When a movie is that special that the fans crave more from their favorite stars like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Jigsaw, Chucky and Norman Bates they are hopeful that they once again will be able to see them on the big screen. And if the studios make enough money, you can bet that a sequel will be made.
But not all horror sequels are good, you could go further and say the majority of sequels are worse than their counterparts (see The Amityville Curse, The Exorcist II: The Heretic and Omen IV: The Awakening). But with saying that there is the minority group of horror sequels that are even better than the original, they are few and far between. So I’m going to list five sequels that are better than the originals, and we start with:
Psycho II (1983)
- Director: Richard Franklin
- Stars: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly.
When you think about a sequel to Psycho that doesn’t involve the great Alfred Hitchcock, you kind of aren’t sure about how it could turn out and even if it could live up to the standards the original set back in 1960. And that’s what I was thinking, how could a sequel even work out? But when you revisit Norman back at the Bates Motel, it’s an amazing welcome.
From the great plot that even builds in the twenty year absence of Norman on the big screen, to seeing everyone’s favorite mother again, it’s a fantastic wild ride. Anthony Perkins returns as Norman which is such a great thing to see, no one can take that role away from him. You also get a plot that has so many twists and turns it’s like being a rollercoaster. Everything about this movie is great and it’s very hard to find fault with it. Hitchcock’s original is a marvelous film that I will always love, but I think Norman’s return is even better.
Evil Dead II (1987)
- Director: Sam Raimi
- Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks.
When the The Evil Dead was released, it was a hit. Everyone loved the main character Ash and how he fought off demons in a cabin in the middle of a forest. The movie did walk the fine line of being a serious movie, and then jumping into comedy aspects too though. It would have a serious tone then jump back into a silly moment; it never really found its ground and what it wanted to be truly. Even though this was a ‘problem’ the movie was (and still is) a classic, and when it was revealed that Sam Raimi was once again taking the director’s chair to make ‘Evil Dead II’, the fans couldn’t wait.
What did the fans get when the movie was released six years after the original? They got what they wanted, a more insane, over the top, crazy Evil Dead than ever before. Bruce Campbell returned as the one and only Ash, and he returned to the cabin in the forest once again. Instead of a semi-serious movie with comedy elements, we got a full blown horror comedy that didn’t hold back. Sam Raimi came back into Evil Dead II knowing what he wanted to do with the movie. Although the original is still a great movie, the sequel rose above it.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
- Director: Tom McLoughlin
- Stars: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen
When you have a series like Friday the 13th and the amount of sequels it has, your initial impression is that the further the movies go on, the more outrageous and bad they become. And while this can be true for some series’, it isn’t true for Friday the 13th (except Jason goes to Hell, which sucked). Part VI of the long series has Jason Voorhees rise from the dead, and go after Tommy Jarvis.
The plot of the movie isn’t its main focus obviously, its focus is on Jason and how goes about trying to hunt down Tommy. He rips off peoples arms, pierces them with spears, and chops off people’s heads with his infamous machete. You get a whole range of kills here, and on top of that you get great performances from Thom Mathews and Jennifer Cooke in particular. There also are some funny scenes too. Not only is this the most fun Friday the 13th movie out there, it’s one of the best slasher movies from the 80’s.
- Director: James Cameron
- Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
Trying to follow up Ridley Scotts masterpiece known as Alien was a tough job, but director James Cameron took it into his hands to create a great sequel for Scott’s masterpiece. Though Aliens is not just a horror movie, it blends in action scenes with the tension that came from the original. Cameron also created more of a ‘crew’ vibe in the movie, making every character their own real life person and how they act in certain situations. Scott’s Alien lacked some of this feeling, everyone else apart from Ripley felt like they were just there to count bodies.
I have to admit though, at first when I first saw Aliens I wasn’t that impressed nor did I think it was better than Alien in any shape or form. But after watching it many more times, I started to realise how great the sequel really was. Like I said for other movies on this list, I’m not saying the original movie is bad at all, I am just saying that the sequel managed to learn from the first ones mistakes and add a better plot, among other things. One negative thing that could be said is that Aliens doesn’t have the intense scare factor like the original, but it does still have high moments of tension.
Demons 2 (1986)
- Director: Lamberto Bava
- Stars: David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni.
Bava’s Demons is an Italian classic, with a very original storyline. It taking place inside a cinema where demons break free and start killing everyone who is locked inside, this making the remaining survivors have to get out safe somehow. The movie didn’t also just rely on horror elements; it too had some tiny aspects of comedy to lighten up parts. The film was a hit, but is Demons 2 really better?
Demons 2 seemed to take everything from the first movie and just ramp it up. It took notes from some problems with the original, and fixed them in the sequel. The movie also added more funny scenes, with a new type of ‘mini’ demon per say. It also has way better special effects, for its time. The movie is more ‘silly’ than the first movie (to me), from start to finish, it does still have that feel from the original Demons.
All in all, most horror sequels aren’t better than their original counterparts but in certain cases there is sequels that improved on everything the first movie brought to the table. In other cases there is horrific sequels that you wish you could forget (REC. Genesis). I only named five and there are some other sequels out there better than their original, what are they? Comment below and let us know!