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Ranking: Every Horror Movie Sequel From Worst to Best

To crib from Stephen King, sometimes they come back ... and often they suck

Horror Movie Sequels, artwork by Cap Blackard
Horror Movie Sequels, artwork by Cap Blackard
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    Artwork by Cap Blackard (Buy Prints + More)

    Rank and File finds us sorting through an exhaustive, comprehensive body of work or collection of pop-culture artifacts. This time, we sift through the slush pile of horror sequels and separate the terrible from the terrifying.

    There’s perhaps nothing more pure than a stand-alone horror movie. Well, a good one. You know, something like They Live or The Craft. But, as is often the case in Hollywood and elsewhere, if it gets that cash, it’s gonna get a sequel. We’re all so enamored with The Babadook and It Follows these days, but where would we stand on the original films after four or six more entries in either franchise? Would we like the originals better? Worse? Would it be a Nightmare on Elm Street situation, the kind where we’d think of how revered that original film would be had they never made a sequel? We’ll never know.

    But horror sequels sure are tempting, eh? Not just for studios, but audiences, too. No matter how blasphemous or unnecessary it might seem, we horrorhounds dutifully file into the theater to see if lightning can strike twice or, in one of those rare, rare instances, the sequel can actually surpass its predecessor. After all, there’s nothing that says Saw V has to be bad. It’s just that usually it is. But we keep going back, and as long as they keep making ‘em, we’ll keep going back. There’s something comforting about that.

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    In celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, we decided to revisit not just our favorite horror sequels, but also our least favorite. That meant watching every horror sequel. And that, of course, meant ranking every horror sequel. Our major criteria was that the film had to have had, at least in some form, an American theatrical release. We also shaved off some years by ignoring the Universal Monsters/Hammer Films and focusing solely on every horror sequel (not prequel) that followed 1976’s The Omen. Again, they must have had an American theatrical release.

    Did we forget any? Let us know and we’ll write a sequel to this article. Don’t act like you wouldn’t read it.

    –Randall Colburn

    blood divider Ranking: Every Horror Movie Sequel From Worst to Best

    150. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

    Yes, they brought back Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal. Yes, they reconstructed the original Myers house. Yes, they returned to Haddonfield, Illinois after the California detour in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. But, they also totally dismissed the ballsy finale of its predecessor by working in an asinine Texas switch that not only turns Michael Myers into Mission: Impossible‘s Ethan Hunt but dresses down the entire character of Laurie Strode.

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    Everything Jamie Lee Curtis’ iconic heroine accomplished in H20 — conquering her fears, dominating evil, becoming one of the strongest female protagonists in horror — is all for nothing thanks to her perfunctory death in Resurrection. Her pathetic send-off is on the level of a cheap ’90s soap opera, and once the brother and sister embrace, you start to realize how far a sequel can go in this industry before it’s just absolutely unrecognizable.

    Today, fans still want Resurrection officially wiped off the canon by the Akkads as they aren’t quick to forget this slimy move. Or, you know, the fact that they turned John Carpenter’s little-indie-horror-that-could into a reality television parody, complete with a lame subplot involving a Blade Runner fan, underwritten idiots, and a kung-fu loving Busta Rhymes who delivers the trailer-ready, achingly 2002 line: “Trick or treat, motherfucker.” Oy. –Michael Roffman


    149. Basket Case 2 (1990)

    Frank Henelotter’s sequel to his 1982 cult-classic, Basket Case, dialed back on the horror and turned up the silliness. The film finds Duane Bradley and Siamese brother Belial living in a community for other deformed individuals that comes under attack by the real monsters of the world: tabloid reporters. Basket Case features some wonderfully gooey and gory special effects, and it’s always great when the original creator comes back for a sequel, but the film lacks much of the New York sleaze of its predecessor. –Mike Vanderbilt


    148. Carnosaur 2 (1995)

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    “Weird Al” Yankovic once sang, “Jurassic Park is scary in the dark.” Maybe Al, but this one sure ain’t. There was zero reason for anyone to even think about a follow-up to 1993’s instantly forgettable Carnosaur; it wasn’t a box office hit, it was released four weeks before Spielberg’s epic, and the critics loathed the damn thing. John Savage, what the hell were you thinking signing up for this? –Michael Roffman


    147. The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) (2015)

    The first Human Centipede got by on novelty, the second on shock. There’s nowhere else for director Tom Six to go for the final entry in his sick trilogy. It’s not even enjoyable from an exploitation perspective. It’s just a bad film. –Randall Colburn


    146. Leprechaun 2 (1994)

    Long after Jennifer Aniston first ran away from Warwick Davis, the Leprechaun series would find its proper footing by becoming a collection of fish-out-of-water parables. See: Leprechaun’s Vegas Vacation (aka Leprechaun 3); Leprechaun 4: In Space; Leprechaun: In the Hood; and Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood. Skip: This one. –Michael Roffman


    145. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

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    Here’s a partial list of people who might get the first sequel to 1997’s critically tolerated Anaconda terrifying: fans of animation and special effects (the CGI is … something), people who know anything about wildlife in Borneo (it’ not exactly like what’s shown here), and people who have tried and failed to get their own films made while this sailed into production. And here’s a complete list of people who won’t be: people who like to be scared by horror films. —Sarah Kurchak


    144. The Human Centipede 2 – Full Sequence (2011)

    The metafictional device is a nice touch (the portly killer here is inspired by the original Human Centipede), but this sequel strips away all the arthouse buzz of the first film to reveal what this series really is: an ass-to-mouth-to-ass schoolyard joke that creator Tom Six can’t stop laughing at. It still stands slightly above Human Centipede (Final Sequence), if only for its grimy black-and-white cinematography and the fact that it actually manages to be shocking instead of just lazy. –Dan Caffrey


    143. Hatchet II (2010)

    Back in 2006, Adam Green’s throwback slasher film, Hatchet, won over a number of critics and effectively garnered a minor cult fanbase. It helped that veterans Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, and Tony Todd hopped along for the ride. Unfortunately, the wood proved too tough for Green’s second swing, and not even the addition of Halloween scream queen Danielle Harris (in lieu of Tamara Feldman) makes this dull slice of horror a cut above the… oh fuck it, you get it. –Michael Roffman


    142. The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death (2015)

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    No Radcliffe? No dice. –Randall Colburn


    141. The Gate II: Trespassers (1990)

    Tibor Takács’ original supernatural horror film, The Gate, was a neighborhood nightmare. Stephen Dorff played a precocious little boy who battled creepy crawlers from beneath the ground with a mythos that could have been drawn up on construction paper and with crayons. It’s dumb fun now, but as a kid, it was terrifying — almost a cautionary tale for why we need our ‘rents around. Takács returned three years later to helm the Dorff-less sequel, only he lost the story’s dark magic in transition. –Michael Roffman


    140. Piranha II: The Spawning (1980)

    James Cameron’s “directorial debut” (he started on set as the special effects director and was promoted when the original director walked, but he doesn’t feel like the final cut represents him in any way) is not a classic. It’s a less scary, less-sensical, and less self-aware follow-up to the 1978 horror satire Piranha that stars flying fish. And those fish are played by glorified wind-up toys. But it’s still arguably better than Titanic. (Editor’s Note: Take that back, Sarah! I’ll never let that go. I’ll never let that go…) —Sarah Kurchak


    139. Piranha 3DD (2012)

    Alexandre Aja’s loose 2010 remake of 1978’sPiranha proved to be a spirited, tongue-in-cheek parody that was less concerned with poking fun at old tropes than just straight up beating them to the ground like a rotting horse corpse. It helped that the film was chock full of familiar faces, namely Adam Scott, Elizabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, and Richard “Damn you” Dreyfuss. John Gulager’s exhaustive, excessive sequel, however, bites off way more than it can feed to the titular shitheads. Hasselhoff playing himself is a nice touch, though. –Michael Roffman


    138. Pet Sematary Two (1992)

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    Pet Sematary Two never gets as scary as the original. (Nobody likes seeing animals dying on-screen, and let’s all admit that the spinal meningitis-afflicted Zelda is the most disturbing thing ever). Two delivers more re-animated corpses and canines, and while less depressing (and perhaps more charismatic than the original), it just doesn’t pack the same visceral punch. Though, it’s always cool to see Clancy Brown as a villain. –Mike Vanderbilt


    137. An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

    Love Tom Everett Scott. Love Julie Delpy. Love the Bush remix of “Mouth”. Can’t say the same about this paint-by-numbers remake of the original film. Woof. –Michael Roffman


    136. Scanners II: The New Order (1991)

    Making a sequel to one of David Cronenberg’s horror masterpieces might be blasphemous, but the impulse is, in its own twisted way, understandable. The mad scientist of the art film world consistently creates such uniquely fascinating settings in his work that you can’t help but want to play in those bizarre sandboxes a little while longer. But when you try to take on a Cronenberg idea without any of the artist’s nuance or intelligence, you get Scanners II. —Sarah Kurchak


    135. Slumber Party Massacre Part III (1990)

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    Three times the charm? Not exactly. The third go-around with the driller killer doubles down on the gore and scales back on the humor, losing what made Deborah Brock’s ludicrous second entry so much fun. Then again, by 1990, the whole slasher parody schtick was old hat, which is probably why Slumber 3 feels like a joke that’s been passed around for years. It’s also telling that this is the only entry in the trilogy not directed and written by a woman. While Sally Mattison helmed the picture, it was Bruce Carson behind the typewriter. Dammit, Bruce. –Michael Roffman


    134. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)

    What a wet fart this one was. After five engaging movies that peaked and dipped but never plateaued, the Paranormal Activity franchise limped toward its finish line with this dull, forgettable entry. Watch the first one, then watch this, and just try to piece together how one led to the other. The original Paranormal Activity worked because its limited budget necessitated a reliance on atmosphere over effects. The Ghost Dimension is all CGI, none of it redeemed by even a single engaging character or clever justification for the film’s found footage conceit. A wasted opportunity. –Randall Colburn


    133. The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

    The original Carrie (and the novel that inspired it) wasn’t just horrific for its creepy crucifixes, dead teenagers, and buckets of pig’s blood. The story also has genuine pathos, unearthing the crippling pain of what it’s like to get bullied both in high school and at home. But the sequel disregards all of this by turning Carrie White’s half sister into a stereotypically brooding loner. She’s not an expansion of the archetypal teenage outcast — she’s a cardboard cutout of one. “Dude, it’s her! It’s her doing it!” Turning Carrie into an afterschool special; that’s what. –Dan Caffrey


    132. House II: The Second Story (1987)

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    Remember how good the artwork was for these movies? Anyway, while the original was a pretty fun example of a horror comedy, this one gets rid of the terror altogether. Think comedy/fantasy/western. It only worked on Brisco County. This House has bad special effects, a pleasant old timey zombie, time travel, and a lot of Arye Gross. Oh, and that is most definitely Bill Maher at a dinner party light years before his ABC show. New rules: No more acting! –Justin Gerber


    131. Rings (2017)

    Rings finally answers those mythology questions left dangling after The Ring 2. Or maybe it’s as pointless as any sequel we received in 2017. In this installment, we discover a new wrinkle surrounding that dastardly tape, but unfortunately we’re following a couple of leads who are hawt as HELL but could care less about. Naomi Watts isn’t the only thing missing from this movie. With so few scares the once-haunting presence of Samara may as well stay down that well forever. –Justin Gerber


    130. Underworld: Awakening (2012)

    Awakening is a significant improvement over the 2009 prequel Rise of the Lycans which is one of the nicer things you can say about the latest installment in the Underworld franchise. Selene (and Kate Beckinsale’s considerable charisma and catsuit-wearing skills) are back, and now she has a vampire/lycan/human hybrid child named Eve. Michael (Scott Speedman) appears only in archival footage. Vampires and lycans continue to fail at diplomacy. And apparently we’ll get more of the same soon! —Sarah Kurchak


    129. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

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    The first two Insidious movies are so tremendously boring. I honestly can’t fathom how these films were both financially successful and critically acclaimed. I am sitting here at my desk getting angry thinking about Insidious: Chapter 2, which I know is one of the most pathetic sentences ever written. Here’s what I wrote in my review of Insidious: Chapter 3: “the Insidious movies are more Halloween costume than horror movie, relying on anachronistic aesthetics — candlelit hallways, vintage dresses, dollface makeup, marionettes, the list goes on — to tap into a universally accepted idea of horror, rather than anything truly uncanny.” That sums it up. –Randall Colburn


    128. Saw V (2008)

    The worst of the series, undone by the franchise’s bizarre belief that we give a single fuck about the histories of its bland supporting cast. Saw V mostly concerns the backstory of Costas Mandylor’s Detective Mark Hoffman, a main antagonist/Jigsaw apprentice who is so boring and Jesus Christ why would anyone ever want to watch this. Completely inessential, even for fans of the franchise. –Randall Colburn


    127. Blair Witch (2016)

    When it was revealed that Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s The Woods was actually a sequel to Blair Witch, the announcement was met with quite a bit of excitement for a sequel that arrived 16 years too late. The film ended up disappointing audiences, but who knows that they were expecting from a reboot of a franchise that appears wasn’t meant to be. The film’s third act delivers plenty of claustrophobic scares and some inventive takes on the genre (the drone in particular), but in the end Blair Witch is nothing more than a found footage potboiler. Maybe this was Wingard attempting to make sure there was never another Blair Witch like Gus Van Sant did with Psycho. –Mike Vanderbilt


    126. The Grudge 2 (2006)

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    Many horror sequels try to significantly up the gore and body count in an effort to give viewers something more and a little different from what they liked in the original. This sequel to the 2004 Japanese-American remake of the 2002 Japanese film, Ju-On: The Grudge, does something a little different. While only slightly darker and deadlier than The Grudge, it really doubles down on its predecessor’s unfocused plot to offer something maddeningly incomprehensible. –Sarah Kurchak


    125. Underworld: Evolution (2006)

    Director Len Wiseman and screenwriter Danny McBride’s world-building skills start to show signs of strain in the second offering from their Underworld series about vampires, werewolves (known as lycans), and Kate Beckinsale’s considerable charisma and catsuit-wearing skills. But Beckinsale’s considerable charisma and catsuit-wearing skills are at least able to smooth out some of the weak story’s rougher edges as her character, the vampire Selene, and her vampire/lycan pal, Michael (Scott Speedman), face off against the original vampire. –Sarah Kurchak


    124. The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)

    Noticing a trend here? This is the second subpar sequel of a Alexandre Aja remake (see: Piranha 3DD above). Once again, the follow-up can’t live up to Aja’s twisted vision, even though Martin Weisz comes a hell of a lot closer than John Gulager. After opening with one of the more twisted visuals in torture porn horror — a captive woman forced to breed mutant children — the story collapses from redundancy and a lack of sustainable characters. Which is strange since Wes Craven, who wrote and directed the original films, penned this remake sequel with his son, Jonathan. Bummer. –Michael Roffman


    123. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

    An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Retribution, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) escapes from an Umbrella base, faces clones of old foes, and finds herself responsible for the fate of what’s left of the human race. –Sarah Kurchak


    122. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993)

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    The first time I saw the trailer for Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, I was convinced the bad guy was played by the same cool actor who played Rudy in The Monster Squad. It wasn’t him. The Final Sacrifice is not directly based on Stephen King material as the original was, but does feature more teens killing in the name of He Who Walks Behind the Rows. While it isn’t “The Final” entry of the series, it’s the final one to see theatrical release. For good reason. –Justin Gerber


    121. Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

    Despite the odd moment that borders on bordering on inspired (you can’t go too wrong with a creepy amusement park), Revelation might be one of the most ironically named films of all time. The second film based on the Silent Hill video game series almost entirely fails to capitalize on its source material, its stereoscopic technology, and its surprisingly starish—studded cast and mostly makes you wish that you were watching them be Jon Snow, Boromir, Trinity, and Alex DeLarge, instead. –Sarah Kurchak


    120. Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)

    Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is not as nasty as its predecessor, barely takes place on Christmas, and a good chunk of the film’s 88-minute runtime is comprised of scenes from the original, but it gave the Internet “Garbage Day.” Thanks, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2! Film star Eric Freeman wants to make a direct sequel to the film, ignoring Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 and creating an alternate timeline in the Silent Night, Deadly Night cinematic universe. Okay. –Mike Vanderbilt


    119. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

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    An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Extinction, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) wanders around a T-virus ravaged America looking for survivors, spends some time in Vegas, and eventually amasses a clone army to take on Umbrella. –Sarah Kurchak


    118. Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)

    The original Urban Legends worked in a sort of bargain basement Scream way, playing on the mid- to late ‘90s penchant for snarky, self-aware commentary on horror clichés and also giving us some Pacey and Jordan Catalano. By the time this sequel came out in 2000, though, the subversion of horror tropes was becoming a trope in of itself, and this somewhat lackluster retread failed to bring anything new to either the Urban Legends franchise or the meta-horror subgenre as a whole. –Sarah Kurchak


    117. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

    An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Afterlife, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) takes on the Umbrella headquarters in Tokyo with her clones, goes to Alaska in search of the promised land, and tries to build a safe haven on a tanker. –Sarah Kurchak


    116. Slumber Party Massacre Part II (1990)

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    The Slumber Party Massacre films have the distinction of being the rare slashers that are written and directed by women. The film features Crystal Bernard (Wings) as one of the survivors of the original film who is working through the disturbing events of five years prior. She’s now playing guitar in a pretty good pop-rock band who get away for a weekend to practice. Some guys show up to get in on the fun and it isn’t long before what appears to be “the Bowser” in a Sha-Na-Na tribute band shows up with a gloriously phallic guitar drill to off the boys and girls one by one. It takes 50 minutes to get there, but the musical numbers are a sight to behold. –Mike Vanderbilt


    115. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

    The idiosyncrasies of Halloween 5 director Dominique Othenin-Girard shouldn’t be written off as pure nonsense. Michael Myers’ reawakening pays tribute to James Whale’s Frankenstein, his revamped house is straight out of Dracula, and the clownish policeman are an homage to Keystone Cops. But a feature-length hat-tip to classic Hollywood means little if there’s not a cohesive movie around it, and despite a handful of chilling moments (the laundry chute and the stalking of Rachel are two of the scariest sequences in the franchise), H5 doesn’t make a lick of goddamn sense. Blame it on the unfinished script, blame it on the aggressively annoying teenage characters, blame it on the moon-cheese consistency of Myers’ mask, but all of it seems determined to shit on the solid entry that came before it. –Dan Caffrey


    114. Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

    The original Exorcist stands the test of time as one of the scariest films ever made, even for atheists, thanks to its horrific make-up effects and matter of fact treatment of supernatural events. Unfortunately for Exorcist II: The Heretic, the two most interesting characters of its predecessor died in the film’s final moments. Richard Burton stumbles through futurist-style sets and swats away locusts for most of the film’s runtime, and while a satisfactory call back to the original film, the exciting climax is too little too late.–Mike Vanderbilt


    113. Species II (1998)

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    Come for the H.R. Giger creatures, stay for the… Wait, what? He didn’t return for the sequel? You wouldn’t know it, as Species II builds upon the first film’s biomechanical sexuality with more strobe lights, more tentacles, and an alien design that’s both alluring and nightmarish. Unfortunately, that’s about all the movie has going for it, and you don’t even see most of the gooey effects until the end. Before that, the central conflict of an infected astronaut fucking his way to world domination is more Skinemax than bona-fide science fiction. –Dan Caffrey


    112. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

    It’s sorta fun to watch Hollywood flail around with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, a series it legit has no idea what to do with anymore. In this one, the bae Alexandra Daddario stars and Leatherface is used as both slasher and antihero. There might be no more cringeworthy phrase in modern horror than, “Get ‘em, cuz.” –Randall Colburn


    111. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

    An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Apocalypse, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) kicks a bunch of ass and narrowly escapes Raccoon City when the T-virus breaks out of The Hive and reaches the surface. –Sarah Kurchak


    110. Saw III (2006)

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    Saw III is one of the more stomach-churning entries in the franchise, with one especially long, agonizing sequence where each of a dude’s limbs get slowly twisted back until they snap. There’s also the dude drowning in pig guts. Some memorable kills, sure, but the story itself is fairly laborious, with actor Angus Macfadyen having to indulge pathos a bit too much as a character whose son died in a hit-and-run. It’s one of the crueler entries, honestly, which is surprising considering it’s also one of the highest-grossing. Pain sells, I guess. –Randall Colburn


    109. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

    Whatever you may think about the original, the jump scare at the end was pretty cool. Unfortunately, this movie’s mere existence reminds us how that moment was just a dream, and by the end of this movie you too will be wishing it never happened. Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) returns with some new friends and they win a trip to an island and you know where this is going and the bad guy from the original and his son are in on it and boring. Oh, and Jack Black makes an appearance as a stoner dude. –Justin Gerber


    108. Saw 3D (2010)

    As the Saw series became the Friday The 13th series for a younger generation (both cheaply produced and cranked out year after year), it was only fitting that the torture porn franchise got a “Final Chapter” and a “3D” entry. Saw 3D, aka Saw VII, continues the ambitiously serialized franchise with one more low-budget entry. Per usual, the traps are inventive enough (and probably pay off more in 3D), the gore is plenty gross, the cast is basic cable attractive, and the production value is somewhere between an Asylum film and a SyFy channel original series. Cary Elwes returns for the final entry in the saga and the film continues its long tradition of retconning what audiences thought they already knew in the third act. –Mike Vanderbilt


    107. The Ring Two (2005)

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    The Ring 2 is so stupid and pointless that it’s goddamned shocking to realize it was directed by Hideo Nakata, who helmed the original Japanese Ringu. Remember the CGI deer? Probably not, actually. Nobody remembers this movie. It is so completely, hilariously inessential to what was, by and large, both a seminal American horror movie and one of the rare remakes to surpass its original. It’s nice that Naomi Watts came back, though. –Randall Colburn


    106. Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985)

    Unintentionally hilarious, Howling 2 features-

    Oh. Sorry. Ahem…

    Unintentionally hilarious, Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf features an opening straight out of Dune with Christopher Lee narrating the legend of the lycanthrope in the stars. We’re a long way from the local news station in the original. Long story short, movie’s garbage with the most bizarre end credits sequence you’ll ever see (let’s just say it involves nudity), but does have the greatest title track in the history of cinema. –Justin Gerber


    105. Bride of Re-Animator (1991)

    If you’re into the whole B-movie thing, either ironically or unironically, you could probably do worse than Brian Yuzna’s low rent Frankishstein frolic, Bride of Re-Animator, but you could also do much better. For example, you could just watch Stuart Gordon’s original Re-Animator because that 1985 offering, based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, has a similar sloppy charm with the added bonus of a plot that is slightly less maddening to follow. —Sarah Kurchak


    104. The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

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    First, let’s try and get past that name. I know, it’s hard. It’s also annoying, because The Last Exorcism is an affecting and egregiously underrated entry in the found footage genre, both for Patrick Fabian’s bravura performance and crackerjack premise, which finds a huckster exorcist making a documentary he wants to use to expose both himself and the phony practice of exorcism. The Last Exorcism Part II gives talented young actress Ashley Bell some space to shine, but it’s a pointless exercise in forgettable studio horror that was more than likely cobbled together from some dusty spec script. –Randall Colburn


    103. Jeepers Creepers II (2003)

    Convicted child molester Victor Salva returns with an entry that does what most sequels do: make up for a lack of likeable leads with an onslaught of bland, new characters. Despite a strong cornfield-set opening, the movie doesn’t get close to the original. Its failure stalled the franchise longer than what happened to Salva’s career after he was convicted of molesting children. Perhaps the rumored return of Trish (Gina Philips) in Jeepers Creepers 3 will bring life back to the franchise. –Justin Gerber


    102. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

    If Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday were released today, it would be marketed as a reboot. The Final Friday has no continuity with the rest of the series (the previous entries were explained away by the filmmakers as films based on the real-life exploits of Jason Voorhees) and kicks a body swapping plot-device from 1987’s The Hidden — ahem, Jason’s “spirit” moves from victim to victim. On one hand, the film is so bonkers, it’s hard not to enjoy it, but it’s hardly a sequel. –Mike Vanderbilt


    101. Jaws IV: The Revenge (1987)

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    “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” –Michael Caine on Jaws: The Revenge

    He’s right. It is terrible. But come for the roaring sharks, flashbacks from people who weren’t there to begin with, Mario Van Peebles’ Jamaican accent, fake looking sharks, and have some good chuckles! Makes Jaws 3D look like Jaws 2. Compliments! –Justin Gerber


    100. Saw IV (2007)

    Ah yes, Saw IV, the moment the franchise had to get creative in how they were going to keep Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw a part of the proceedings. It was here, too, that the series plotting started to become so goddamned nutty, an aspect of the franchise that’s both an appeal and a detriment. Never let it be said that Saw isn’t concerned with continuity. For hardcore fans only. –Randall Colburn


    99. Blade: Trinity (2004)

    The third and final offering in the Blade film trilogy pits Wesley Snipes’s human/vampire hybrid against the “father” of the entire vampire species, Dracula (aka Drake). The plot is promising and the cast that includes returning stars like Snipes and Kris Kristofferson, as well as new additions like Parker Posey, Jessica Biel, Marvel double-dipper Ryan Reynolds, Patton Oswalt, and wrestler Triple H, is strangely inspired, but the final product is merely passable. –Sarah Kurchak


    98. The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1985)

    A year after unleashing the game-changing A Nightmare On Elm Street on the world, horror master Wes Craven released this follow-up to his 1977 film, The Hills Have Eyes. It was no Nightmare and shows about as much regard for coherence and plot as it does for humanity in general. But there is one great thing you can say about the film: at least it’s not the 2007 sequel to the 2006 Hills Have Eyes remake. –Sarah Kurchak


    97. The Final Destination (2009)

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    The Final Destination arrived at the tail-end of summer 2009, only a few months before James Cameron would be King of the World again thanks to his 3D spectacle, Avatar. That’s not just a superfluous fun fact, but one of the primary reasons why the fourth Final Destination sequel remains the highest grossing entry in the franchise. At the time, people were loving some goggle action, and they came to the theaters screaming, “Give me some death!” Director David R. Ellis delivered on that front, but forgot to include the rest of the essentials — you know, like characters and a tangible plot. But hey, the pool pump scene is hilarious, and proves screenwriter Eric Bress read Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted. –Michael Roffman


    96. Seed of Chucky (2004)

    After Bride Of Chucky successfully rebooted the Child’s Play franchise, Universal decided to throwback to their Son Of Frankenstein days by having Chucky and lady friend Tiffany raise a kid. Much like the previous entry, the film mostly works from Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif reprising their roles as the evil little dolls and a silly plot that takes the series in more of a meta-comedy direction. Unfortunately, Chucky And Tiffany Meet Seth Rogen and James Franco was never put into development. –Mike Vanderbilt


    95. Jaws 3D (1983)

    Jaws 3-D had its origins as a National Lampoon-style spoof called Jaws 3, People 0, a concept that sounds a lot more promising than what eventually chomped its way into theaters. With an outlandish SeaWorld setting (complete with spunky dolphin sidekicks!) that clashes with the grim urgency of the characters, it’s as if a comedic residue still clings to the celluloid, only without everyone being in on the joke. At least the campy special effects, short runtime, and outdated 3D make it the kind of meh-but-whatever movie that’s seemingly built for curing a hangover. Just grab an extra-big bucket of popcorn … or chum. –Dan Caffrey


    94. Final Destination 2 (2003)

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    Nobody enjoys an off-screen death, especially when avoiding such a fate was the point all along. Unfortunately for Devon Sawa fans worldwide — and they do exist (hello!) — the ever elusive Alex Browning perished with a single line by his crush, Clear Rivers (Ali Larter). That’s pretty lame, but screenwriters J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress attempt to save face with another close-call disaster, swapping an exploding plane for a terrible highway pileup. Sure, it’s nice to have another grounded set piece, something missing from the sequels, but Gruber and Bress are no match for The X-Files writers Glen Morgan and James Wong, so the rest of the action is miserably campy and far too sensational. It doesn’t help that Larter’s Rivers is the only capable protagonist … and yeah, Death isn’t kind to her, either. To hell with it! –Michael Roffman


    93. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

    Jason Takes Manhattan found the Friday The 13th series limping out of the ‘80s. Due to budget cuts, Jason spends the majority of the film’s 100-minute runtime knocking off recent high school graduates on The Love Boat before finally making his way to New York City. To his credit, writer/director Rob Hedden originally had much bigger plans, including a Madison Square Garden set piece and appearances on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building. Instead, the film features another cast of mean-spirited, unlikeable fodder for Jason to knock off, the highlights being two quality kills, one utilizing a pink, flying-V guitar and Jason engaging in a boxing match. Watch your head! –Mike Vanderbilt


    92. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)

    Essential viewing if only (and I mean only) for the “Before They Were Stars” aspect. Yes, this third sequel in the Chainsaw franchise stars not one, but two Oscar winners in Renée Zellweger and a particularly unhinged Matthew McConaughey. Both give it their all, but what is there to give to? It’s hard to believe the writer of the original (Kim Henkel) came back to pen and direct this. Once again, we have a horror franchise giving out too much backstory when less was obviously more. –Justin Gerber


    91. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

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    If you’ve never seen a horror movie in your life, have I got a movie for you! This sequel sees the return of since-proven phonies Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) traveling to London to aid a house full of Exorcist and Babadook knockoffs. There is an entire scene of Wilson playing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” on acoustic guitar with no payoff. You have been warned. –Justin Gerber


    90. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

    This absolutely-in-no-way-related follow-up to the Jamie Lee Curtis original owes more to the supernatural goings-on in Carrie. However you look at it, this production falls prey to every slasher cliche in the book despite the presence of the great Michael Ironside playing a grown-up version of a high school nerd. Ironside as anything less that the epitome of cool? Risky casting. To its credit, Hello Mary Lou has a title that rhymes, is without question set in Canada, showcases one great special effect during a climactic transformation, and the aforementioned Michael Ironside. “Let’s cruise…” –Justin Gerber


    89. Alien vs. Predator (2004)

    Anyone expecting Alien vs. Predator to be more than the sci-fi equivalent to a royal rumble was being delusional, but we all hoped it would at least be a gory royal rumble. Unfortunately, director Paul W.S. Anderson, who handled space guts with such artistry in Event Horizon, went the PG-13 route for the theatrical release, failing to satisfy on even the basest level. Pro tip: For a properly disgusting mashup, check out the underrated sequel or the late ’80s Dark Horse comics that first combined the two franchises. –Dan Caffrey


    88. Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

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    Insidious: The Last Key isn’t one of the better horror prequel-sequels to emerge of late, but it benefits from the trend. Screenwriter Leigh Whannel has a bit more freedom to experiment not just with the story, but also with the atmosphere. Both Whannel and director Adam Robitel are still too bound to the franchise here to make something truly original, but The Last Key will at least make you grip your armrest, squint your eyes, and prepare for the worst. Sometimes, that’s enough. –Randall Colburn


    87. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch II (2000)

    Long before he was sucking down yogurt and slumming it with Ash in Miami, Jeffrey Donovan was … obsessed with the Blair Witch? Yep, that’s him. Following the blitzkrieg success of Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s 1999 found-footage blockbuster, The Blair Witch Project, a salivating Artisan Entertainment capitalized on the buzz by rushing out its very meta sequel a year later. Haxan Films, who created the original, balked at the idea and insisted on waiting until the dust settled, only to be left curbside.

    What came to fruition was a clever idea — the original film was a hoax, yes, but the Blair Witch is real — poorly executed by director Joe Berlinger and his co-writer Dick Beebe. To be fair, there are a number of intimidating scares and Donovan’s great in it (clearly, someone in Hollywood kept an eye on him), but it’s pretty unforgivable how they took a groundbreaking chunk of horror and carved it into something so goddamn generic. The good news is that Artisan made millions and dozens of Blair Witch sequels followed. Nope. –Michael Roffman


    86. 3 From Hell (2019)

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    Three movies deep, Sherri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley know their characters all too well. There’s an effortless camaraderie between them that makes Baby and Otis feel like actual kin. And as a Rob Zombie regular, coming off of 2016’s 31, Brake slips into this family with ease, even if he’s not given much time to develop. In other words, this aims to be as much of a family reunion for the fans as it is for the Firefly siblings, which will be enough for many. Ultimately, that’s what 3 From Hell seems content to be: fan service. Despite a fascinating set up, Zombie takes an extravagant U-turn straight back to The Devil’s Rejects to try his hand at telling it all over again. In the end, what could have been something more instead falls back into comfortable, familiar territory that’s bloated by meandering filler. –Meagan Navarro


    85. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

    Even by slasher standards, A New Beginning comes across as unnecessarily sleazy. Most fans chalk up the negative response to its Scooby-Doo-style ending, which revealed an imposter Jason, but really, the fifth chapter suffers from a dour tone. Gone are Tom Savini’s creative kills, the low-rent Hitchcock tension, and those pleasant enough counsellors. Instead, the filmmakers trot out unlikeable fodder (save for Demon, who looks like he plays in the best pop-rock-funk band this side of Cameo) for Roy the ambulance driver. The film also looks flat and has a very strange sense of humor, but there’s a mean spirit to the proceedings that’s admittedly jarring. Thankfully, the events of this film are largely ignored by the superior Jason Lives. –Mike Vanderbilt


    84. Psycho III (1986)

    Psycho III never reaches the heights of the original or even the slickly executed first sequel, but is not without its charms. Norman is still dealing with his extremely overbearing (and dead) mother who does not like that he’s got a thing for a suicidal ex-nun who is staying at the Bates Motel. Psycho III falls short of the original, but a sequence where a nervous Norman Bates watches Sheriff Hunt suck on bloody ice cubes from an ice machine where Bates has hid a dead body recalls that playful Hitchcock tension. –Mike Vanderbilt


    83. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

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    With films like It Follows and The Babadook now dominating the conversation, there’s a clear market for horror films with subtextual bite. Prey at Night is categorically not one of those films, sacrificing depth for economical slashery and a heavy ’80s paint job. Its goal is nothing more than to scare the pants off you and remind you of its inspirations, and it definitely succeeds in that respect. Just don’t expect something so paint-by-numbers to turn into a Picasso. –Clint Worthington


    82. Demons 2 (1986)

    Lamberto Bava’s follow-up to his own superior original entry (Demons, or Demoni as it’s known in Italy) takes us from a local cinema to a high-rise apartment complex. Isn’t as nasty and strange as the original, but that somehow works against it. Memorable for the child demon that adorns its poster and a birthday party gone horribly wrong. Keep an eye out for a young Asia Argento, whose father, Dario, co-wrote and produced the film. –Justin Gerber


    81. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

    The problem with the Paranormal Activity franchise is that it tried too hard to build a series-spanning narrative when it should’ve simply focused on upping the ante of whatever film came before it. Paranormal Activity 2 isn’t bad necessarily–there’s a smart justification for the found footage style and some fine performances from its unknown cast–but it strains just a little too hard to justify its own existence rather than give itself over to pure horror. –Randall Colburn


    80. Saw II (2005)

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    While the original Saw could be perceived as an A-picture featuring big names Danny Glover and Cary Elwes, Saw II represents the series’ slide into B-movie territory. Starring “the other Wahlberg,” Saw II features everything audiences wanted out of a Saw movie, and that’s lots and lots of Rube Goldberg-style torture devices. This time out, Jigsaw’s past is revealed and the final twist actually pays off in a big way. –Mike Vanderbilt


    79. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 (1990)

    David J. Schow’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 was an attempt by New Line Cinema to turn Leatherface into the new Freddy Krueger. Unfortunately, with a very limited vocabulary, the Lone Star State’s most popular cannibal never took off like the Springwood slasher. Chainsaw III finds Leatherface shacked up with a new family of hillbillies and terrorizing a young couple (including a young Viggo Morensen). Leatherface recaptures some of that greasy, gritty, tone of Tobe Hooper’s original, but — arguably as a result of MPAA tampering — is never quite as clever as the film’s terrific teaser trailer. –Mike Vanderbilt


    78. Freddy’s Dead: the Final Nightmare (1991)

    Fact: The “What If” file for Freddy’s Dead is quite thick. Early in pre-production, the sequel was going to be a direct follow-up to The Dream Child, focusing on a 15-year-old Jacob avenging his mother’s death with a band of ex-Dream Warriors. That would have been cool, right? So would have Peter Jackson’s idea of turning the tides on Freddy Krueger, pitting him against a sea of pill-popping bullies.

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    Instead, New Line Cinema signed off on Michael DeLuca’s bland “finale,” which was built around the unnecessary twist that Krueger always had a long, lost daughter. Even better, the studio inflated the idea of their blockbuster brand coming to an end by roping in some flashy cameos: returning hunk Johnny Depp, Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, and Alice Cooper. You almost feel bad for them, like, “Why would you agree to this?”

    Considering the Nightmare franchise stands tall as one of the more coherent horror series through and through, it’s disappointing the last standalone Krueger film ends on such a whimper. Thankfully, New Line’s Bob Shaye and Craven himself would right these wrongs in 1994, when the two reminded audiences why the child killer was something to fear and not to love. More to come… –Michael Roffman


    77. Final Destination 3 (2006)

    The Final Destination franchise was solely created for YouTube compilations of their death scenes. Harmless and outrageous offings don’t really necessitate the need for throughlines. Either way, this third entry opens with a roller coaster ride gone grotesquely wrong…until it turns out to be a premonition as per usual. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is probably the strongest lead in the franchise, but it doesn’t matter much with the limp material. X-Files vets Glen Morgan and James Wong returned once more to the series they created, but how in on the joke are they? Fortunately, the sequels don’t peak here. –Justin Gerber


    76. Sinister 2 (2015)

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    The best part about Blumhouse Production’s Ethan Hawke-starring Sinister was its early going, when Hawke, knee-deep in a trove of old film reels, begins glimpsing some kind of murky monster through the fuzz. Of course, by the end, that monster fully reveals itself (not a good thing) and by the second film, that monster has been full-on mythologized (also not a good thing). However, there are some creative kills (though to consider the logistics is a fool’s errand) and it’s nice to see The Wire and Tangerine star James Ransone in a big-budget leading role. –Randall Colburn


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