The idea of a reboot, remake, or requel isn’t a new concept. Studios have always looked for fresh ways to produce content in an ever-growing market. Bringing classic film entries back into the modern era can deliver a welcomed sense of nostalgia and enables franchises to reinvigorate their source material for a new generation. Both Star Wars and Jurassic Park created huge commercial successes when they reintroduced audiences to updated versions of their stories and the horror genre has looked to follow suit. Halloween (2018) kick-started a new wave of impressive reboots, with Scream (2022) the latest to achieve strong numbers at the Box Office (Check out our Scream 2022 review here). Although the execution of a reboot doesn’t always work, it can prove to be a good business opportunity as any successful return opens up the door for more in the future.
Here, we take a look a 4 Horror Franchises that need a reboot.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
One of the most iconic entries in the genre, Friday The 13th took the eighties by storm. Jason Voorhees’ bloody killing spree has spanned two decades and spawned countless sequels. Although some will question the quality of certain entries, the franchise still draws a huge fanbase. Friday The 13th has amassed over $450 million so far and its latest entry in 2009 earned the series its second-biggest Box Office return ever. While a reboot has been discussed, the lawsuit between the original writer Victor Miller and the original director Sean S. Cunnigham has complicated a return to Camp Crystal Lake.
Any resolution that allows the franchise to re-enter production offers up numerous opportunities – a direct sequel to the originals could prove popular, while a new reimagining from the beginning could be interesting. Fear Street: 1978 and American Horror Story: 1984 both recently took huge inspiration from the franchise and served up strong entries into the genre, which gives further validation for a reboot.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
A Nightmare on Elm Street gave audiences restless sleep for years, as Robert Englund brought cinema one of its most terrifying villains of all time. While the latest entry in 2010 proved unpopular, the demand for more still remains high. The rights to the series have finally been returned to the Craven estate, so any reboot would likely be in good hands. Some fans will point to the untimely passing of Wes Craven as a cause for concern, but Scream (2022) proved the talent of many directors today to craft films that honor the legacy of what came before while adding their own stamp on a property.
Doctor Strange director Mike Flanagan has previously expressed his interest in the franchise, stating he has a pitch ready, and I can’t think of anyone better to take this story forward. Themes of fear have always been front and center in this franchise and now seems an appropriate time to re-examine this with a return to Elm Street. Robert Englund has cast doubt on a return given his age, but that shouldn’t be an issue if the material is strongly written. A new entry could take inspiration from the latest Candyman in using its legacy villain to evolve new mythology.
UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS (THE DARK UNIVERSE)
Universal’s series of classic monster movies scared their way onto the big screen in the 1930s. Dracula, The Mummy, and Frankenstein are just a handful of iconic creations that remain relevant today. The series would prove to be the first extended cinematic universe as multiple films saw different combinations of monsters. This was something the studio tried to replicate in 2017, with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy intended to kick start a new Dark Universe. Negative reviews and uptake saw their plans ending before they really got started, but there is life in this franchise yet.
Rather than rushing its attempts to build an extended universe, Universal could take a deep dive into each horror figure. Taking the time to flesh out the mythology of each character would allow for many exciting opportunities and tell stories that span worldwide locations and time periods. In the same vein as the MCU, the franchise could plant the seeds for an extended Dark Universe as each monster is firmly introduced to the modern-day audience.
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS/HANNIBAL
One of the rare horror releases to gain recognition from the Academy Awards, The Silence of the Lambs took the prize for Best Picture in 1992. Anthony Hopkin’s portrayal of resident flesh-eater, Hannibal Lecter, also saw him pick up the award for Best Actor. Although the sequels remained relatively strong, they failed to capture the spark of Silence. Twenty years have passed since the last true sequel was released and a conclusion/rebirth of the franchise now seems appropriate. Sadly, this is yet another franchise that has been bogged down with legal issues, but the recent Hannibal TV Series, starring Mads Mikkelson, proved the quality of content is still alive and well.
A return to the big screen could be handled in numerous ways, but reuniting Anthony Hopkin’s Hannibal with Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling would be favorable. Picking up with their lives after all these years could make for gripping viewing and allow the pair to finally conclude their unusual relationship. A new threat emerging would be the most likely tie-in to kick off a new vision for the franchise and they could use this to propel a new beginning.
What Horror franchises would you like to see get a reboot? Let us know in the comments section below.