10. Ringu (1998) / The Ring (2002)
The cursed videotapes are markedly different from one another. Ringu’s is short, creepy and to the point, whereas The Ring’s cursed tape looks like the music video for a popular prog rock band. The villain Sadako is left relatively unexplained in Ringu in order to keep her creepy and mysterious. The Ring makes the mistake of giving her too much of a back story, which not only takes away all the mystery but also makes her more of a sympathetic character. That’s not what the audience wants out of its murderess little ghost girls.
9. Ju-on (2002) / The Grudge (2004)
Ju-on has more of a desperate feeling to it. There is no escaping the curse, whereas The Grudge is more about the lead character attempting to destroy Kayoko before she can kill her. The Grudge also adds in a slightly tedious detective subplot. Why is the remake worse than the original? The Grudge makes the strange decision to keep the movie set in Japan but with a cast that is 99% white and American. In fact the only non-American characters are the ghost family, a female hospice worker and a detective who is looking into all of the weird murders in his district.
8. Old Boy (2003) / Remake (2013)
There are a lot of minor differences and one big difference. Some minor ones for example, in the remake he is imprisoned for twenty years, five extra than the original. The infamous hammer fight scene that was filmed in one shot has been completed destroyed for the remake and a scene in the original movie where Dae-Su eats an octopus alive has been replaced in the remake by the guy just looking at an octopus instead. The ending is markedly different to the original.
7. Nathalie (2003) / Chloe (2009)
There is a genre change from art-house erotica to more of a thriller drama. The endings are also hugely removed from one another and the main reason that the remake isn’t that great in comparison. Why is the remake worse? In the original movie Catherine reaches the end of her relationship with Nathalie having regained her husband and Nathalie is left to deal with her unrequited feelings for Catherine. Chloe takes a big step away from this softly spoken ending and instead spirals into a bizarre and ridiculous single white female-esque twist ending.
6. The Eye (2002) / Remake (2008)
There are small bits where the storylines differ and they are both shot in different locations. The Eye was originally shot between Hong Kong and Thailand whereas the remake bounces between America and Mexico. The main difference is more tonal than anything else and a minor change to the ending. The original version of The Eye moves at a far more sedate pace, choosing to reveal things slowly to the audience. The remake, by comparison, is really frenetic, fast paced and kind of all over the place. The remake also has the classic Hollywood desire of a happy ending.
5. District 13 (2004) / Brick Mansions (2014)
In the remake Leito’s girlfriend is taken instead of his sister. Also there is an added sub plot of the mayor killing Damien’s father. All in all the storyline is largely the same. The reason the remake failed in this case is because District 13 was hugely successful in Europe and North America. This meant that whilst other foreign film remakes could skate by on the fact that a lot of people hadn’t watched the original, District 13 had been watched by a hell of a lot of people.
4. LOL (2008) / Remake (2012)
The point at which Lola’s mother reads her diary happens later in the remake than the original. The mother’s new boyfriend, a police officer, is closer to her age than he is in the remake. There are a large amount of voice-over sections in the remake that heavily detract from what’s happening on screen. And finally, a class trip from France to England is changed, instead being America to Paris. The 2008 version of LOL has been widely lauded as an excellent representation of teen life and has often been compared to the same quality level as The Breakfast Club, or Dazed and Confused. Unfortunately, the remake takes a major step down in quality and has little to differentiate it from any other teen-centric rom-com.
3. Dark Water (2002) / Remake (2005)
The visuals in the original are way more scary than the drab boring look of the remake. There has been a significant rewrite of the script so that certain storylines take center stage where they didn’t in the original film. The Dark Water remake was a failure for similar reasons as The Grudge and The Ring. In attempting to Westernise the story, the writer and director have removed a lot of the creepy elements from the movie.
2. My Sassy Girl (2001) / Remake (2008)
The storylines are actually pretty identical, other than the remake removing a quirky sub plot where the girl meets Gyeon-woo’s future self. This type of movie lives and dies by the two actors playing the lead characters and unfortunately for the remake of My Sassy Girl, Jesse Bradford and Elisha Cuthbert just don’t make the cut. Bradford does a fairly decent job at being dopey and smitten, but the original actor Tae-hyun Cha made it much more believable that this guy would stick around through all the bad treatment he was receiving, portraying his character as someone who cares for the girl deeply and truly understands her.
1. El secreto de sus ojos (2009) / The Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
There are two big differences that really change the direction of the story. The first difference is that Ray (as he’s called in the remake) is colleagues with the mother of the murder victim. The second difference is the ending of the movie. If you watch the movies, you will figure out about the difference. The main theme under discussion in the original film is what can the police force do to get justice when their hands have been tied by the law. So having the man imprisoned by someone outside of the law and left in silence for the rest of his life as he is forced to think of the evil deeds he has committed is much more of a punishment than being released by death.