Producing a good sequel is hard enough for a major blockbuster franchise with vast amounts of money, talent, and technology at its disposal, but for a horror film franchise it becomes even more difficult.
The budgets – usually small to begin with – only get smaller, and it’s hard to bring back great characters for more when most of them died at the climax of the previous installment. But difficult does not mean impossible and against all odds truly great continuations of horror tales can and do occur.
Here are eight horror film sequels that beat the odds and became classics in their own right alongside their predecessors.
#8 – Scream 2 (1997)
The Scream franchise has already become so venerable that it needed a new television series based upon it to give it a shot in the arm. Has it really been that long since this fresh, metafictional take on the Slasher genre made us look at horror in a whole new way? Back in 1997 Scream proved that the strength of its concept was no fluke and that this critical take on horror tropes still had a lot left to give.
The original Scream added a brand new meaning to the phrase “I’ll be right back,” but Scream 2 taught us firmly that if you think you hear something strange going on in a public restroom, it’s better to just walk away.
#7 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Switching genres within a franchise is a risky proposition. Switching from horror to all-out comedy has the most potential to go sideways (Looking in your direction, Gremlins 2…), but Tobe Hopper made it really pay off with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. It had more of EVERYTHING over its predecessor: more gore, more ludicrous characters, and far more over the top humor, making it not only a worthy successor, but a complete reinvention of the franchise.