"They Live", "Hellraiser", "Children of the Corn: Horror Films That Can Benefit from Remake

When it comes to the horror genre, there are lots of misses when it comes to remakes. A franchise can continue as long as the IP falls into the right hands. Films like They Live, Hellraiser, and Children of the Corn can benefit.

A recent example of such resurgence is 2018's Halloween. The 2018 film ignored the previous sequels in the franchise and acted as the new second film with star Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode. Characters from the first film also returned to connect to the original John Carpenter 1978 original. A sequel, Halloween Kills with director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride return is slated a 2020 release.

"They Live", "Hellraiser", "Children of the Corn:  Horror Films That Can Benefit from Remake
Universal Pictures/20th Century Studios/20th Century Studios

McBride is obviously not the first comedian working in horror. The success of Jordan Peele from his film Get Out (2017) and Us (2019) shot him to superstardom. Those lead to such projects as the CBS All Access' revival of The Twilight Zone and his upcoming remake of Candyman (2020). Chris Rock took the reins of the Saw franchise to Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2020).

What are some of the other horror films that could use a revisit?

They Live

The 1988 Carpenter film starring Roddy Piper and Keith David remains a cult classic. Aside from Piper and David's memorable street fight, the conspiratorial messages resonate more than ever before. They Live follows Nada (Piper), who discovers a pair of sunglasses that change the way he sees the world. What are normal billboards become overly simplistic authoritarian subliminal messages.

The sunglasses also reveal who's a real person or an alien in disguise. Alone in his discoveries, he struggles to make sense of what he sees until he decides to act upon them. If there ever was a tale that can be re-adapted to the social media age, it is this one. Carpenter wrote the screenplay from Ray Nelson's original story. There's no doubt he can do it again or find very capable hands to reimagine the story for the 21st century.


Since Candyman is coming back, another Clive Barker film worth revisiting is Hellraiser. While the franchise has long regulated to direct-to-video, a visually-minded director like Guillermo Del Toro can do some creative things with the IP and make it his own.

Hellraiser focuses on a puzzle box when opened is a gateway to hell. While it became an S&M inspiration to many, the real appeal from the film comes from Doug Bradley's Pinhead. He's far more than a terrifying presence as a demonic acupuncturist, but he's as manipulative as he's ruthless. While Bradley's since left the franchise, the proper casting can rejuvenate the iconic horror figure. A director like Del Toro is also known to make his backgrounds as grandiose as his characters. It would also take the franchise out of the direct-to-video realm.

Children of the Corn

Small towns are popular sources of inspiration for horror films since they're always too far away from meaningful civilization. Considering the resurgence of Stephen King IPs, it's surprising Children of the Corn hasn't been considered for another big-screen adaptation. Sure there too many direct-to-video sequels to count, but the first film had a theatrical release in 1984.

The story follows a child preacher who convinces the local youth to kill all adults (i.e.: anyone over 18). Two adults, unfortunately, stumble upon the town and find out how little power they have.

While not considered a box office success, interest in demonic/homicidal children never went away. Look at the popularity of Orphan (2009), The Grudge (2002, 2004, 2020), The Exorcist (1973), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005).

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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