North Texas Daily

31 days of Halloween: 5 classic monster films with modern adaptations

31 days of Halloween: 5 classic monster films with modern adaptations

31 days of Halloween: 5 classic monster films with modern adaptations
October 22
13:00 2022

This week is all about paying respect to the originals. Universal Monsters were some of the first steps in making the horror genre what it is today. From “Frankenstein” to “The Wolf Man,” these monsters’ first appearances will live in permanent relevancy.

This specific list will cover modern spins on the classic features, and why new stories including the original monsters will always have eternal life.

22. “Frankenweenie” (2012)

Looking back on the entirety of this list, there hasn’t been much family-friendly material. This one is a canine spin on Mary Shelley’s classic story.

Those who have lost a pet wish they could bring them back. In “Frankenweenie,” a young boy loses his best friend and brings him back through chaotic science. While it may not be the greatest side-by-side comparison to the source material, “Frankenweenie” is a visually stimulating animated take on the story.

The first “Frankenstein” film came out in 1931, and there have been over 100 films in which the monster has been a character in some shape or form. Director Tim Burton always manages to strike gold with his animated films and “Frankenweenie” is one of his more underrated projects. It will only age better with time.

Of the multiple stories with Frankenstein’s monster in the spotlight, none will be as unique as “Frankenweenie.”

  1. “The Mummy” (1999)

As the world prepares for a Brendan Fraser renaissance, there is no better time to revisit this action-packed classic. Horror is subjective. While this may lean more toward an adventure film, it wouldn’t exist without “The Mummy”
from 1932.

Sometimes a break is needed from the nonstop jumpscares, so consider this film a nice palette cleanser before what is to come. “The Mummy” is such a great example of a comfort movie. It is incredibly easy to turn your brain off and go on an adventure.

Don’t get too comfortable however, because there is still a fair share of chilling imagery, even if it is drenched in dated special effects. There’s just too much fun wrapped within this film.

  1. “Dracula” (1992)

Of the classic monsters, none are as famous as vampires. There are so many films and shows filled with the blood-sucking beings so many have come to love. Francis Ford Coppola‘s take on the fanged flick is by far the best, even outshining the first “Dracula” film from 1931.

Seeing Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves on screen is always a good thing. Although, their inability to age in real life makes you wonder if any immortality carried over from the film. Gary Oldman as Dracula is the most iconic version of
the character put to screen.

This film is directed by the person who directed “The Godfather,” so it goes without saying that “Dracula” is an absolute delight to look at. Some movies feel like Halloween without referencing the holiday at all, and this is a perfect example.

  1. “The Invisible Man” (2020)

This film is nothing like the original from 1933. Elisabeth Moss gave one of the greatest performances of 2020 in this science fiction horror. There is a constant feeling like you are being watched, and it is absolutely terrifying.

Even scenes with simple dialogue between two characters seem the tiniest bit off, all because of the translucent terrorizer. The film paves its own way, but still respects the original. It is an extraordinary example of how to keep well-established stories fresh and exciting.

Director Leigh Whannell is also a master of the genre. His work on “Saw” and “Insidious” showcase his ability to get under the skin of anyone. They say what you can’t see can’t hurt you, but what you can’t see plans to kill you in “The Invisible Man.”

  1. “An American Werewolf in London” (1981)

This very well could be the greatest monster movie ever made. “An American Werewolf in London” is nothing like “The Wolf Man” from 1941, but it has a werewolf in it so it absolutely makes the list.

This film displays the greatest special effects work of all time. Some of the transitions from human to monster still hold up flawlessly over 40 years later. On top of everything else, this movie is wildly entertaining. The scares still work to perfection, and the humor is so unexpected.

“An American Werewolf in London” is one of the most important films in the horror genre. Having it revolve around a classic monster makes it even more special. Director John Landis also directed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video. If that doesn’t put someone in the Halloween spirit, nothing will.

Featured Illustration by Sriya Vempati

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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