Horror Sequels Worth A Watch
By LaDale Anderson
Oct 25, 2012 - 6:49:43 AM

HOLLYWOOD—With Halloween just a few days away, everyone is entitled to one good scare.  Over the past few years we’ve taken a look at some classic horror flicks. This year we’ll examine some horror sequels that are up to par with the original if not in some cases even better.  As we know when it comes to horror, sequels tend to suck, but there are an exceptional few that break the rules.


“A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” is beyond a doubt one of the best in the franchise.  The picture is smart, witty and beyond anything intense.  This installment solidified Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) as a horror icon.  His wit played a major role in the picture, but it was Krueger’s unrelenting pursuit of teen Kristen (Patricia Arquette), her first starring role and sole survivor Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) that entertained audiences.  The ending was a stunner and set the bar high for future installments in the franchise as Krueger’s victims finally took a stand to fight against evil.  I would even argue that “Dream Warriors” is slightly more compelling to watch than the first picture.

Michael Myers in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers."


When it comes to scares no flick quite delivers like John Carpenter’s “Halloween;” it’s an instant classic because it relies solely on suspense.  The movie does not have a huge body count and little to no blood is depicted on the screen.  Of all the sequels in the franchise, only “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” comes close.   This chapter comes nearly a decade after the original and sees the return of Michael Myers after the disastrous “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.”   This time around Michael sets his sights on his niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris) and it’s the first time that I can recall in horror history where the innocence of a child is at risk.  Truly bone-chilling and fascinating to watch from start to finish, the only issue is that mask; it looks nothing like the original.  Had it been, chapter four in the saga would be a classic in my opinion.


I could not have been happier when the “Saw” franchise ended its run after seven installments.  I’m not a fan of torture-porn and this series took things to new heights, but of all the sequels, the second chapter, “Saw II” hails as a sequel better than the original.  The audience gets more inside the mind of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his twisted ways of thinking.  Ultimately, the big reveal at the end that Amanda turned out to be his protégé was a jaw-dropping moment.  The gore was still present, but just a heightened effect of great storytelling.  Its one of those pictures that hooks you ever time you watch it.

Jason in "Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan."


I must do this, even though it pains me to do so.  Jason Voorhees is a legend.  That hockey-mask dominated the 80s, but of all the pictures “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” is my favorite.  For starters, it’s the first time the psychopath is allowed to leave Camp Crystal Lake.  I cannot instill how sickening it is to watch a horror movie where all the action takes place in one setting; the movie is a failure before it even starts.  Second, seeing Jason out of his element as he stalked teens on a cruise ship was fun to watch.  Some will argue its one of the worst installments in the franchise, but I disagree.  Yes, the action that takes place in Manhattan could have been so much more explosive and powerful on the screen, but back then budgets were a lot tighter than what they are now.  Give the movie a watch you’ll see why it’s a wonderful treat.


In my opinion, one sequel out does every other when it comes to horror.  For anyone thinking its “Aliens” you are absolutely wrong.  It’s a stellar picture, but not really a horror film in my eyes; it’s more of an action-thriller.  “Scream 2” takes the top prize.  There is something about this second chapter following Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Deputy Riley (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) that is a must-see every time.  Beyond a doubt, duplicating the shock of seeing Drew Barrymore get knocked off in the first film was incredible; magic like that doesn’t happen twice, but Kevin Williamson took the rules of the horror genre and tossed them in the audience face by acknowledging that African-Americans tend to die first.

Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and Sidney (Neve Campbell) in "Scream 2."


From there, the picture draws the audience in by presenting a copycat killer on the loose on a college campus, where everyone knows danger lurks around them.  Factor in the fact that Randy (Jamie Kennedy) checked out and audiences were under the assumption that Deputy Riley checked out as well.  With those elements alone, you have a twisted thriller where no one is safe. The stakes were raised high in this installment and that revelation of the second culprit in the mayhem was not expected.  Clever is an understatement to categorize “Scream 2;” in my eyes it’s a masterpiece.  


So those are my picks for some exceptional, fun thrills just in time for Halloween.  Let me know if you agree with my picks and what sequels in your opinion, come close to being better than the original. 

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