Horror fans are suckers for a good formula. As long as it provides that feeling of dread we all know and love, we’ll be fine watching the same movie over and over again. Look no further than slasher movie franchises that replicate the same setup in every entry.
Every once in a while, a sequel will come along that, for one reason or another, will surprise us with a new twist or take that we didn’t see coming. Sometimes it’s a belated sequel to a movie that we thought was perfect, somehow living up to expectations. It’s impossible to predict, but when it happens, there’s nothing better.
‘Psycho II’ (1983)
Following up one of the most iconic and beloved horror films of all time with a belated sequel is a daunting task, so you wouldn’t be crazy to wait a short time. Psycho II. That’s why it’s so surprising that the movie is really great!
Anthony Perkins returns to his iconic role as Norman Bates as he leaves a mental hospital and returns home to run the Bates Motel. When more corpses begin to appear around the motel, its already fragile reputation is called into question. The brilliance of the film is in the way it plays with audience expectations by making you wonder if Norman is the killer. psychology is a masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean you should write off Psycho II.
“Doctor Sleep” (2019)
Similar to Psycho II, Doctor Sleep is an often overlooked and belated sequel to a classic horror film, in this case, by Stanley Kubrick the brilliant. Notoriously, Stephen King is not a fan of Kubrick’s adaptation of his work, but as a devoted fan of the original film, the director Mike Flanagan merges the two worlds into a horror film of epic proportions. Doctor Sleep is a big budget horror film.
Ewan McGregor plays an adult Danny Torrance, the boy from the original, as he meets a young girl who has the same psychic powers as him. In order to protect her from an evil cult of child murderers, he takes her on the run and eventually ends up in the Overlook Hotel. It’s rare that we get a horror movie on this scale, let alone one that lives up to the enormous legacy it’s built on.
“Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” (1994)
After killing Freddy Krueger in Freddy’s Dead: The Last Nightmare, the franchise needed a new twist if it was ever to return. So after leaving the franchise early on, Wes Craven came back with a surprising idea. The following Nightmare on Elm Street The movie would be about Freddy entering the real world to torture the cast and crew of the original movie.
For many, New nightmare is the best of the series behind the original. Part of that is down to how different he was from the majority of the franchise. In the sequels, Freddy Krueger became a comedy character, but New nightmares Freddy is downright terrifying. The change of tone and a complicated concept, it’s amazing how well it went.
‘Final Destination 5’ (2011)
The Final destination the movies are quite simple. Someone has a vision of their untimely death, because of this a group of people escape their untimely death, then one by one they die in an incredibly complicated and very bloody way.
Final destination 5 is a perfect example of the show’s formula, but the film’s real strength is its story. Most movies have a simple story to create death scene scenarios, but Final destination 5 has a twist near the end that elevates the franchise in a way it never had before. The twist alone makes it the best entry in the franchise. We’ll see if the long-awaited sixth entry is able to reach the same heights.
‘The Exorcist III’ (1990)
The Exorcist is an iconic and beloved horror movie, and yet many people probably don’t know that it’s the first in a franchise of Exorcist movies, including the Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel trilogy. Most Exorcist movies strive to capture that essence of the original, but what makes The Exorcist III so special is that it is something entirely different. You could say it has more in common with Se7fr that The Exorcist.
The film is directed by William Peter Blattyauthor of novels The Exorcist and Legion, on which this film is based. It’s a dark crime thriller that ties into the events of the original film in surprising ways and features the best career performances of George C. Scott and Brad Dourif.
“The Devil’s Rejects” (2005)
Rob Zombie is a love-it-or-hate-it filmmaker, but there’s no denying he’s an auteur in every sense of the word. Let it be his vision Halloweenor his The Munsters passion project, each of his films fully embraces his distinct style. After paying tribute to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with House of 1000 CorpsesZombie took its characters and put them into a different, more mature horror story with The devil’s rejections.
The devil’s rejections is a road trip through backcountry horror hell as his family of trashy serial killers on the run from the authorities, who are truly no better than the criminals they pursue. It’s very Rob Zombie, but what’s surprising is how he distils his style into this perfect encapsulation of everything he loves without it being overly forgiving. If you’re going to watch a Rob Zombie movie, do it The devil’s rejections.
“Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982)
Michael Myers is one of the most iconic and beloved slashers in horror movie history. This year Halloween ends marks the 13th entry in the franchise, but only Michael’s 12th appearance. There exists a Halloween movie that doesn’t feature Michael Myers at all.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch was designed to take the franchise in a different direction, moving away from the white-masked serial killer and instead becoming an anthology series, featuring a new story in each entry. To be honest, the audience was confused. They wanted to see Michael Myers stabbing a new generation of victims, and instead they heard of an Irish clan that ran a mask factory. Although the idea never got past the first attempt, looking back on it, the movie we got was really great for what it is. It features horror legend Tom Atkins, great special effects, and twists you won’t see coming.
“Ouija: the origin of evil” (2016)
The first one Ouija the movie is okay. It’s a usable vehicle for some mediocre jump scares. He came and went without anyone noticing. So following a forgettable movie with a prequel is a bold move and a challenge, one that modern horror master Mike Flanagan was more than ready for.
With Ouija board: the origin of evil, he took the simple concept and elevated it through his ability as an expert filmmaker. The film is a 1967 period piece about a family of con artists who unknowingly invite true evil into their home via a Ouija board. Instead of using cheap jumps at every turn, Flanagan creates real terror by telling a story about characters you really care about. Who would have thought that a prequel to Ouija would it be good?
‘Rob Zombie’s Halloween II’ (2009)
The first one Halloween by Rob Zombie walked a line between the Zombie aesthetic and a devout homage to John Carpenter’s original classic. With Halloween 2he’s not holding back, going full zombie and putting his own mark on the franchise.
The film really emphasizes the brother/sister dynamic between Michael and Laurie, which has been written from later entries in the series, even going so far as to suggest that Michael is driven by an angelic vision of his mother riding a White horse. He also really delves into Michael’s monster side, destroying the mask and letting him grow a wild, animal-like beard. It’s a wild movie that is perhaps the most brutal and interesting sequel in the series.
“Alien: Resurrection” (1997)
by Ridley Scott Extraterrestrial is a sci-fi horror masterpiece. by James Cameron aliens is probably even better. by David Fincher Alien 3, well… he has his fans, but he’s just missing something. With a franchise built by directors known for their dark thrillers, it was a crazy choice to choose a French director Jean-Pierre Jeunetbest known for romantic comedy Amelieto lead the fourth Extraterrestrial film, Alien: Resurrection. The resulting movie is just as wild and understated, as you’d expect from this combo.
The film literally resurrects At Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Ellen Ripley, this time as a clone with a new personality, and tries to position a new protagonist for the franchise named Call, played by winona ryder. Taking those big swings like that was always going to upset the fan base. But when you just watch the movie, it’s a fun and entertaining adventure that’s just weird enough to surprise you around every corner.
Next: The Best Sequel To Every Horror Franchise, From ‘Scream’ To ‘Halloween’