Sequels are often maligned and rarely live up to the original film on which they are based. Many sequels are thrown together, poorly written, low budget attempts to capitalize on the success of the original. However, that’s not always the case. In rare cases, sequels have even gone on to be better than their predecessor. Below, you can take a look at some of the horror films that we would like to have seen a sequel made for.
Happy Birthday to Me
J. Lee Thompson's giallo inspired slasher film has a fantastic and over the top twist ending, some of the most creative death scenes in slasher history, and a final sequence that left a lot up to the viewers interpretation. It was fun to see Melissa Sue Anderson break out of her Little house on the Prairie ‘good girl’ image and tackle a more mature role. It would have been great to see Anderson reprise her role as Ginny for a second film. There probably wasn’t enough content for a franchise, but a second film could have been great fun.
The House on Sorority Row
This film is one of my all time favorite revenge horror films. It’s great to kick back and watch the killing spree as it unfolds. The House on Sorority Row is head and shoulders above films like Slaughter High that explored similar territory. There were plenty of creative kills and an ending that left viewers wanting to see more. The killer had so much back story and was highly developed. The first time I watched The House on Sorority Row I found myself wishing there was a sequel. There was too much ground work laid for the film not to have a follow up effort put in to production.
The House on Sorority Row was loosely remade as Sorority Row in 2009. Aside from the casting of Audrina Patridge, I liked the film as a standalone effort. As a remake of the 1981 classic, it doesn’t quite live up to its muse piece. It was fun to see Carrie Fisher as Mrs. Crenshaw. I also give credit to Sorority Row for bringing some fun kills to the table and embracing its ‘R’ rating.
The Hills Run Red
One of the most criminally underrated horror films of the past five years; The Hills Run Red is a terrific slasher film with a unique back story and really creepy killer. Its fate as a Warner Premiere direct to DVD release was an injustice. The storyline, acting, and direction were better than typical direct to video fare. Viewers who actually saw the film responded positively, and the Babyface killer was a strong enough villain to carry a franchise. I would love to see what the ultra talented Dave Parker could do with the opportunity to make another installment; although, with Warner Premiere closing their doors, it would take another studio buying the rights to make that happen.
The Burning launched a lot of careers. We see early appearances from Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter, and Fisher Stevens. The acting was good for a slasher film. The story, although it bears striking similarities to Friday the 13th, is plenty of fun. Gardening shears were a great choice for Cropsey, the killer's primary weapon. The shears gave the film’s killer a trademark. The scene where Cropsey pops out of a canoe and slaughters a raft full of campers is one of my favorite eighties slasher film moments. It's hard to say why there was never a sequel to The Burning. Plenty of horror fans would have loved to see another well made installment, but we never got to see Cropsey spring back in to action.
This 1980 slasher has a reasonable body count, a highly unconventional plot twist and Jamie Curtis all working in its favor. Terror Train, like The House on Sorority Row is a solid revenge fueled killing spree. The Kenny Hampson character was one of the most unique slasher film killers of the eighties. Though Kenny appeared to die off at the end, I would have loved to see Kenny brought back for a second installment. It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time that a killer who was thought dead returned to wreak havoc.
James Gunn really shined as writer/director of this modern creature feature. It's unfortunate that it didn’t find its audience until DVD. The core concept behind Slither is one that is very sequel friendly. However, disappointing box office performance is likely why there was not a second film made. Slither is full of genius dialogue and the cast turned in great performances. Gregg Henry was priceless as Jack MacReady. Henry's one liners stole nearly every scene that he appeared in. If Gunn were to make a second Slither, there are plenty of loyal fans would love to see what he could come up with.
The Midnight Meat Train
This film should have been a franchise. It's based on a terrific Clive Barker story that translated well to the screen. The ending made the film so much more than a traditional and formulaic slasher film. Considering the number of questionable Hellraiser sequels, it's hard to believe that this Clive Barker adaptation hasn't yet had a follow up.
Though not an overly saturated genre, Event Horizon is one of the best outer space horror films, ever. It's one of the few films in recent history that really terrified me. Event Horizon had a great story, fantastic effects, and a strong cast. There are so many viable options for a second Event Horizon film. It could have delved in to more back story and gone the prequel route, or jumped forward in time to a different group of people, for a sequel. The possibilities were virtually limitless, and it’s unfortunate that a second film never happened.
My Bloody Valentine
I’ve always found it interesting that My Bloody Valentine and The Prowler (both released in 1981) have nearly identical plots. However, between the two, My Bloody Valentine is the clear winner. It’s a crime that My Bloody Valentine didn't become a franchise. The film has an epic killer, an ending that was left open for a sequel, and great death scenes. Not to mention, it was violent enough that a significant amount of the film had to be edited out just to receive an ‘R’ rating. It seems like the writing was on the wall for My Bloody Valentine to be turned in to a franchise, but, sadly, that never came to be.
My Bloody Valentine was remade in 3D, under the same name in 2009. I’m a fan of Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier who co-wrote the film, with Lussier directing. As with Sorority Row, it had big shoes to fill and doesn’t quite live up to the original, but I really enjoyed it as a standalone piece. My Bloody Valentine 2009 deserves recognition and some may say blame for kicking off the 3D boom. In terms of 3D effects, it fires on all four cylinders.
Trick 'R Treat
Without a doubt, Trick ‘R Treat is one of the best horror anthology films of all time. It featured creative vignettes that intertwined seamlessly and wound up with a shocking conclusion. Creepshow, another popular anthology film had the benefit of two sequels, one that was quite good. It would have been nice to see Trick ‘R Treat follow suit and spin off a couple of sequels. Apart from select entries in the original Halloween franchise, there aren’t a lot of quality Halloween themed horror films. Trick ‘R Treat was a welcome addition. The rights to Trick ‘R Treat, like with The Hills Run Red, belong to Warner Premier, so any follow up is unlikely unless another studio picks up the rights from the defunct studio.