The sheer number of them is simply overwhelming. Sure, there have always been remakes, and of course, supporters are quick to point to 's The Thing or 's The Fly since those are absolutely amazing films that show the best of what the genre has to offer. If every remake was like them, no one would complain, but then you get ones like the 2005 version of The Fog.
A few misfires would be acceptable, but when you look at how many have been pumped out every year since The Ring remake, it becomes painfully clear.
In 2004, you had three horror reboots.
In 2005, two.
In 2006, five: The Omen, When A Stranger Calls, Night of the Living Dead 3D, Black Christmas, and Pulse.
In 2007, three.
In 2008, six! Mirrors, The Eye, One Missed Call, Prom Night, Day of the Dead, and Shutter. And these are just horror remakes.
2009 had five as well.
2010 had four.
Every year now, we are getting flooded with them. This wasn't the case before when we got Carpenter's or Cronenberg's masterpieces, and it's obvious why they're doing it: the almighty dollar sign.
It's all about name recognition and franchises. The guaranteed sale. Quality aside, it means you're less and less likely to see something new and original. No one wants to take a risk anymore. Why don't they remake some bad films instead of the classics? They might not turn a profit. I was really impressed by The Crazies remake, and most agree Dawn of the Dead was quite good, but still, that doesn't justify all the others that failed to deliver. Even Doug Bradley, famous for his portrayal of Pinhead in the Hellrasier series, has expressed his utter dislike of remakes and the growing number of them (you can even buy a t-shirt from his website that says, "No remakes, please!").
The genre really needs new ideas in order to keep reinventing itself. That is what sparked the golden age of the 1980s that so many are desperately trying to get back to. John Carpenter's The Thing and David Cronenberg's The Fly worked because they didn't want to cash in on the title of those films; they wanted to take risks and do something exciting and different with them. Plus, they were extraordinarily talented filmmakers with a lot to say.
Their motivations were nothing like the businesses working today.