By George Bate
Sequels, in general, have a reputation for being inferior to the original. This trend is even more evident in horror films as many terrific and innovative films were commercialized and extended into massive, often misguided franchises. Nonetheless, amidst the array of middling to unwatchable horror movie sequels, a few stand out as being true gems. Here are five of the best horror sequels of all time.
Halloween II gets a bad wrap, in part because of its introduction of the game-changing and franchise-defining twist that Laurie and Michael Myers are related. The reception to this twist often clouds what is a tense and excellently crafted horror film. Halloween II follows directly after the 1978 classic and takes place largely in an eerie, empty hospital. The kills are bloodier and more frequent and the performances are more ridiculous, but Halloween II is a lot of fun.
Psycho II may be the most overlooked film on this list. Alfred Hitchcock’s original slasher classic spawned a franchise of films that many have forgotten about. That’s unfortunate, because Psycho II is an excellent film and sequel. Anthony Perkins arguably tops his performance from the original in a film full of tension, twists and turns.
The Bride of Frankenstein
Perhaps the ultimate horror sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein remains one of the most visually iconic films of the horror genre. It’s a thematically poignant movie, whose influence is felt on cinema to this day.
Evil Dead II
There can’t be an article about horror movie sequels without mentioning Evil Dead II. Sam Raimi essentially remade his original Evil Dead film. Except, this time around, Raimi played up the comedy and stunning visual effects. Evil Dead II is a horror classic through and through.
Dawn of the Dead
Night of the Living Dead is hard to top, but George A. Romero gave his zombie classic a run for its money with his 1978 follow up. Dawn of the Dead delivered many of the tropes in the zombie sub-genre of horror still today. The premise is immediately gripping, the setting is so intelligent, and the scares are still effective.