Common knowledge decrees that sequels are by no means nearly as good as the flicks they comply with, however widespread knowledge hasn’t spent weeks rooting by horror’s numerous franchises to seek out exceptions to the rule. And there are loads: In longstanding sequence working eight to 12 entries deep, trilogies lower than a decade outdated, and even duologies comprising a pair of stone-cold masterworks which have influenced horror for near a century. A stunning variety of horror cinema’s second acts outpace their opening acts. Maybe the unique movie in a sequence units the bar too low, or the previous raises it too excessive. Or perhaps they’re each actually rattling good, however the follow-up has only a skosh extra oogie and boogie.
Whatever the case, a number of the greatest horror franchise films occur to be sequels, and a few of these sequels occur to be among the many greatest horror films ever made. Here’s a number of 10 simply discovered on streaming providers.
The low-fi novelty of 2012’s horror anthology V/H/S wears off simply after the tip of its first phase. The primary conceit, which marries a haunted-house backdrop to an omnibus construction, is eerie sufficient, however offers its members an excessive amount of leeway to make their work look deliberately crummy. The sequel, V/H/S/2, follows the same method, however its wraparound narrative has objective, and its contributing filmmakers know easy methods to shoot hand-held and grainy with out obfuscating what’s taking place onscreen. It helps that the film is better-paced than its predecessor, and that its marquee chapter, “Safe Haven” (from Gareth Evans, director of The Raid and Raid 2), is sharp, ingenious, and flat-out terrifying sufficient by itself to justify not solely the sequel, however the existence of the unique as nicely.
The Bride of Frankenstein
James Whale’s title is cemented in horror canon for guiding Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, and The Invisible Man, however he deserves as a lot recognition for guiding what’s arguably cinema’s first actually nice sequel. There’s no denying Frankenstein its standing as an unimpeachable masterpiece. But The Bride of Frankenstein improves on every little thing that makes Frankenstein so outstanding, from its imagery and environment to Boris Karloff’s efficiency because the lonely, terribly misunderstood monster. If you may’t take pleasure in horror for the grim pleasures of watching Karloff’s towering, misshapen lab experiment go on an anguished rampage, or reveling within the uncooked shock of Elsa Lanchester’s response to her would-be suitor, then you have got little motive to observe the style within the first place.
The Bride of Frankenstein is streaming on Vudu and FandangoNow.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Don’t interpret Hellbound: Hellraiser II’s inclusion right here as a knock on the Clive Barker traditional Hellraiser. They’re each good. It’s simply that Hellraiser II’s madness quotient is far greater, which is to be anticipated, given the in-depth tour of Hell and its growth on the particulars of the Lament Configuration. Tony Randel brings a daring, semi-experimental aesthetic to the movie whereas constructing off guidelines and expectations Barker set in Hellraiser. Skin is as soon as once more elective, individuals select their very own everlasting torments, and Doug Bradley can’t assist being something apart from stately and poised, even in a full bondage getup. Frankly, his Pinhead is vital to what makes Hellraiser II work. There’s a humanity to his efficiency in Hellraiser that Bradley additional explores in Hellraiser II with each menacing relish and empathy: He’s the movie’s emotional middle, and a stunning supply of compassion in opposition to a backdrop of insanity.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II is streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Hostel: Part II
Eli Roth’s Hostel is a far cry from Hostel: Part II, the place the nastiness baked into the premise is given weight and substance its progenitor lacks. Hostel does little greater than reimagine the setting of the splatter movie, relocating the kidnap-torture-kill sample of backwoods horror films to Central Europe, the place attractive dudes get led by their manhood to their bloody demises. By distinction, Hostel: Part II has scope, pulling again the curtain on a world of spectacular wealth and commodified sadism. Roth dares to think about what sort of individual pays prime greenback for the privilege of mutilating and murdering harmless twentysomethings, however he additionally has the great manners to not skimp on richly staged bloodletting. Hostel: Part II is a vicious movie, however its savagery is matched by its savvy.
The Devil’s Rejects
Rob Zombie has been making horror films for 16 years, and his greatest to this point (nicely, other than The Lords of Salem) continues to be The Devil’s Rejects, in each manner an unlimited enchancment on the confused, muddled House of 1000 Corpses. In the latter, Zombie limits his imaginative and prescient to homage; the movie reads like a collage of his favourite horror films. The Devil’s Rejects, alternatively, metastasizes his influences — from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Badlands — right into a cohesive narrative. Cleverly, perhaps even cruelly, he presents an ethical quandary to his viewers: By repositioning the central Firefly household as leads as a substitute of heavies, he invitations us to put money into their dynamic and their bond, which implies the viewers finally ends up rooting for, or no less than caring about, a trio of remorseless, gleeful murderers. Figuring out the way you’re imagined to really feel concerning the bloody finish sequence is the last word problem in empathy.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
Rob Schmidt’s Wrong Turn is the definition of mediocrity: The forged is bland, the kills are tame, the plotting is formulaic, and even the ultimate post-credits stinger feels listless. Basically, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End didn’t need to do a lot to return out forward of its precursor, so it’s a pleasant shock that director Joe Lynch set the next aim for himself than “make a greater film than Wrong Turn.” Anyone might make a greater film than Wrong Turn. But Lynch went and made a good film, a top-notch instance of the backwoods mutant redneck cannibal horror area of interest that works as satire of the style, satire of crappy actuality TV, and as a slasher.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is streaming on Amazon.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors
Three years and three films in, Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street sequence totally developed its identification with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, the chapter the place Freddy Krueger turned the wisecracking, mischievous, endlessly inventive assassin he’s remembered as after almost 4 a long time of butchering youngsters of their sleep. His arsenal of one-liners is a pivotal component of his character, arguably extra so than his enterprise and ingenuity within the hyper-competitive area of creating youngsters useless. The world-building in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors is a deal with, nevertheless it’s the tally of imaginative kills and the still-fresh FX work that makes this movie so rattling memorable and endlessly watchable, whether or not Freddy is popping individuals into marionettes, or ramming their noggins into TV units.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors is streaming on Amazon.
If Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s [•REC] is a rollercoaster, [•REC]² is a drop-tower. Or perhaps it’s an up-tower: The story progresses upward by a constructing, towards a penthouse, as occasions go from unhealthy to worse to terrifying, forcing the characters deeper into hazard on the enterprise finish of a first-person POV. [•REC]² is lacking the shock issue of [•REC], however makes up for it after which some with sheer ferocious power. Watching the movie seems like a exercise, an immersive expertise that goes past placing viewers within the thick of the motion, and as a substitute runs them out of breath. We’re proper beside the doomed protagonists as they race by residences teeming with zombies, desperately looking for hope and rescue, however met solely by infinite hordes of the undead.
[•REC]² is streaming on FandangoNow.
Evil Dead 2
It’s a controversial proposal amongst diehard video-nasty aficionados and Sam Raimi devotees: The query of whether or not Evil Dead 2 is an enchancment on Evil Dead is deeply private, and hinges on how you want your DIY splatter flicks. But Evil Dead 2 is the second the place “Raimi” took on a operate past serving as a cognomen, and got here to explain a mode of horror filmmaking nonetheless referenced and (badly) replicated right now. It’s the proper confluence of bloodshed and humor (gallows in addition to gross-out), and simply one of the vital important viewers movies in horror historical past. From the scene the place Ash loses his thoughts within the cacophonous laughter of family objects and tchotchkes to the sequence the place Henrietta Knowby is slashed to items, there aren’t many films so completely engineered to compel macabre delight amongst lots of likeminded gorehounds.
Evil Dead 2 is streaming on Amazon.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is to Joe Lynch as is Ouija: Origin of Evil to Mike Flanagan, although between the 2, Flanagan received the more severe deal by far: How does anybody make an excellent sequel to a horror film primarily based on a board recreation? Ouija isn’t even a “game” within the conventional sense. There isn’t a concrete goal. But Stiles White’s Ouija is complete trash, so Flanagan might solely go uphill with Ouija: Origin of Evil. This isn’t to say that the movie is solely good—it could be the worst Flanagan has made to this point, although he’s made a lot of excellent films, so “worst” is relative—however watching him dig for one thing substantial sufficient to hold a narrative on, and truly discover it, is spectacular. Oh, and that shocker of a last shot supplies a jolt so satisfying that it’s definitely worth the value of admission by itself.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is streaming on Amazon.