A sequel is one of Hollywood’s easiest ways to make money. Like the first movie? There’s a good chance if they repeat the first movie, you’ll like it too. It’s easy to be cynical when it comes to sequels, but some of these sequels are here not just to make a quick buck. Sometimes, filmmakers want to run wild and try something new. They want to refine the original, or sometimes they throw out everything and start fresh. It’s these elements that can make for a great sequel, and sometimes people sleep on some amazing horror movie sequels that try new things or improve on previous elements and make the film enjoyable in its own right. The underrated horror movie sequel!

This list celebrates those underrated horror movie sequels. You won’t find Aliens or Evil Dead II on this list as they get a good amount of attention as is and are generally very highly regarded. So in no particular order are ten underrated horror movie sequels

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Arguably the poster child for underrated horror movie sequels. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch came off of both Halloween and Halloween II. Both movies largely stuck to the ‘Michael Myers kills people’ routine. It wasn’t really appealing to some of the people making these films though and they decided to take the series in an anthology-based direction. As was originally intended by John Carpenter.

The results of that: Halloween III: Season Of The Witch. It made 14.4 million on a $4.6 Million budget. So it did make its money back but was considered a disappointment compared to the other movies thus far in the franchise.

While some people may have wanted to see Michael killing people. Instead, they got a bizarre plot about a toy maker who wants to kill every kid on earth. He does this by implanting elements of Stonehedge into Halloween masks. Employing an effective ad campaign and using a TV ad to activate the masks and transform the children of the world into a cacophony of bugs and snakes.

No, I did not make that up.

It’s so bizarre as a movie but it’s a lot of fun. Tom Atkins and Stacy Nelkin are incredible as the leads. Dan O’Herlihy chews the scenery as the villain. The special effects are also worth a mention and truly are disturbing in the best way possible.

Halloween II (2009)

We’re not done with Halloween yet. This may be one of the most controversial movies on this list but Rob Zombie’s Halloween II is actually very good if you watch the unrated Director’s Cut.

The movie does a great job of portraying trauma and PTSD. You see the effects of what Michael does to those around him. Most (if not all) of the characters from the first film are traumatized; showing intimate and intense repercussions from the first film. It’s rare that a slasher movie explores these themes.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

While many people will argue for other movies in the franchise, in particular the 2nd and 5th movies. For my money, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is not only the most underrated sequel but also arguably the best in the franchise.

You have a great cast, including a returning Heather Langenkamp who sat out the second movie. Wes Craven also came back, albeit to a lesser degree. The kills in this are fantastic with many of them ranking as some of the best in the franchise.

The movie also explores a bit more of Freddy’s origin. It’s not as excessive, dull, or boring as some of the later inclusions. There’s enough backstory to make you understand him; but never does the movie try to get you to empathize with him or give you any other sense than he’s a killer.

My only real complaint I have of this movie is that Nancy goes out in a way that’s so weak and dull that you’d honestly be hard-pressed to find any satisfaction.

The Friday The 13th Series

Am I cheating by putting a majority of a franchise on this list? Oh, for sure. Should you watch all of these movies? Of course!

During a previous Fright-A-Thon, I ranked the Friday The 13th series. There are a lot of great sequels in the series worth watching.

  • Friday The 13th: Part 2 (1981)
  • Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
  • Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
  • Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
  • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

These are my personal picks, but the reality is you should binge at the very least the first eight movies, and if you can hunt down the other four they’re also fun (albeit slightly harder to find). Most of the movies are now on Paramount+.

Doctor Sleep (2019)

OK, Mike Flanagan made a sequel to The Shining, and it actually works!

Flanagan confirmed on Twitter that the movie didn’t live up to Warner Bros. expectations for the movie. It’s a shame too because the movie has a lot going for it. It utilizes some stuff from the Stanley Kubrick movie, and some stuff from Stephen King’s original novel, as well as the Doctor Sleep book as well. In that sense, it’s an interesting adaptation that uses a couple of different sources to tell an interesting story about Danny Torrance later in life. Like Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, this movie looks at trauma and PTSD as an effect of the previous film. It’s an effective storytelling technique and shows that characters leave these movies with trauma and it’s not always as easy as seeing a happy ending.

Child’s Play 2

The original Child’s Play is an OK movie, but it relies on this bizarre plot point of who’s doing the killings. Once you know it’s Chucky, it doesn’t really work that well.

Luckily the sequel ditches the mystery for humor, gnarly kills, and a more efficient plot. It’s more about Andy knowing he’s right and watching as those who don’t believe him get killed by Chucky one by one. The showdown in the toy factory at the movie’s finale ranks up there as some of the series’ best.

Creep 2

Creep 2 is such an improvement over the original, it’s remarkable. The first film is OK, if nothing the movie has sparse scares and effective acting from the lead, Mark Duplass.

The sequel ups the ante with the protagonist, Sara, early on discovering that ‘Aaron’ is a serial killer. From there is an effective game of cat-and-mouse. The cinematography also is improved over the first film, making the plot even more effective. The movie ends with a thrilling ending and while many of us wait for Creep 3. It’s still nice knowing that the team could deliver on a bigger and better sequel.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a dirty and gritty horror movie. Sure it has some humor but not much.

The sequel veers into Horror/Comedy territory which may throw some people off but the humour works, it’s dark humour that compliments the movie well. The movie is grounded by Caroline Wiliam’s character, Stretch. This is needed because on both sides you have Dennis Hopper’s ‘Lefty’, Drayton Sawyer, and of course, everyone’s favourite, Chop-Top played by Bill Moseley.

The movie feels like some out-of-body experience sometimes but that’s a part of the charm of this movie. You ask yourself if what you’re watching is actual reality.

The Exorcist III

The Exorcist is a classic, and its direct sequel, Heretic is nothing close to being a classic. So when the series was struggling for relevancy, the original film writer William Peter Blatty decided to make what in his mind was the direct sequel to The Exorcist, and he gave us The Exorcist III.

The movie is an amazing visual treat, full of great shots, and special effects. All were driven home by great performances, the best being George C. Scott’s Kinderman. Who dominates every scene he’s in with countless shouting, hilarious one-liners, and thoughtful introspection.

And of course, THAT jump scare lives on in infamy as why many remember this underrated horror movie sequel.

Slumber Party Massacre 2

Admittedly Slumber Party Massacre 2 doesn’t always make sense. Who is the Driller Killer? Is he a manifestation of the victims’ repressed sexual desire? I mean, that would explain some of the sensual drill licking.

The movie is very campy and can be a bit hard to watch, but if you can get past its pastel-coloured sleaze fest, there are some interesting moments. Not the least of which is a full musical number where the Driller Killer dispatches of various victims all the while sauntering and swaggering along to an amazing track

Hellraiser 2: Hellbound

Hellraiser II

Hellraiser 2 is so much better than the first film, it’s not even close.

The first film contains a lot of shots with soft lighting and sure there are some cool effects. It’s just not as memorable or cool as Hellraiser 2. The movie pushes the envelope for visuals in a way that is hard to describe without spoiling much. If you’ve enjoyed Hellraiser, consider Hellraiser 2 the second half of a two-part story. In my eyes, you need to watch both to get the full picture.

So, what do you think of the list?

For more on Halloween, make sure to check out Fright-A-Thon, the Halloween content marathon!

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