Graphically Speaking: The Best Horror Movie Sequels

Well, it’s that time of the year again: the 3rd anniversary of High School Musical 3!

Halloween, as we all know, is “scary movie” time.  Where Netflix queues are choked with last-minute horror film requests.  Well, most of us have heard our horror geek friend talk about the classics, nobody talks about the sequels to said classics.

Well, most sequels suck.  Most.  Here’s a list of the best horror movie sequels…according to me.

Hostel Part 2: Most directors talk a big game, comparing their films to classics of yesteryear, especially sequels.  So when I heard director Eli Roth talk about Hostel Part 2 at the 2007 New York Comic Con, I rolled my eyes when he cited Aliens and The Road Warrior as his influences for his sequel.  C’mon, EVERYONE knows those movies are awesome, but how would they apply here?  Well, Roth’s film lived up to his mouth.  His 2007 sequel is leaner, meaner, gorier, and has a crazy 3rd act that takes the series’ concept as far as it can go. So why is a Roth-less part 3 coming out on DVD soon?  No really, can someone tell me why?

28 Weeks Later: This is going to sound stupid, but if 28 Days Later had never existed, THIS would have been a standalone classic.  Nobody expected much with this sequel, but boy did it deliver.  A solid cast rounds out possibly the darkest zombie movie ever made, and that’s saying something.  Look for a pre-Hawkeye Jeremy Renner as a badass American soldier in zombie plague-ridden London. And yes. They are zombies, OK?

Bride of Chucky: A genre first, Don Mancini is the only credited screenwriter the Child’s Play franchise has had to date.  By film #4, even he had gotten sick of the killer doll formula, which most agree was potent enough for just 1 film.  Here, he placed his tongue firmly in his cheek to deliver a satire as bloody as it is hilarious.  Mancini teamed with director Ronny Yu send up the subgenre he mined for a decade. Kill your darlings, indeed.  Great kills, too.

Scream 2: While the first film revitalized the slasher genre, some horror fans were skeptical when it came to the sequel.  Like I said, most sequels suck.  The makers of this film seem to know that better than anyone, but they actually made a satisfying sequel that called attention to itself in a funny way.  The reveal of the killer(s) was pure horror movie gold.  Let’s just pretend part 3 didn’t happen…

Day of the Dead (1985): One could argue all Romero zombie flicks are stand-alone, though most identify this as his 3rd zombie outing.  I’m going to go ahead and suggest that this one’s better than Dawn of the Dead.  No, really!  It doesn’t have a mall and it’s not as funny, but it’s also not as long. “Day” also sports a plucky heroine and some of the best zombie make-up and effects EVER (that first zombie is forever burned into my nightmares).  An underground bunker of soldiers fuels the trademark social commentary.  Even Romero himself likes this one the best.

Halloween 2 (1981): Starting off right where part 1 ends, the 2nd installment of the Michael Myers saga features most of the same crew and several key cast members of the original.  You can watch it back-to-back with the first film and it’ll almost seem like one movie.  Almost.  Director Rick Rosenthal just isn’t John Carpenter.  Carpenter and Debra Hill still wrote the script, but their heart’s just not in it. Carpenter himself admitted to devising the major revelation of the film (and the franchise for that matter) after a night of heavy drinking.  But man, does it make things interesting.  And scary.  The return of Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis are welcomed, as is the dark cinematography of Dean Cundey.  While it’s not the masterpiece that Halloween was, part 2 is a worthy sequel.

A Nightmare on Elm St. 3- Dream Warriors: One of the best sequels of all time. Period.  Wes Craven turned in a script, which was re-written by “The Walking Dead’s” Frank Darabont, which gave the Freddy franchise some much-needed direction.  We’re introduced to new characters, new dreamscapes (cause hey, not everybody dreams about a boiler room), and some crazy special effects.  9 out of 10 “Elm Street” fans choose “Dream Warriors” as a close second favorite to the original.  Skip part 2. Almost everyone else does.

The Worst Horror Sequel Ever Made:

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers: Remember Blockbuster video?  Ever go there on a Friday night and walk through the horror section?  Lots of titles you’ve never seen, most of them sequels.  Well I’ve seen just about all of them and the worst, hands-down, is Halloween 5 (I think they gave it the subtitle after is went direct-to-video overseas).

Folks, this movie needs an extra paragraph to describe how terrible it is:  The worst explanation to the end of the last installment (until part 8 came out. Oy.), The most annoying characters in any horror movie, bad performances, a complete disregard of continuity, incompetent direction, and sound effects. Yep, SOUND EFFECTS that follow 2 bumbling cops as they walk.  Because it’s funny.  Because something in this mess has to be entertaining, right?  Sigh…avoid this one like the plague.

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 11:20 by Lowell Greenblatt · Permalink
In: Uncategorized