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a remake of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Movie fans weren't impressed with Johnny Depp's portrayal of Wonka, calling him “too eccentric” and “creepy.” Overall, they thought the movie missed the mark.

3. Red Dawn (2012)

Red Dawn 2012
Image Credit: Ron Phillips/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

A group of American teens band together to fight off a North Korean invasion of their hometown in this remake of the 1984 classic. However, the film lacks the tension and emotional depth of the original, with wooden acting and a generic script. A fan partial to the 80s film called it “an awful rendition with little to no respect to the original.”

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010
Image Credit: New Line Cinema/New Line Productions.

A reimagining of the 1984 horror classic, this remake follows a group of teens haunted by the vengeful spirit of a deceased child killer who can invade their dreams. The film features forgettable characters, weak jump scares, and a controversial departure from previous depictions of Freddy Krueger and his backstory. Given how iconic the original Wes Craven horror film was, audiences view this adaptation as non-canon and ignore the story completely.

5. Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall 2012
Image Credit: Michael Gibson/Columbia Pictures Industries/SONY Pictures Entertainment.

Fans insist you should never touch Arnold Schwarzenegger classics, and Total Recall is no exception. Set in a dystopian future, this remake follows a factory worker (Colin Farrell) who discovers his memories have been implanted and sets out to uncover his true identity. It received mixed reviews, with one of its main criticisms being that it lacked the same humor and charm that fans of the original were so accustomed to. It felt like a remake that shouldn't have happened.

6. RoboCop (2014)

RoboCop 2014
Image Credit: Kerry Hayes, Columbia Pictures Industries.

In this reboot of the 1987 sci-fi film, a Detroit cop is critically injured and transformed into a cyborg crimefighter. Some viewers complained, “You can't mess with perfection,” condemning the audacity to remake a classic. This 2014 remake was accused of being a cash grab and missing the point. The original contained satirical edge and dark humor that was glaringly missing from this reboot.

7. Point Break (2015)

Point Break 2015
Image Credit: Reiner Bajo, Warner Bros. Pictures.

A young FBI agent goes undercover to infiltrate a group of extreme sports enthusiasts suspected of carrying out a series of daring heists. Even though the original Point Break received mixed reviews, fans much prefer it, thanks to the charisma of Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.

The characters in this reboot are much blander and it disappointed enthusiasts of the original so profoundly that one film buff referred to it as “an absolute disgrace to the '91 masterpiece.”

8. The Mummy (2017)

The Mummy Tom Cruise
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

In this reboot of the 1999 action-adventure film, an ancient princess is awakened from her tomb and sets out to wreak havoc on modern-day London. The Mummy is a beloved franchise made iconic thanks to Brendan Fraser's charming and charismatic performance. Tom Cruise had very large shoes to fill and came up short. There was no incentive to remake this film. This resulted in a lackluster rehashing of the story with worse performances and the film's tone lacked the same sense of adventure.

9. Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters 2016 Columbia Pictures 2
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Four women with paranormal expertise team up to save New York City from an otherworldly threat in this female-led reboot of the beloved 1984 comedy. Despite the all-female ensemble cast all considered successful in their own right, this film felt like a cash-grab and push for representation at the expense of the story. Audiences also didn't understand the need for an all-female reboot of an already beloved and iconic franchise that was done right the first time. The humor felt forced and goofy, with a mediocre script.

10. Psycho (1998)

Psycho 1998
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

This film is a shot-for-shot remake of the classic 1960 thriller by Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of Marion, a young woman who stays at a remote motel managed by a peculiar young man. Despite the faithful replication of the original scenes, this version falls short in building suspense and exploring the characters' psychological complexities.

The lackluster performances and uninspired direction fail to recreate the intense and gripping atmosphere of the original masterpiece. Detractors think reshooting the film shot-for-shot added nothing of value to a revolutionary film in cinema history.

11. Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

A reboot of the 1982 sword-and-sorcery classic, this film follows a young warrior who seeks revenge against the evil warlord who killed his father. However, the film lacks the epic scale and memorable performances of the original, with forgettable characters and generic action sequences. A cinephile criticized the filmmakers' attempt to shove 10 different Conan stories into 2 hours.

12. The Haunting (1999)

The Haunting 1999
Image Credit: Dreamworks.

In this remake of the 1963 horror classic, a team of scientists investigates a haunted mansion and uncovers its terrifying secrets. Starring Liam Neeson, Owen Wilson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film lacks the suspense and psychological terror of the original, with over-the-top special effects and a weak script. Horror fans advise that you skip this reboot and watch the 1963 version. 

13. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Image Credit: Jessie Eastland.

A remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic, this film follows an alien visitor who comes to Earth to warn humanity of its impending destruction. However, the film doesn't have the thought-provoking themes and nuanced performances of the original, with a simplistic script and forgettable action sequences. One movie lover called it a forgettable film, despite seeing it in the theater. Fans of the original found the premise interesting and believed it could have been done so much better.

14. Footloose (2011)

Footloose 2011
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In this remake of the 1984 dance film, a city kid moves to a small town where dancing is banned and sets out to change things. I saw this movie in the theater as a 14-year-old without having seen the original and I remember leaving the theater utterly confused about why Footloose was supposedly so iconic. This remake is missing the infectious energy and memorable music of the original, with uninspired choreography and forgettable characters.

Source: Reddit.

Jaimee Marshall is a writer who hails from the suburbs of Philadelphia but has spent the past few years living abroad in Australia. She considers herself a bit of a movie buff with a knack for horror and clever sci-fi flicks. When she isn't watching or writing about movies, she's probably either posting political memes, cooking vegan food, or being active. She covers entertainment news, and reviews films and television for Wealth of Geeks. You can also catch her deep dives on sociopolitical issues at Evie Magazine, Katie Couric Media, and Her Campus or watch her appearance on Popcorned Planet, where she discusses heated issues like due process in our current social climate.