As we know, these days, as well as in the past, every semi-successful horror movie has typically spawned a sequel. Or two. Or ten. Here is a list of my favorites. I’d love to know what you think! 🙂
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – The first film is great, we all know that. But this sequel is my absolute favorite in the Freddy series. This movie has it all – cool effects, likeable characters, past characters coming back, a unique setting, gnarly deaths, great one-liners, and a follow-up to the back story of our favorite burned villain. Not to mention, excellent music from 80s group, Dokken, who even made the music video for the song “Dream Warriors” with Robert Englund and Patricia Arquette. How can anyone not like this movie?
- Scream 3 – Many people felt that this was the weakest sequel in the, at the time, trilogy of Scream films. I don’t see why, but my tastes have never really matched up 100% to the general consensus. To me, this was a great movie. We got to see Randy one last time on tape, develop a further back story to Sidney’s mother, Maureen, cameos from Lance Henriksen and Carrie Fisher, unique kills, ongoing flirtation from Dewey and Gale, and a great rock soundtrack. It really kept up with the times without being too forced or trying too hard. Plus, who didn’t love the rivalry between Gale and Jennifer?
- The Devil’s Rejects – Some people really don’t see this as a sequel, but technically it is. It is also, by far, better than its predecessor. More guts and gore, more vulgarity and perversion, more brutality as well as comedy, plus likely the most amazing horror soundtrack ever. Are we sensing a pattern here? Music seems to be a big factor as to whether or not a movie is worthwhile. And it’s true, isn’t it? Music that is familiar to us, or not familiar but we grow to like it, is a huge influence on what movies are attractive to us. Perhaps because it is like an old friend, a soundtrack to our own lives. The Firefly family is like a whacked-out, murderous version of our own families – loyal, devoted, and yes, a little loony. But we love them, don’t we?
- Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid – Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking. Really? But yes, I quite enjoy this enormously reptilian cheese-fest. It does have a good story, well, about as good a story as you can get with this kind of movie. It also has a really cute little monkey, as well as some relatively big stars – Kadee Strickland, Morris Chestnut, and Eugene Byrd. I’ve always liked Eugene Byrd, and although this movie is not brilliant, there are some really cool scenes, as well as backstabbing within the crew that makes for some cheering on of the anaconda. Come on, at least it’s entertaining!
- Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 – Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking here too. But this movie does have some redeeming qualities. I have a theory; it’s because I liked the idea of the original film much better than its actual execution on film. That said, in my head, the Blair Witch Project was much more. So, this sequel, I feel was a brilliant commentary on the American obsession, and blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. Many of us do this thing, jumping on the bandwagon, and that is what the kids in this movie did. They wanted to be a part of the Blair Witch story so badly, that by the time the movie was over, the viewer didn’t know what they had seen, the characters didn’t know what they’d seen, and we are left with the ramifications of taking things too far and what can happen when we don’t separate fact from fiction.
- Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives – Along with Elm Street’s Dream Warriors, I have found that this sequel is among the favorites in the family of 1980s slashers. Once again, we get some kick ass music, including some from Alice Cooper. I feel Thom Matthews really embodied the role of Tommy Jarvis, whereas John Shepard in A New Beginning just reminded me of a guy about to go on a killing spree of his own. It has comedy, gore, scares, and likeable characters. I think after the debacle that Part 5 caused, they had to create something new, something fresh, and of course, a plausible way to bring Jason back. Lightning, duh! And this one actually has campers in it! Imagine, a summer camp with little kids, what an idea! This movie is just enjoyable, 80s fun, and as sequels go, you probably can’t do much better.
- Halloween II – This is another of my favorite sequels, and yes, I am talking about the 1981 film. I have always wondered in horror films why they hardly ever show the aftermath of a killing rampage. This one does. We continue along on the same night, with Loomis chasing Myers through Haddonfield. We even get to see the famed Ben Tramer, well, sort of. I loved the idea of the town reeling from the night’s events, like the girl, Alice hearing the sirens coming down the street, Sheriff Brackett’s reaction to his daughter’s murder, and the news broadcasts live at the hospital. The premise of focusing on the broken silence of a night in small town America, along with the revelation of Laurie being Michael’s sister, didn’t seem forced, it seemed natural. We usually do not get to see the epilogue of a mass murder in horror movies, and this provided us that. I loved it, and I’m not sure why some people didn’t.
- Halloween: H20 – This was intended to be a direct sequel to Halloween 2 from 1981, ignoring the rest of the sequels, and even if you ignore a few minor details of those sequels, you could see it as continuing from part six also. We are not in Haddonfield anymore, Toto, but California, at a private school where all the students are hotties. Here’s the thing – they can actually act! Jamie Lee is back as Laurie, playing a great neurotic still fighting the demons of that night 20 years earlier. This is definitely a sequel that lives up to the original, as it was toted during television advertisements. I saw this twice at the theater, and was duly impressed. They kept the same aura of suspense that existed back in 1978, with a bit of the teenage 1990s comedy thrown in for good measure. See, Hollywood? You can make a good sequel that appeals to youngsters and hardcore fans! Take note!