7/04/2020

The 30 Best Horror Movie Sequels Ever

There is perhaps no genre filled with more sequels than horror. Just about anything that is even vaguely successful can spawn a sequel and become a franchise, sometimes to the point of adnauseam. And, while there are certainly A LOT of terrible sequels, there is obviously, a lot of good ones, too.

This list is the absolute best among them, the finest of the fine, if you will. I tend to prefer sequels that attempt something new, instead of rehashing the same old shit. And, while some are movies that you would expect to find in a list like this, I also threw a few curve balls, as well.

Honorable Mentions:
The Purge: Election Year
Inferno
Brides of Dracula
Damien: Omen II
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter


30. Final Destination 2 (2003)- This wild and gory movie remains the best sequel in the solidly entertaining franchise. It has what might be the best opening accident in the form of the highway accident. This scene will give drivers some major anxiety. It also has some great and imaginative deaths, and the added lovely bonus of a returning Ali Larter, as the first film's Clear Rivers.
29. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)- For much of this , franchise, there is a feeling of the "same old shit". However, this entry excels for various reasons, chief among them is that it is so goddamn fun. It isn't above making fun of itself. It also has one hell of a beginning with Jason's awesome resurrection and the cool James Bond parody. This all remains a series highlight. Throw in some pretty girls, including Jennifer Cooke, one of the sexiest final girls in the slasher series and some kick ass Alice Cooper music and you got a real winner.
28. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)- After the box office failure of the Michael Myers-less Halloween III: Season of the Witch and the continuous popularity of Jason and Freddy, it was time for Micheal to return. And, what a return it was with this really well done entry. To me, it remains the best of all the sequels. And, I know many will point to Halloween II (1981) as the better entry, but I think this film has a much better pace. It sets itself apart from the Friday movies with its more serious tone, introduces his niece Jamie (Danielle Harris), and brings back Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). It also has a nice mix of the more restrained style of the first film, with nice bits of gore, including an awesome impaling with a shotgun of busty beauty Kathleen Kinmont. The ending remains one of the best in the entire series.

27. 28 Weeks Later (2007)- This nihilistic, and I think, superior sequel is one of the best contingent horror movies ever made. It starts off rocking and dark, letting you know from the get-go that this fucker ain't playing around. It also has one fuck of an awesome scene involving a helicopter mowing down the infected.


26. Psycho III (1986)- I know many prefer the second sequel, but while I like that one, I always preferred this one. It is such a fun movie. Anthony Perkins does an excellent job, as always, as Norman Bates. But, this time it is even more impressive knowing that he directed it as well. Something, he is very apt at, keeping the flick entertaining and adding some stylish flashes, and a few violent kills. There is a nice supporting cast and the movie builds up to a great climax. In all, a sometimes underrated flick, that is honestly the last good Psycho movie ever made.



25. Hostel Part II (2007)- A vastly superior sequel, this one improves on the original, by making the victims so much more likable. The three lovely ladies are people you will actually care about. And, the gore really pushes the limits of the studio horror movie, including an awesome, ultra-bloody, and kinda sexy Elizabeth Bathory inspired bit, as well as a shocking and graphic castration scene.


24. Land of the Dead (2005)-  It doesn't reach the perfection level of the first three, which honest to God, would've been a near impossible task for anyone, even George Romero, himself. That being said, Land is still an amazing film. It is the most blatantly political of all the Dead, which is saying a lot. The mad leader, separation of rich and poor, and contamination aspect, makes the movie even more relevant now. It has one hell of a cast, too, including Dennis Hopper, John Leguizamo, the gorgeous Asia Argento, and an awesome cameo by Tom Savini. It also has some graphic gore, that even in its R-rated version pushes studio horror hard. Even if the CGI splatter isn't the best, the awesomeness of the movie, will you have not caring about that aspect.


23. Saw II (2005)- While, the first movie is unquestionably the best in the series, this second entry remains my favorite. It is well paced, tells a twisty and ingenious tale, and expands on the mythology. IE, it does what a great sequel should do. The gore is graphically gruesome, though the scene that will make you wince the most has to be the one in which Amanda (Shawnee Smith) falls in pit of syringes. Speaking of the lovely Ms. Smith kudos for expanding on her role, as well as that of the wonderful Tobin Bell as Jigsaw.



22. Bride of Chucky (1998)- Deciding to go in a more comedic slant, was the best thing this flick could've done. This helped inject new blood and interest in then dying franchise. Ronny (The Bride with White Hair) Yu's stylish and lively directing gives the movie a great look and makes a shit load of fun. The introduction of Tiffany (the sexy as hell Jennifer Tilly) gave the horror world a new horror icon. Throw in some fun lines, wild gore, kick ass metal music, and humor that is actually funny, and you have one of the most cool slashers of the nineties.


21. [Rec] 3: Genesis (2012)- The first [Rec] is, in my humble opinion, the finest of all found footage movies. This third entry is the best of its sequels, and ranks among the most exciting films in the entire subgenre. It moves at a great pace and has some truly bloody gore, including chainsaw mayhem. Plus, it has the impossibly beautiful Leticia Dolera as a the heroic and ass kicking bride to be. Her character and performance makes her a personal favorite.


20. Hatchet II (2010)- I like the first Hatchet, but honestly Hatchet II is the better movie. Even the director/ writer of both, Adam Greene, would agree with this statement. The splatter in this one is way over the top. And, the gorgeous Danielle Harris makes for one of the best final girls of the 2010s. Of course, Kane Hodder is an absolute joy as unstoppable slasher Victor Crowley.



19. Blade II (2002)- Speaking of superior sequels, here is another one. Yes, the first one is a very good movie, but this badass motherfucker expands and tops everything from that classic. The result is one of the best superhero and one of the best action/ horror flicks ever. Guillermo Del Toro directs a fast paced, stylish, and violent adventure with spectacular set-pieces, exhilarating battles, and cool characters. The reapers are some of the best looking monsters in many a horror movie. Snipes is, of course, one cool mofo as the title hero.



18. Happy Death Day 2U  (2019)- The most recent entry on this list is this immensely fun and wild slasher comedy. Some bitch and moan about it going too much into the sci-fi route, but that is precisely what makes it feel fresh and different. Te flick is a funny and energetic good time with the always awesome and beautiful Jessica Rothe returning as Tree.



17. Predator 2 (1990)- Here is a movie that is pure wall-to-wall action and has a shit load of violence and splatter. It also has a great cast and amazing make-up FX by the legandary Stan Winstson. If you wanna read more of my reasons, of why I adore this movie go here.



16. Stepfather 2: Make Room for Daddy (1989)- To put it quite clearly, this film shouldn't be as great as it is. There was never a need to have a sequel to begin with. But, it is the acting that really elevates this way above what it should be. Lovely genre favorites Meg Foster and Caroline Williams are both great in their respective roles. Meanwhile. Terry O'Quinn returning as the title character is fucking awesome. The blood-caked climax is rousing and a shit load of fun. It really is one of the finest slasher sequels ever (unlike the third one which is one of the worst sequels ever...). I reviewed it years ago, if you wanna read more of my thoughts.


15. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)- This exciting and ultra-gory sequel manages to take us to an imaginative trip to a hell that is unlike any version of it previously seen. One of the things that I liked about it (as well as the previous and following film) is the more mature take on sex than the slasher movies of its time, as well as its far more gruesome gore. This one really pushes it, especially in its bloody unrated cut. The cenobites are cool as fuck, and the cast, especially the gorgeous Ashley Lawrence as Kristy Cotton (one of horror's best final girls) and Clare Higgins as Julia one of horror's deadliest and sexiest bad girls are truly great.



14. New Nightmare (1994)- Wes Craven's return to the slasher franchise he gave birth to has him go a totally different route by taking the resulting film into the "real" world. The movie isn't just a meta-masterpiece (one made before his own Scream, might I add), but also one of the smartest and deep slasher flicks around. The film also shines in the acting department, especially in the performance of the beautiful Heather Lagenkamp playing "herself".





13. Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)- After the silly and godawful second entry this one breathed new life into not just this franchise, but zombie movies as a whole. It stepped away from the comedic elements of the previous movies and actually added romance and sexiness into the zombie. It remains the best movie to do that (sorry, Warm Bodies fans!). The stunning Melinda Clarke as the alt-metal zombie babe is pure sex, on top of giving her role a lot of depth and heart. Plus, the gore is graphic and the make-up FX are fucking awesome.


12. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)- Speaking of sexy undead ladies, they really don't come much hotter than Mary Lou Maloney. Played by the breathtaking Lisa Schrage, she is one of the few slasher ladies, and, in my humble opinion, the best out of all of them. This sequel really has jack-shit to do with the first movie, beyond taking place also Hamilton High School. Which is fine, cause the first movie is a generic and stupid slasher flick, anyway. This one, on the other hand, is a fun, funny, sexy, sleazy, and gory good time. It's also that rarest of horror movie where the final girl (the beautiful Wendy Lyon) gets topless!

11. Class of 1999 (1990)- A sequel to classic crime drama/ horror movie Class of 1984, this mix action/ sci-fi/ horror and righteous splatter is one of the coolest and most ass kicking flicks of the 90s. One of the things I love about it, is that unlike Mark Lester's own classic first movie, it makes the punk gangs the good guys and the teachers evil. In fact, this time around, the teachers are Terminator style killer robots! The blood letting, especially in the unrated cut, is graphic as fuck, including an awesome bisection. Oddly, this movie got its own sequel, which I honestly have never seen.
 10. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)- Joe Dante returns to helm the Gremlins in this phenomenal sequel. If the first movie was more on the horror side of the horror/ comedy equation, then this one is certainly more on the comedy side. And, it accomplishes it so well! The gremlins created by Rick Baker are incredible, including the badass Spider-Gremlin. Gizmo is adorable as ever. Christopher Lee is amazing. Phoebe Cates is back and cute as ever. There is a HOT redhead in Haviland Morris's character. Slayer music is played. The Hulk Hogan cameo is awesome. You know what? I could go on and on, with this movie, as it fucking rules!


9. Phantasm II (1988)- The first Phantasm movie is a masterpiece, a wonderfully original movie. And, while it is the better movie, to me this one is the more fun flick. A wild and gory mix of action horror, it is one of the best times of 80's horror. Quotable quotes, great and imaginative effects, awesome action set-pieces, and gore that pushes the R-rating (the pallbearer's death and the Tall-Man's demise being really highlights) are just some of the reasons to see and love it. It remains the best sequel in the series by fucking far.
8. Frankenstein Must be Destroyed (1969)- The best of all of Hammer's Frankenstein sequels, this one really shows just how evil and truly vile Doctor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is. The acting from the cast is excellent, especially from the great Cushing and the beautiful Veronica Carlson. It tells a great story and does so with a steady and deliberate pace.



7. The Devil's Rejects (2005)- Rob Zombie's superior sequel to his own fun-house styled gorefest House of a 1,000 Corpses isn't just his best movie, but one of the best horror movies of the 2000's. Moving away from the lighter and more fantastical aspects of the first film, The Devil's Rejects is a brutal and intense experience with some great acting from the cast, graphic violence, and a great script that makes you question who the hell the heroes and villains really are.




6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)- After the barely mediocre second installment, this fun and lively movie breathed back life into the franchise. The movie is highly imaginative and righteously cool. Its FX are awesome and jaw dropping. The cast is quite good and their characters are all really likable and fit the narrative perfectly. Freddy is at his best here falling perfectly between being scary and his funny one-liners. The later sequels would horribly overdo this. It is without a shadow of a doubt the best slasher sequel ever made. And, title song by Dokken fucking rocks!


5. Day of the Dead (1985)- And, from here on in, we enter perfect movie territory. George Romero's third Living Dead flick is a very smart and cerebral zombie movie, perhaps the most so in the sub-genre. The acting and character interactions are strong, here. As always, Romero injection of politics further elevates the material. Yet, it also a full blown gorefest, featuring some of Tom Savini's absolute finest and most gruesome work. An truly fantastic movie that has slowly gained the love it truly deserves.




4. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)- I'll never forget the first time I saw this Sam Raimi masterpiece. I stayed up late to catch it on cable. And, I fell in love with it instantly. It was a huge influence on my life and made me want to get into film. The first movie is great, but this one is even better. A perfect mix of style, gore, humor, and horror, all backed up by an unrelenting pace. The FX  are great (especially for its low budget!), and the flicks has one of the greatest heroes in the history of horror in Bruce Campbell's Ash.


3. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)- As great as James Whales own first movie is, this classic is even better. It marries (pun not intended) horror and humor to perfection and adds heart, pathos, and depth to the procedings. The whole cast, give marvelous performances, especially Karloff, here in one of finest acting moments (which is saying a lot!). It also introduces a wonderful new monster in the Bride, who despite her short screen times, makes such an impact. Bride is not just the greatest horror movie of the golden era of cinema, it is one of the greatest movies ever made.

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)- George Romero returns to zombie world with this amazing mix of horror, action, drama, and politics. It is a glorious, beloved, and often imitated never, ever equaled masterwork. The acting, the dialogue, the story, everything is perfect! Even the bright-red gore works. So that while, the movie wonderfully graphic, it still never feels dark or depressing.



1. Aliens (1986)- I have probably discussed my adoration for this movie here on and social media to the point of exhaustion. But, then it is a truly perfect film. It blows away the first classic and is the definitive mix of action, sci-fi, and horror taking elements of all three genres in their best form possible. It adds heart to unrelenting action and splatter, and manages to be nail-biting, intense, and even scary. The characters are awesome, the acting that brings them to life, amazing. Sigourney Weaver as Ripley is THE greatest final girl, heroine, whatever the fuck you wanna call her, in horror ever. End of fucking story. If you wanna read me go on about my love for this master-classic go here. For now, know this: Aliens fucking rules!!


I want to wish all of you a very happy and safe 4th of July! And, remember to wear a mask if you are gonna be out and about!

Also, stayed tuned for two sequels to this! I'll be doing one on the best overlooked/ underrated sequels and one on the worst! In the meantime, tell me what you think are the greatest horror film sequels in the comments section below.

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