The horror genre is no stranger to franchises and has housed some of the most iconic across the globe. However, when it comes to their sequels the quality of the stories can shift dramatically. Later films can be completely different from where their simple roots started. Just look at the Friday the 13th films. Everybody associates Jason as a supernatural creature, but that didn’t come into the mythology until part four or six, depending on how you interpret Jason coming back. Here, are five horror films that specifically highlights their second installment which was as good if not better than the original before they went off the rails and evolved.
5. The Fly II (1989)
The Fly has been a fairly consistent franchise. Both the 50’s and the 80’s series manage to convey certain aspects of horror across a simple premise as a scientist experiments with technology and is accidentally changed via fly DNA. The sequel to the Cronenberg remake isn’t talked about that much, and though he didn’t return for the sequel, the film is still able to pull off the body horror balanced with scientists seeking something further than capable. What makes this installment stand with its predecessor is the fact that it takes a look at Brundle’s son and how he grew up in a facility. It plays with nature vs nuture in an interesting and gooey way.
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
In the pantheon of ‘Nightmare’ films, fans will undoubtedly refer to the first and third films in the franchise when explaining why they love it. At the time, Freddy’s Revenge was such a strange turn for audiences, and a bit too gay for some, that it was quickly swept under the rug. Freddy’s Revenge brings up new mythology with Freddy invading Jesse’s body in a not so subtle metaphor towards sexual awakening and starts making Freddy more sarcastic and quip-smart right before his bigger step towards being an iconic smart mouth in part three.
3. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
It’s astonishing for the same director to come back after making a classic and produces a sequel which turns out to be an even bigger classic. The Bride’s hair style is iconic, the character development that the monster goes through to speak and become more human influences his take nearly a century later, and the special effects used in this film are even more awe inspiring than the first. It felt like James Whale was let off the leash with this and really swung for the mirrors.
2. Psycho II (1983)
While ‘Bride’ came back after a masterpiece with the same director this one did not. Having a sequel come out twenty three years after the original, which has been a masterpiece in people’s minds, is an incredible amount of pressure. While it doesn’t reach the heights of Psycho, this sequel does a good job of resurrecting the franchise for new audiences. There are familiar beats, but Norman is shown in a new light. Played by Anthony Perkins again, his performance brings enough to the screen to show how much Norman has been through over the last twenty odd years.
1. Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead (2014)
Zombie movies in the 2010’s are a dime a dozen. Throw a stone in any direction and you’ll find one. Some are good, most are bland, but this sequel is the most bonkers out of left field zombie movie that needs to be injected into everyone’s veins. It picks up immediately after the first movie (though you don’t need to have seen it, I didn’t) and is immediately the perfect balance of horror, amusement, and thoughtful plot compared to the cabin in the woods type story previously. Zombie powers, zombie armies, zombie Nazis. This is the definition of a popcorn movie and it far surpasses the original.
What are some sequels that you think are as good as their predecessor?