Horror Sequels are many times relegated as direct to dvd cash ins where studios can make a quick buck and not spend too much money doing it. Take a big name movie, dump a bit of money at a sequel, tap a talented unknown director and hope for the best.
Sometimes it turns into a money-making machine and sometimes like with Lost Boys 2 everyone just sits back and goes ‘WTF happened there!’.
Ocassionaly though horror sequels can not only turn out great they can be unbelievable and in some cases even rival the orginal films. Below is my compilation of 10 Unbelievably good horror sequels!
The Descent Part 2
Neil Marshall’s The Descent is one of the greatest modern monster movies and when I heard they were planning a sequel I was quite alarmed. How do you followup on this story and make it work? Writer James McCarthy delivered one hell of a story surprising the hell out of me and director Jon Harris seamlessly stepped into the directors chair.
The Descent Part 2 takes us back to the cave. Aft the police refuse to believe the lone survivors story about cave-dwelling monsters she is forced to go back into the caves and yep…. the mutants are still there !
28 Weeks Later
28 Days Later is a truly fantastic film that has sparked the debate of ‘whats a zombie’ more then a hundred times on this site. The story is of an infection that wipes out the population of England and turns everyone into mutant-flesh-eating freaks! Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was tapped to do a sequel and much like with The Descent Part 2 this film delivered a solid package.
The Descent Part 2 saw our American friends head to London to save The Brits and after alot of hard work they manage to secure the area and gather the survivors and even discover a potential cure….. shame things go to hell in a hand bag shortly after. A truly solid film!
30 Days of Night : Dark Days
30 Days of Night is one of the greatest modern vampire movies. Director David Slade perfectly tapped into Steve Niles graphic novels delivering a visual extravaganza as well as a truly terrifying vampire experience. The sequel which went direct to DVD with very little fanfare was not expected to do much by most fans and surprisingly it is a really solid sequel.
The story picks up in Los Angeles where Stella Olemaun intentionally attracts the attention of the local vampire population in order to avenge the death of her husband, Eben. The sequel was written by Ben Ketai ( who also directs ) and Steve Niles and I think part of the reason that the film works so well is because they once again involved the incredibly talented Steve Niles. This is a must see movie!
American Psycho 2: All American Girl
Two words, Mila Kunis and William Shatner. I loved American Psycho and when I heard they were doing a sequel to say I was less than impressed was an understatement. I ended up seeing it when it played on HBO and was quite shocked to find out that not only could Mila Kunis act, but that the film was actually pretty solid.
Admittedly it has lost the psychedelic demented charm of the first one that starred Christian Bale but American Psycho 2 is still a hell of alot of fun!
In American Psycho 2 Mila Kunis plays a college student named Rachael who has developed a taste for murder and will stand at nothing to become William Shatners ( who cares what his characters name was ) Teaching Assistant. Needless to say all kinds of carnage unfolds as people start dropping like flies around this ‘All American Girl’.
Army of Darkness
Hello… Bruce Campbell… do I really need to say more? About as scary as a cottage full of smurfs this sequel to Evil Dead is both entertaining and epic. Our favorite big-chinned hero is thrown back to medieval times to fight the hordes of the undead and with him is his trusty car, his shotgun, and of course the mighty chainsaw appendage.
The premise alone of Bruce Campbell taking on all comers in a medieval landscape with a shotgun is genius on its own.
Sam Raimi pulled out all the stops making Army of Darkness one of the greatest horror comedies ever made. I own every edition on DVD and VHS and have seen it 100 times easily. If you have not seen Army of Darkness and call yourself a Bruce Campbell fan… you need to turn in your membership card now.
Army of Darkness is easily one of his best films! But now that I think about it has Bruce Campbell ever made a bad film?
Fun fact, HOSTEL was the first film that the studios came to us for a quote from. So if you turn over your HOSTEL DVDs you will see a top of DVD quote from this very site. Tim Hannigan watched HOSTEL and thought it was spectacular.
I personally hated HOSTEL…. well hate might be a stretch. I greatly dislike Hostel for its lack of substance. Hostel Part 1 was nothing but mindless gore with little else to offer. I have always been a believer that gore has a place in horror films but the story needs to drive things. Not the gore!
Hostel 2 came out and for some reason I picked it up up on DVD during a particularly generous or delusional moment. Imagine my surprise when I found Hostel 2 quite entertaining and fun. It still had all the silly gore and torture sequences but this go around it had some semblance of acting and an interesting tale to go with it.
Hostel 2 for me far surpassed the original.
Dawn of the Dead
I remember when I first discovered George Romero’s zombie anthology and I watched Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead and somehow completely missed Dawn of the Dead. When I finally got around to watching Dawn of the Dead it quickly became one of my all time favorite sequels.
Dawn of the Dead takes the zombie epidemic to new heights with your typical class and style and over the top gore that George Romero is so well known for. Romero is the king of story driven filmmaking with gore for effect. He doesnt drive the story with blatant carnage like Eli Roth did in HOSTEL he uses it as just another tool in his toolbox.
Dawn of the Dead is definitely one of the truly great sequels.
Alien was a fantastic movie and is easily one of the greatest sci-fi horror movies ever made. It was the film that convinced me I did not want to ever be an Astronaut! In the sequel ALIENS we have the same intensity from the first one with a ton more action.
In Aliens Space Marines go toe to toe with an angry nest of our favorite murderous aliens and Ripley must struggle to escape with her limbs and innards all intact. Aliens is a fantastic thrill ride.
Return of the Killer Tomatoes
This is one of my all time favorite movies ever. Return of the Killer Tomatoes is cheesy, it is over the top and at times its outright stupid and that is why I love it.
Professor Gangrene is back in the sequel and this go around the Tomatoes thanks to the powers of science are made to look like people…. and in one particular case a really hot chick that our heroes can not resist and have set out to save.
This movie has tons of tongue in cheek humor, heap loads of stupidity and plenty of b-movie magic.
I for one think its one of George Clooney’s best movies… not just one of his first.
White Noise 2
I realize that alot of people did not like Michael Keaton’s White Noise, much less White Noise 2. I for one thought White Noise was fantastic. I also thought that the sequel which starred Nathan Fillion was also a ton of fun.
The film co-stars Katee Sackhoff ( Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica ) and was directed by Patrick Lussier who directed My Bloody Valentine 3-D amongst other films.
White Noise 2 is similar to the first film in that once again the lead character played by Nathan Fillion can see the dead but this go around it has a nice twist and an interesting ending. Packed with great production values and featuring a good cast and a talented director this is one direct to DVD sequel I thought was a ton of fun.
So there you have it. 10 Horror Sequels that I thought were well worth checking out. Having read the list what do you agree with? What do you disagree with?
More importantly what would be on your list for must see horror sequels?