Now available on Amazon Prime Video for streaming is the American adaptation of the acclaimed Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy, which stars Naomi Watts as the mother in the title role. Even the most well-intentioned directors run the risk of feeling more like they are cashing in than being truly inspired by their Hollywood remakes of foreign horror movies, which have a lengthy and decidedly uneven track record. The usual remake curse has, however, been broken by several. The best American adaptations of foreign horror films are listed here.

1. Let Me In (2010)

Foreign Horror Films
Courtesy- Google Images

Director- Matt Reeves

Ranking- 88%

Twelve-year-old Owen has no friends, his parents are no longer married, and he is alone. In addition to living a miserable life, he gets bully at school. He runs across Abby, a 12-year-old who recently moved in next door, late one night. She is quiet about herself and doesn’t attend school. A detective is also looking into a string of homicides involving victims who have had their blood drained. Since they are both lonely people, Owen and Abby find solace in one another, and Abby gives him the courage to confront his tormentors. Abby also harbours secrets that are directly related to the police inquiry.

2. We Are What We Are (2013)

Foreign Horror Films
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Director- Jim Mickle

Rating- 86%

The Parkers have always stayed to themselves, and for good reason, despite appearing to be a kind and charitable family. Frank, the patriarch of the family, rules it sternly and zealously behind closed doors because he is adamant about maintaining the traditions of his ancestors. A catastrophe occurs, forcing his daughters Iris and Rose to take on obligations that go above and beyond those of a conventional family as a severe downpour approaches the neighbourhood. Authorities in the area start to find evidence that lead them closer to the mystery the Parkers have been keeping hidden for so long as the relentless rain continues to swamp their small town.

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3. The Ring (2002)

Foreign Horror Films
Courtesy- Google Images

Director- Gore Verbinski

Ranking- 71%

A phone call predicts the viewer’s death in exactly seven days after watching a videotape laden with terrifying imagery. This sounds like another urban legend. When four adolescents unexpectedly pass away exactly one week after watching a similar tape, newspaper writer Rachel Keller begins to doubt the tale. Rachel locates the video and watches it after letting her insatiable curiosity in the case take over. She has only seven days left to solve the riddle.

4. Suspiria (2018)

Foreign Horror Films
Courtesy- Google Images

Director- Luca Guadagnino

Ranking- 65%

Ambitious Mennonite dancer Susie Bannion enrols at the esteemed Helena Markos Dance Academy shortly after a troublesome student mysteriously vanishes in 1977 Berlin, against the backdrop of intense political instability and perennially dreary conditions. Susie performs exceptionally well at the audition in the hopes of getting accept into the illustrious Madame Blanc’s all-female dance company, but rumours of an unholy trinity of witch-mothers—Mater Suspiriorum, Mater Tenebrarum, and Mater Lachrymarum—threaten to detract from her proud accomplishment. A ballet dancer goes missing once again shortly after.

5. 13 Sins (2014)

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Director- Daniel Stamm

Ranking- 64%

Bright, meek salesperson Elliot Brindle is in debt to the point of no return and is going nowhere fast. Elliot, who is struggling to make ends meet and can’t even afford to marry the love of his life, receives an unexpected call from an unknown person telling him that he would be participating in a hidden camera game show where he must do 13 tasks in order to win a sizable cash prize. Despite his reluctance, Elliott decides to give it a shot and agrees to take on the first, comparatively simple task of killing a fly. Elliott now finds himself caught in the carefully thought-out plot of the unidentified masterminds behind the nefarious game, despite money beginning to flood into his bank account. The activities become increasingly difficult until there is no turning back as Elliot’s desire to finish the game grows.

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6. Quarantine (2008)

Foreign Horror Films
Courtesy- Google Images

Director- John Erick Dowdle

Ranking- 55%

A Los Angeles fire squad is asked to work the night shift with a television reporter and her cameraman. They arrive at a small apartment complex thanks to a normal 911 call, where they discover police officers have already arrived in response to horrifying screams coming from one of the flats. They quickly discover that a resident of the building, a woman, has contracted an unidentified infection. After a handful of the occupants are brutally attacked, they attempt to leave the building with the TV crew but discover that it has been quarantined. The news crew’s videotape is the only record of what happened when all communication was cut off.

7. Funny Games (2007)

Foreign Horror Films
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Director- Michael Haneke

Ranking- 51%

Upon arriving at their vacation house, Ann, George, and son Georgie are greeted by two courteous and appearingly kind young guys. They start terrorising and torturing the close-knit tribe, giving them until the following day to survive, all while smiling deceptively sweetly and brandishing some golf clubs.

8. Dark Water (2005)

Foreign Horror Films
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Director- Todd Haynes

Ranking- 47%

The unstable and financially strapped single mother Dahlia moves into a run-down but economical apartment complex with her only kid, Ceci, still fragile after a terrible separation and a contentious custody fight with her previous husband, Kyle. Dahlia wants to start over, but she still feels the strange grip of her past, as the damp stain in her dank, dark room looks ready to eat both mother and daughter. Dahlia’s lovely ideal of a bright future is now gradually being marred by bizarre happenings and a spooky imaginary buddy.

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9. The Grudge (2004)

Foreign Horror Films
Courtesy- Google Images

Director- Takashi Shimizu

Ranking- 40%

A woman named Karen Davis lives in Japan with her boyfriend, who is a student there. Karen visits the patient’s home after being given the temporary responsibility of caring for a woman with a serious sleeping issue. She wouldn’t anticipate what she discovers. As a result of a curse, the house is haunted by deadly spirits. When someone passes away from a fierce wrath, the curse is born. Now that the curse has begun to claim victims, Karen realises that she is being tormented by it.

10. The Uninvited (2009)

Foreign Horror Films
Courtesy- Google Images

Director(s)- Charles Guard, Thomas Guard

Ranking- 33%

After being institutionalised, Anna comes home and tries to adjust to her new living environment. Anna and her older sister Alex believe that their mother’s death in a boathouse fire the previous year was caused by Rachel Summers, the late mother’s nurse, with whom her father Steven is now sharing a home. Soon after she arrives, Anna starts to get warnings from her deceased mother and her three children, who are never vocal but alert her about a tragedy that happened in a nearby county years earlier. She and Alex amass evidence that suggests Rachel has a hidden past and is currently residing under a false identity. When she believes she has sufficient proof to prosecute Rachel, fresh information surfaces that casts doubt on prior occurrences.

In conclusion, the American film industry has produced several successful remakes of foreign horror films. Some of the best examples include “The Ring,” a remake of the Japanese film “Ringu,” and “The Grudge,” a remake of the Japanese film “Ju-on.” These remakes have been well-received by audiences and critics alike, proving that American filmmakers can effectively adapt foreign horror stories for a new audience. Despite some differences from the original films, these remakes have retained the core elements that made the original films so terrifying, making them must-see films for fans of the horror genre.