Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
I’m a Brooklyn Nine-Nine fan, like a MAJOR fan and of all the episodes my favourites are the “Halloween Heists” where Jake, Captain Holt and the rest of the Nine-Nine crew challenge each other on the funnest holiday of the year to prove who’s the best detective.
The writers of the show know each Halloween special has to one up the last one which is the mark of a truly great sequel. All of this being my longwinded way of saying there’s nothing better than a horror movie sequel that outshines the previous, and I really miss Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
Now before you break out the pitchforks and torches, remember I’m not saying the original movies weren’t good/great, I’m just saying this horror fan found the sequel more entertaining. So with a big old SPOILER ALERT, here are my Top 5 Horror Sequels I Prefer Over the Originals.
#5 A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
The first film in this franchise is a classic. There’s simply no denying that. And unlike all the movies that come after (with maybe the exception of Part 2) the Freddy Krueger audiences were introduced to was literally your worst nightmare come to life. But for better or worse Dream Warriors took Krueger into a more comedic direction, allowing Robert England to show off his improv skills (“Welcome to prime time bitch!”) as well as create the type of horror icon never seen before in a slasher movie.
Add to that a likeable group of characters who were all surprisingly memorable in their own ways and some of the most legendary kills ever and Dream Warriors shines as not just another sequel, but one that’s so good it’s the movie most people think of first when looking back on the franchise that Wes Craven built.
#4 Evil Dead 2
This one works on two levels as Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 is a sequel and also sort of a remake.
While the first movie was a labour of love whose passion for the genre as well as the “all-in” acting style of lead Bruce Campbell as Ash is great, it’s the sequel that polished the weaker aspects of the first outing while keeping the crazy camera styles and frenzied energy that made the original a delight.
Raimi dials up the comedy and over the top horror, giving fans the kind of horror movie one never gets tired of rewatching. And while the third movie wasn’t as well received it’s Evil Dead and more so Evil Dead 2 that has ensured Ash and his battle against the Deadites remain beloved to this day.
#3 Doctor Sleep
Ooooh, I can feel the glares coming at me through my screen! But before you decide to never read another one of my lists again, I mentioned in my ranking of my Top 5 Horror Movies I Hated (That I Now Love) how I didn’t like The Shining when I was younger but grew to appreciate its qualities as an older horror fan. It’s an amazing movie and Kubrick’s take on King’s novel is more than worthy of all the praise it receives.
We good now? Okay then, let’s talk about Mike Flanagan’s follow up Doctor Sleep.
Unlike Stanley Kubrick, modern day horror auteur Flanagan is much more faithful to the novel (Stephen King gave DS his seal of approval) as he brings a now adult Danny Torrance back to the big screen. Undeniably creepy and with lots of cool visual tricks used to show “shining”, which fans will know as King’s way of describing psychic abilities, not to mention Ewan McGregor perfectly cast as adult Danny and Rebecca Ferguson nailing it as Rose the Hat a.k.a. every child’s nightmare, and you have a solid sequel that does a near perfect job of expanding on and wrapping up the original story.
If that’s not the mark of a great sequel, I don’t know what is.
#2 The Conjuring 2
This movie has popped up numerous times on many of my Ranked lists and there’s a reason for that. Simply put, James Wan’s sequel to his hit The Conjuring is a fantastic movie.
Now I LOVE the first Conjuring movie. It’s satisfying on all levels and any movie that can make viewers get up and walk out the theater the way this one did when I saw it (one guy tried to leave and his friends forced him to stay because all horror fans love watching that one friend be scared witless) is gold. But it’s the second one I’ve been most drawn to and I find myself revisiting it every year.
Besides the solid chemistry between leads Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson who portray real life couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, I think it’s the fact this is the story that introduces skepticism into this paranormal world. Investigating The Enfield Poltergeist, Wan manages to make his sequel scarier than the first film while also adding a more thoughtful look at what may have ACTUALLY taken place.
Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer or just a fan of paranormal horror though we can all agree The Conjuring 2 was a huge success as a sequel and it’s this success that went a long way in creating one of this genre’s few modern day franchises. For that alone it deserves a slap on the back.
Honourable Mention: Gremlins 2
The sequel to Gremlins is better than the original. Yeah I said it!
Weirder, funnier and so over the top you can’t help but embrace the insanity, it’s superior to its predecessor in every way to me. And if I have to pick between the two every Halloween season, I know without a doubt which one I’m willing to watch over and over again.
You know what’s the mark of a great sequel? It’s that movie you can watch without knowing anything about the original and STILL follow the plot while thoroughly enjoying yourself.
Alien is a masterpiece of horror, a slow burn that somehow still manages to elicit the same emotions in you no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Yet it’s Aliens everyone quotes, it’s Aliens everyone thinks of when talking about the franchise and it’s the world of Aliens us crazy fans imagine ourselves in when we think of crazy horror scenarios we wish we could experience (horror fans are a cool and crazy bunch folks).
It has pitch-perfect pacing, a stellar cast with action and horror coming at you in equal measures. Pitch Black, Event Horizon, even Predator might not exist if it wasn’t for this superb movie. And even if you don’t think it’s better than the first, I think we can all agree it stands head and shoulders with its predecessor. And THAT my friend is the mark of a fantastic sequel.
So that’s my list. Do you agree with any of these? Disagree? Sound off in the comments. And you can check out more great horror content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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