With recent horror movies like the newest Scream, the genre is as lively as ever with sequels. Horror movie sequels can get a bad rep sometimes, but there are many fantastic inclusions as well, and some sequels manage to revitalize or reimagine entire franchises.
While it is rare, there are horror movie sequels that are arguably better than the original. Even if they aren’t vast improvements, many of the best horror movies can at least compete with their original works, whether it’s due to an improved script or more iconic moments in the series.
14 Cameras (2018)
14 Cameras and its predecessor 13 Cameras follow a landlord who spies on his tenants. Initially, it seemed to be for his own pleasure, but darker reasoning for the man’s actions is later revealed.
The Cameras movies are some of the most underrated horror movies on the market. The reality of the films is part of what makes them terrifying, and the “dark web” aspect of 14 Cameras makes it arguably freakier than 13. Being spied on is one thing, but having personal videos sold to random people online is even scarier.
Creep 2 (2017)
The Creep franchise follows the titular “creep,” a man known by different names throughout the movie. The man, a serial killer, typically tries to befriend someone over a job before stalking them.
The killer’s relationship with his target separated Creep 2 from the original Creep. The two main characters had a much deeper connection than the target in Creep had, and it made for a fascinating story. Still, both movies ended up with equally unnerving endings.
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
Ouija: Origin of Evil is the prequel to the original Ouija movie, both revolving around the same cursed Ouiji board that invokes a terrible spirit.
While Ouija had better commercial success than its predecessor, Origin of Evil was the more beloved of the two among critics. The prequel turns a fairly generic horror movie into a dark thriller that explores the dynamics of a family through a supernatural lens. The movie, regardless of how well it did commercially, was an artistic success.
Gremlins 2 (1990)
The Gremlins franchise, expected to add Gremlins 3 in 2023, centers around the group of titular gremlins as they wreak havoc on the world.
While nobody would dare to rate Gremlins among the greatest horror movies of all time, and some would hardly even describe it as a horror movie, it’s hard not to agree that Gremlins 2: The New Batch competes with the original. The Gremlins are even more chaotic this time, and the movie takes place on a larger scale.
The First Purge (2018)
The Purge movies follow a world where the government tries to lower crime by having one special day each year when people can do anything they want.
In the franchise’s fourth installment, The First Purge, the origins of the purge are brought to light. While The Purge has some generic slasher elements to it, there’s also an element of exploring human nature that The First Purge arguably does better than any of its predecessors.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
The Final Destination franchise covers groups of people who have “cheated death” by surviving an event they shouldn’t have survived, and death catches up with them by the end of the movie.
The films are noted for having some of the most disturbing deaths in horror movies, but it’s Final Destination 5 that arguably outdoes all the others. From the original all the way until 4, it’s arguable that none had a scene nearly as iconic as the gym scene from Final Destination 5.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987)
The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise revolves around serial killer Freddy Kruger, the spirit who haunts people’s dreams and slaughters them both in the subconscious world and the real one.
A Nightmare on Elm Street quickly became a cult classic, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge never came close to the hype of the original film. However, in 1987 a worthy successor was created. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors competed with the original and far eclipsed Freddy’s Revenge.
Saw III (2006)
The Saw franchise features one of the most iconic horror movie serial killers: Jigsaw. The man who uses a disturbing puppet as a disguise places people in dangerous traps that often carry symbolic meaning toward their sins in real life.
The first two Saw movies brought notoriety to the franchise, but Saw III was the most diabolical of the first three. It introduced many of the most iconic traps in the film franchise’s history: the rack, the angel wings, and the classroom trap. With such brutal traps and scenes, Saw III arguably impacted the series more than Saw II.
The newest entry into the Scream franchise takes place 25 years after the original Ghostface murders, putting the former protagonist Sidney Prescott back into a dangerous place.
Scream has cemented itself as one of the mainstays in the horror genre, and few horror movies can compete with the very first Scream. While some fans may not agree that the film surpasses the first, the newest entry is strong enough to compete with it and arguably completely surpasses the other three entries.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
One of the earlier horror movie sequels is also considered by many to be one of the best. The Bride of Frankenstein is the sequel to the 1931 Frankenstein movie, focusing on a subplot of the original Frankenstein novel.
The majority of The Bride of Frankenstein follows a deal between Frankenstein and his monster to create a bride for the monster. The film is arguably one of the critically best-received sequels of all time, horror or otherwise, and is a film that even stands alone without needing to watch the original Frankenstein.
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