Hollywood is never going to stop making horror movies. They’re cheap to make, and – thanks to a huge audience of teenagers and slasher / gore fans – are usually extraordinarily profitable. The first Saw, for example, cost a little over a million dollars to make, and took in over $100 million at the box office.
That’s a pretty good rate of return, and once one movie makes that amount of money … a franchise is born. With Sinister 2 – the start of one of those new horror series – currently scaring up a decent return at the box office, it’s high time to start taking a look at some of the best horror sequels out there.
Friday the 13th, Part III (1982)
The third entry in the Friday the 13th series is considered by most to be the high-water mark of the franchise (there would be twelve in total). It’s a unique and and a very dark entry in the series that introduces the most enduring image of Jason – his hockey mask, which first made its appearance in Part III.
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Like the Saw series, the Paranormal Activity franchise hit on a formula that worked and kept hammering away until the box office crumbled. The first sequel – creepily directed by Tod Williams – has some of the greatest jump scenes ever put on film (the massive kitchen-appliance scare is especially noteworthy) and features a notably dark ending. It’s the best one of the Paranormal Activity sequels so far, though the upcoming The Ghost Dimension looks plenty promising.
The Exorcist III (1990)
William Peter Blatty – who penned the first Exorcist – returned to the franchise to write and direct this third installment, one of the most sadly overlooked horror movies out there. It sees the return of Jason Miller as Damien Karras and George C. Scott – still an imposing force on screen – as Kinderman (Lee J. Cobb in the original), with the addition of the always-creepy Brad Dourif as a serial killer. It’s not as great as the original The Exorcist, but then again … what movie is?
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Like the Friday the 13th series, the highlight of this franchise’s sequels comes in the third installment, as Freddy torments the members of a psych ward. There’s some fascinating boldface names behind the camera here; Frank Darabont (of Shawshank fame) worked on the screenplay, Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti scored the film, and Laurence Fishburne and Patricia Arquette are part of the cast.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
A surprisingly competent resurrection of the series, the two-decades on Halloween installment was a shock smash when it was released in 1998. Directed by Steve Miner – who also did the third Friday the 13th movie – the Halloween series gets a fresh 90s vibe, with a brand new Michael Myers (played by one of those ultimate That Guys, Chris Durand) and a cast of actors who would go on to much bigger and better things (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett). A tip: ignore the bored follow up, Resurrection – and check out Rob Zombie’s remake instead.
Like my list? I’d love it if you shared the post with anyone you think needs a serious scare! Just click the social media button of your choice to the left.