Sequels get a bad rap, and rightfully so – most of the time. The horror genre is especially rife with sequels, with many franchises so heavily spun-off that they have stopped being numbered. Not all sequels suck, and to prove it we found ten that are at least as good as the original – if not better.
Dawn of the Dead
The second of George Romero’s original zombie trilogy, Dawn of the Dead is inarguably the best of the three. A group of survivors take refuge in a shopping mall, but eventually decide to make a break for it. While not a sequel in the strictest sense, it is a damn fine movie.
A surprisingly good follow-up to the unimaginative original (which, in turn, was a rip-off of Saw), Hostel II focuses less on the slaughter of nubile coeds, and more on the men who buy the opportunity to do the slaughtering. While no less violent or gruesome, it offers a different perspective than most slasher flix.
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
The seventh installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street series is a case study in twisted post-modernism. Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, and Wes Craven play themselves in the real world. Heather gets threats that echo Freddy Krueger’s M.O., and she needs to reprise her role as Nancy to defeat Freddy. Again. One of the most imaginative horror movies, sequel or otherwise.
The second, original Halloween picks up immediately where the first left off. Laurie is in the hospital, Michael is trying to finish what he started, and Dr. Loomis is trying to put an end to it all. The majority of the film takes place in a virtually empty hospital, which makes it all the creepier and more claustrophobic.
The Devil’s Rejects
Rob Zombie’s follow-up to House of 1,000 Corpses manages to maintain the grimy, manic violence of its predecessor. The devil’s rejects – the surviving members of the Firefly clan – hit the road, looking for a place to hole up and leave a swath of bodies in their wake.
Freddy vs. Jason
While not officially a “sequel,” this was the monster mash-up horror fans have been dying for – and it delivered. By no means a cinematic masterpiece, Freddy vs. Jason is sometimes campy but always gory. The climax between the two maniacs is over-the-top, and just when you think one is dead, he comes back to hand out more ass-whomping.
No disrespect to the original Hellraiser, but in the second installment, we actually get to go in to hell, and meet all sorts of wicked Cenobites. It can’t beat the first Hellraiser, but it gives it a run for its money.
Bride of Frankenstein
Frankenstein’s monster didn’t ask to be made, but now that he is here, why shouldn’t he get a mate? Sure, the monster has to team up with another evil scientist, and there is a wee bit of blackmail involved, but true love knows no bounds.
Sidney’s first-movie trauma was made into a book that was made into a movie that is being copycatted in real life. It’s a great way to satirize a satire, and it makes for a fine sequel.
Friday the 13th Part 2
Some purists think Friday the 13th Part 2 would have been a better start to the franchise. The movie is a little less campy (pardon the pun) and a little more slasher-y. Plus, in part two, eternal momma’s boy Jason Voorhees is the one actually doing the killing.