The Uninvited (2009, USA)
I must admit that this isn't the worst of the worst of Asian horror remakes. I almost didn't put this on the list as I didn't dislike it too much. The acting and visuals were pretty good, from what I remember. Its been quite some time since I've seen it. Perhaps I'll revisit it and the original for a comparison, if anyone's interested in it. The only complaint that I can remember I had with this movie is that the twists were dumbed down compared to the original. I don't know if it's because I saw the original before I knew the twist already or the movie really did spell out everything, in case the audience is too simple-minded to get it. Out of everything listed here, I won't discourage anyone too much from seeing this unnecessary American remake.
Uzumaki (2000, Japan)
I've seen this movie on quite a few Asian horror list and I remember being very underwhelmed by it when I first saw it. It had an interesting story, but it was kinda boring and didn't do much for me. The only thing I remember actually liking is the end. Not because it was the end of an unsatisfying movie, but the imagery and weird, creep factor was pleasing to the eyes. I also remember reading a comment that suggested to read the manga instead of watching this movie. Maybe one day I will, but I'm not very motivated to do that just yet.
Arang (2006, South Korea)
I was recommended to see this movie years ago and honestly it seemed like an interesting premise. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but compare this movie to better Asian horrors it borrowed from. I know hauntings and ghosts are a staple for Asian horror, but I believe there are still ways to make it effective and creepy. Due to the execution of the story, it became borderline cliche and dull. I felt nothing for the characters and nothing felt scary or at risk. The only positives I have are that the visuals were pretty good and I enjoyed the climax.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003, USA)
I remember when this movie came out in theaters and I wish I remembered what I chose to see that night. Anyway, I did ask a friend that was coincidentally there at the theater about the movie, mostly who "won" and just being a little more annoyed. Over time, it seemed like people actually liked this movie. When I saw it, I wasn't that impressed. When I went back to watch the whole Nightmare on Elm Street series, I completely skipped this movie. I'm not even acknowledging that this is part of the franchise. It has some smart little moments, but overall the characters are just uninteresting which makes the whole movie unnecessary! I guess I can somewhat understand that the main focus is on Freddy Krueger and Jason, but that doesn't excuse lazy characters.
Cloverfield (2008, USA)
Have you ever had a friend that claimed something you consider a bad movie as their favorite? Well, this movie is one of them. It's a bit of a cop out of a choice as I've never seen this movie from beginning to end, but from middle to end. Close enough, I guess. After seeing Quarantine and [Rec], this movie falls very short when it comes to first person horror. The characters are obnoxious, the shaky camera is a little annoying, and the story is a little weak. Most of all, the big reveal of the monster and the conclusion is underwhelming, if that's even possible for such a lackluster movie.
The Ruins (2008, USA)
The concept of vacations and infections are no stranger to the horror movie genre. Of course, these concept trends come and go in waves and I believe this movie came out during that revival. Unfortunately with these waves comes these annoying, unlikeable characters that you can't attach yourself to at all. This movie definitely suffers from that as well as ridiculous logic, dull moments, and a slightly flimsy plot. It might have its fill of gore, hormones, and claustrophobia, but the execution of this movie is poor.
Wolf Creek (2005, Australia)
It's not good to forget about watching a movie until it is brought up again in a better movie. I wish I remembered why I even bothered paying to see this torture fest in theaters, but I do remember which friend I saw it with and that we bursts out laughing at a very inappropriate scene. I'm not sure how much I should say about my opinion on this movie as I have a feeling I will be bringing it up quite a few more times. To quickly list off why I didn't enjoy this movie: it feeds into the stereotypical alcohol, partying, and sex; it doesn't add to the horror genre, there's barely any plot, and the characters are so unlikeable, unrealistic that it doesn't matter what happens to them.
Paranormal Activity (2007, USA)
This was a movie I thought I would never ever see, but curiosity got the best of me and I caved in. Luckily, it was from my job, so the only thing lost was time...and barely that since my attention was waning throughout the whole movie. I understand the appeal. "Let your imagination create the suspense." But for people like myself, paranormal movies just don't cut it when it's shot like this. I didn't go into this movie with much expectation, only the thought of it being a better budget Blair Witch Project and that's what it felt like watching it. There was nothing to trigger my imagination to create any fear or suspense, therefore the movie was very boring and felt like I was just watching a normal couple living their normal lives.
The Grudge (2004, USA)
If it wasn't for a school assignment, I probably wouldn't have bothered watching this remake. I lacked interest in it otherwise, but at the time Asian horror remakes in America was the big thing and I'm surprised that the original director of Ju-on is responsible for the remake. Unfortunately, this is my least favorite Asian horror remake that I've seen so far. My biggest gripes had to deal with the characters. There were extra, unnecessary ones that took away from the original suspense and connection that the main character was suppose to go through. I'm aware that there are people that dislike it just by looking at the average score on imdb, but it has made this list because I see it in a lot of horror movie lists saying it's their favorite, it scared them, or something of that nature. In my opinion, just stick to the original.
Hostel (2005, USA)
Out of everything I listed, this was the only movie I actually looked forward to seeing when it was released in theaters. I remember almost vividly asking a former friend of mine to accompany me to see it and I had hopes that this would change the horror genre. Unfortunately, it did...for the worse. The movie had a slow start with three unlikeable main characters. It was all about scoring drugs and hooking up with prostitutes. This might've catered to guys like my former friend's boyfriend at the time, but not us. We were bored. We were ready for some sort of violent action and at the rip of a nail from flesh, we rejoiced. In that moment, we surrendered ourselves to the entertainment of "torture porn" because the beginnings and characters were so uninteresting to us. There was a lack of consistent sympathy towards the leading male, since for most of the movie we don't care about him, but when he's chased by people we dislike even more, we want him to survive. I probably will harp on some other grievances on why I do not like this movie in a later post. For now, I will point out two scenes I really like: the prostitutes getting hit by a car and the gang of children who don't receive their "payment".
Blair Witch Project (1999, USA)
Before Paranormal Activity took over the tradition of releasing a new installment every year around Halloween and sparked the whole found footage movement, this movie was the scariest thing in theater. At least, that's what advertising told me. I got to hear the lovely stories from my mom about people puking in theater due to the camera movement. Fortunately, I didn't see it in theaters, but still I saw it. That's bad enough. Advertising got the best of my curiosities and my mom and I rented it. Thinking back on it, I still feel guilty that my mom sat through one of the worst horror movies ever that came to theaters. The characters lacked depth, the camera made me nauseous, and there was way too much profanity for it to be deemed realistic. Texas Chainsaw Massacre was more realistic than this movie. Also, the ending was extremely anti-climatic. To this day, I still do not understand why people find this movie so terrifying or worth mentioning in their top ten horror movie lists.