See Side-By-Side Comparisons Of 25 Films and Their Remakes

A Barcelona-based editor reveals what it means to be faithful in a remake by examining scenes from 25 films alongside their newer versions.

See Side-By-Side Comparisons Of 25 Films and Their Remakes
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 2011 [Photo: Columbia Pictures]

When director Gus Van Sant announced that he would be following up his breakthrough commercial hit, Good Will Hunting, with a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, many were confused. That confusion did not go away when the film was eventually released either. Audiences and critics couldn’t tell whether the whole exercise was a dadaist art statement or what was even happening. Was Van Sant’s message that no cows are sacred or that all cows are sacred? Nobody could quite tell. If the director’s aim was to urge other filmmakers away from remake culture, however, it was a resounding failure.


Nearly 20 years later, remakes, reboots, and reinterpretations make up what feels like at least half of each year’s major cinematic offerings. (The other half are adaptations.) The degree to which studios, filmmakers, and audiences have embraced remake culture, though, means more opportunities to approach these properties from different angles. Every now and then, a film will treat its source material with nearly the same perhaps ironic reverence as Gus Van Sant did Psycho, but most others indulge in more of a flickering faithfulness. A new video puts together side by side comparisons of scenes from 25 movies and their remakes to show how different (or not) the same movie can be the second time.

Barcelona-based filmmaker and editor Jaume R. Lloret had his work cut out for him in some movies more than others. Finding footage from Psycho that matches up is like shooting a barrel in a barrel factory. (Steven Soderbergh once overlaid both versions of the film on top of each other to play simultaneously.) Lloret also includes the curious case of when Michael Haneke remade his own Austrian film (Funny Games) in English with different actors but no other changes whatsoever. The other films, however, comprise just about the entire spectrum of remakes and reveal a lot about how these are made and received.

There are those that are cross-cultural success stories, like The Ring and The Departed; there are those deemed wholly unnecessary, like Total Recall and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; there are remakes widely considered to have improved upon the originals, like The Fly and Cape Fear. Lloret chooses scenes from each of them to highlight the inevitable differences within the similarities, and leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether they are improvements or not. Well, except for Tim Burton’s spin on Planet of the Apes, which ends with an Ape Lincoln Memorial instead of an Ape Statue Of Liberty. That’s just objectively bad.

Read a full list below of all the films and remakes used in the video:

  • Oldboy (2003) – Park Chan-wook
  • Oldboy (2013) – Spike Lee
  • Funny Games (1997) – Michael Haneke
  • Funny Games (2007) – Michael Haneke
  • Let the One Right In (2008) – Tomas Alfredson
  • Let Me in (2010) – Matt Reeves
  • Abre los Ojos (1997) – Alejandro Amenábar
  • Vanilla Sky (2001) – Cameron Crowe
  • Psycho (1960) – Alfred Hitchcock
  • Psycho (1998) – Gus Van Sant
  • The Ring (1998) – Hideo Nakata
  • The Ring (2002) – Gore Verbisnki
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) – Mel Stuart
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) – Tim Burton
  • La Jetée – Chris Marker
  • 12 Monkeys – Terry Gilliam
  • The Omen (1976) – Richard Donner
  • The Omen (2006) – John Moore
  • Cape Fear (1962) – J. Lee Thompson
  • Cape Fear (1991) – Martin Scorsese
  • Evil Dead (1981) – Sam Raimi
  • Evil Dead (2013) – Fede Álvarez
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) – John Milius
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011) – Marcus Nispel
  • The Fly (1958) – Kurt Neumann
  • The Fly (1986) – David Cronenberg
  • True Grit (1969) – Henry Hathaway
  • True Grit (2011) – Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Infernal Affairs (2002) – Lau Wai-Keung & Alan Mak
  • The Departed (2006) – Martin Scorsese
  • Solaris (1972) – Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Solaris (2002) – Steven Soderbergh
  • Total Recall (1990) – Paul Verhoeven
  • Total Recall (2012) – Len Wiseman
  • Harakiri (1962) – Masaki Kobayashi
  • Harakiri (2011) – Takashi Miike
  • Carrie (1976) – Brian De Palma
  • Carrie (2013) – Kimberly Peirce
  • Millennium I (2009) – Niels Arden Oplev
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – David Fincher
  • Judge Dredd (1995) – Danny Cannon
  • Dredd (2012) – Pete Travis
  • Sleuth (1972) – Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Sleuth (2007) – Kenneth Branagh
  • Hachi-ko (1987) – Seijirô Kôyama
  • Hachiko: A Dog’s Story (2009) – Lasse Hallström
  • Planet of the Apes (1968) – Franklin J. Schaffner
  • Planet of the Apes (2001) – Tim Burton
  • REC (2007) – Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza
  • Quarantine (2008) – John Erick Dowdle