It used to be considered a given that, with only a few notable exceptions, sequels sucked. For decades they were typically slapdash knockoffs of the original ideas, hastily shoved together for obvious financial gain and for little-to-no artistic reason to speak of. But that was then, and this is now, and a whole new generation of filmlovers and filmmakers have now grown up in an era when sequels routinely equal or surpass the originals, or at least turn out to be kind of interesting in their own right.
I think it’s safe to say that horror movies are a big part of this new, enlightened attitude towards sequels. Fans of the horror genre frequently build enthusiastic relationships with their favorite characters and franchises, and are perhaps a little more open to the possibility that follow-ups to their favorite films can have value in one way or another. Sure, a lot of horror sequels suck, but a lot of them are inventive, exciting films that build upon what we loved in the originals. A lot of horror movies are perfectly entertaining motion pictures, some of them are great, and a handful rank among the best motion pictures ever made.
So although recent horror sequels like Underworld: Blood Wars, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and Rings don’t seem likely to make anyone’s list of the best ever made, we thought now was as good a time as any to remind you of 25 films that do deserve to make the cut.
Please note that these are sequels, not prequels (sorry Paranormal Activity 3 and Amityville II: The Possession), not team-ups (sorry Freddy vs. Jason) and not The Silence of the Lambs (which took place after Manhunter but eventually remade Manhunter into Red Dragon, which rebooted Manhunter out of existence kinda-sorta and it’s confusing but we’re standing by that one).
Check out what made our list, and let us know your favorites!
The Top 25 Best Horror Movie Sequels:
Top Photos: 20th Century Fox / Universal Pictures / New Line Cinema
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved, Rapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.