When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report cardS

It's official: U.S. audiences decided not to let in Let Me In. The U.S. remake of the Swedish vampire classic crashed and burned. But most other domestic horror remakes have been critical or box-office failures. Check out our damning statistics.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

So let's start with Let Me In (2010). Matt Reeves' remake of Let The Right One In actually pleased critics, and we liked it a lot. If anything, the U.S. remake kept too much of the creepiness and weirdness of the original to suit mainstream American audiences — people walked out of the screening we attended, during some of the intense relationship scenes between Owen and Abby the vampire. In any case, Let Me In made just $11 million during its first three weekends (compared with a $20 million budget) and made just $849,000 in its third weekend, which is a shocking drop-off.

Here are some other U.S. remakes of foreign films, most of which either bombed at the box office or received uniformly horrible reviews, or both, except for The Ring, The Grudge and Quarantine:

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

The Ring (2002)
A remake of: Ringu, the 1998 Japanese film.
What it's about: There's a cursed video tape, and if you watch it, you receive a phone call afterwards in which a girl's voice announces you'll die within seven days.
Links to the original: Gore Verbinski's remake stays pretty close to Hideo Nakata's original, but is faster paced and has more gruesome imagery, plus the cursed videotape has a lot more stuff on it.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 71 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $129 million, on a budget of about $48 million.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

The Grudge (2004)
A remake of: Ju-On: The Grudge (2004)
What it's about: When someone dies in the grip of extreme rage or sorrow, the strong emotions leave a stain and can cause the death of others who touch come too close.
Links to the original: Director Takashi Shimizu directed both the Japanese and U.S. versions
Rotten tomatoes rating: 40 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $110 million, against a budget of about $10 million.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

Dark Water (2005)
A remake of: The 2002 Japanese horror film of the same name
What it's about: Nasty dark water is leaking through the ceiling into Jennifer Connelly's apartment, no matter how many times the landlord fixes it, while Connelly's daughter has a spooky imaginary friend. Both things turn out to be linked to the disappearance of a young girl.
Links to the original: The two versions are pretty similar, except for a few differences, like the incompetent/spooky building manager getting arrested in the U.S. version.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 45 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $25 million on a budget of $60 million.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

Pulse (2006)
A remake of: Japanese film Kairo.
What it's about: A hacker creates a computer virus that links the world of the living to the world of the dead, forcing our heroes to flee to places where there are no internet connections or cell phone reception.
Links to the original: The original film is a lot more dreamlike and philosophical, containing lots of disturbintg imagery reminiscent of the remains left by the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The remake is much more thriller-like.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 11 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $20 million on a budget of about $20 million, so it broke even.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

The Invisible (2007)
A remake of: Den Osynlige, a Swedish film.
What it's about: A teenager gets beaten up and finds that nobody can see or hear him afterwards. He eventually realizes he's having an out-of-body experience.
Links to the original: Director David S. Goyer makes some pretty heavy-duty changes to the U.S. version, making it so that the good guys all survive.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 21 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $20 million on a budget of about $30 million

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

Quarantine (2008)
A remake of: [Rec] (2007)
What it's about: A reporter and her camera man visit an apartment building to report on a disturbance, only to find themselves trapped in a building full of infected people who are going berzerk with unnatural rage.
Links to the original: It's almost a shot-for-shot remake, using the same "found footage" style, except the explanation for the infections is changed.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 58 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $32 million, on a budget of about $12 million.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

Shutter (2008)
A remake of: The 2004 Thai horror film of the same name
What it's about: A dead woman keeps turning up in the photographs taken by Ben (Joshua Jackson) and it turns out that she's seeking vengeance for the wrongs that Ben and his friends have done. When Ben's friends all start dying, he realizes he's in trouble.
Links to the original: The U.S. remake goes a lot further, including some disturbing revelations about what Ben and his peeps did to Megumi before she died.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 7 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $25 million on a budget of just $8 million.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

One Missed Call (2008)
A remake of: Japanese horror film Chakushin Ari.
What it's about: People receive phone calls, apparently from themselves in the future, stating their exact times of death. And then they die.
Links to the original: The remake contains a few scenes recreated from the original, but replaces the scary ghost Mimiko with the much less intimidating Ellie, who's just a girl in a black hoodie.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 0 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $26 million on a budget of $20 million

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

The Eye (2008)
A remake of: the 2002 Hong Kong-Thai-Singapore film of the same name
What it's about: A blind violinist gets a cornea transplant that lets her see again — but she sees scary visions of death.
Links to the original: More or less the same storyline, except for the identity of the person whose corneas were donated, and how they died.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 22 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $31 million on a budget of about $12 million. So yay.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

Funny Games (2008)
A remake of: The 1997 Austrian film of the same name.
What it's about: Two white-gloved young men do a "home invasion" and force a married couple and their child to play games, before murdering them. The young men turn out to have odd supernatural powers.
Links to the original: It's a shot-for-shot remake of the original, by the same director.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 51 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $1.29 million, on a budget of $15 million, a major factor behind the failure of its production studio, Tartan Films.

When Americans remake foreign horror films: the report card

The Uninvited (2009)
A remake of: the 2003 Korean film A Tale Of Two Sisters
What it's about: A mentally disturbed girl has confusing memories after the death of her mother in a boathouse fire.
Links to the original: They don't seem to have that much in common, other than the mentally disturbed protagonist.
Rotten tomatoes rating: 32 percent fresh.
U.S. box office: $28.5 million, not sure what the budget was.

Sources: Ars Technica, Yahoo answers, Film Critic, NetflixCommunity and Box Office Mojo.