Best Body Horror Movies

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Best Of Best of Movies Featured Scary Movies and Series

Body horror movies are films that focus specifically on trauma, mutation, mental deterioration, and illnesses that occur in the human body. Some of these processes are natural, while others are inflicted. Movies that fall into this genre are typically gross, morbidly fascinating, and outright alarming, and the reason they are so effective is because they concern aspects of living we all can relate to: our physical and mental health. It’s quite horrifying when something invades, violates, and/or transforms our conceptions of who we are.

Though the term “body horror” is relatively new in the world of horror, there is thankfully no shortage of examples in film. The list below constitutes some of the best in the genre, along with a dozen other recommendations (and though David Cronenburg’s ouevre could be a list of its own, we did limit him to two films here to allow other movies to shine). 

Check out Puzzle Box Horror’s best movies about body horror!

Possessor (2020)

Possessor body Horror film poster

Tasya Vos is an assassin working for a high-tech secret organization. This organization uses brain implants to sync her mind up with another, giving her control over someone else’s body in order to commit the murder and leave them behind as a scapegoat. That’s already pretty freaky stuff, but then things take an even darker turn when her latest host regains control over their mind/body. There are several layers of disturbing body horror happening here – loss of control, blackouts, possession, transformation – and it’s all very dramatic and unsettling. Possessor is directed by Brandon Cronenburg (of Antiviral fame), and stars Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott.

American Mary (2012)

American Mary Horror Movie poster with woman and chainsaw

Mary is upset because the high tuition costs at medical school are thwarting her dreams of becoming a surgeon. But things take a turn when she performs impromptu surgery at a strip club, and then they take another turn when people being paying her to alter their bodies and introduce her to the world of extreme body modification. Not only are there numerous graphic scenes of highly illegal body modifications, but there is also a revenge storyline involving Bloody Mary and the man who raped her. The film verges on torture porn levels, but it’s also highly intriguing in its subversiveness. American Mary is directed by the Soska Sisters and stars Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, and Tristan Risk.

Teeth (2007)

Teeth Body Horror Movie

We often feel as strangers to our own bodies during adolescence (thanks puberty), but Teeth takes this concept to a strange new level. Dawn suffers from a rare condition, referred to in the film as “vagina dentate” or “vagina teeth”, that makes physical intimacy with another impossible. But when a shocking and nonconsensual encounter awakens her violent side, she realizes she can use her condition to take revenge on other bad man. Heads up for those with male reproductive organs, this is a tough one to watch. It’s also a bleak and unsettling coming of age tale told through emotional performances and streaks of dark comedy. Teeth is directed by Mitchell Lichtensteina and stars Jess Weixler.

Slither (2006)

Slither horror movie poster with worms and lady in a bathtub

A small town in South Carolina is invaded by a malicious alien parasite that immediately infects someone and spawns numerous larvae offspring. These new parasites continue the trend, turning their unsuspecting hosts in all manner of mutated grotesqueries and forming a large hive mind. It’s up to a ragtag group of survivors, led by Police Chief Bill Pardy, to stop the spread before the whole town goes under. The film manages to be both extremely disgusting and extremely hilarious. This blend of alien invasion and body horror is certainly an example of horror comedy at its finest, and it’s filled to the brim with blood, goo, and gross-out scenes. Slither is directed by James Gunn (right?!) and stars Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks.

Society (1990)

Society Horror Movie Poster with woman taking her face off

Bill is a teenager who lives with his wealthy family in Beverly Hills. Bill has always felt a little different from his sister and parents, who subscribe to the upper class elite mentality, and he begins to wonder if there is something darker going on behind the scenes. A series of strange events lead up to a shocking conclusion where all of Bill’s fears will be revealed. Like some of the other films on this list, Society is a movie with something to say. Sure, it’s not very subtle in its satirical take on wealthy urbanites, but it’s certainly memorable (especially that last orgy scene…). Society is directed by Brian Yuzna and stars Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, and Evan Richards.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Iron Man body Horror Movie Poster

A man and his girlfriend are driving when they accidentally hit and kill another man. They begin having strange visions and noticing horrifying changes to their bodies. Turns out the man they killed was a metal fetishist who is taking his revenge by turning them into a monstrous mesh of man and machine. This film, with its abstract narrative and soundtrack of scraping metal, certainly falls into the avant-garde style of experimentation. This black-and-white cyperpunk nightmare is also one of the wildest movies you’ll ever experience. It begins with a man shoving a metal rod into a cut in his leg, and then it just escalates from there. Tetsuo: The Iron Man is directed by Shinya Tsukamoto and stars Tomorowo Taguchi and Kei Fujiwara.

The Fly (1986)

The Fly Horror Movie Poster

A brilliant scientist finds his world turned upside down when a failed experiment mixes his genes with that of a common fly. This freak encounter leads to a slow and painful transformation for the scientist. The grotesque scenes of mutation are as haunting as they are harrowing for the man and his loved ones. The film, a remake of an earlier movie from the 1950s, takes its source material and elevates it to higher levels of emotion, anxiety, and terror. The film has also become a classic in its own right, especially in the world of sci-fi horror, and is likely the director’s most well-known mainstream movie. The Fly is directed by David Cronenburg and stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, and John Getz.

The Thing (1982)

The Thing John Carpenter Horror Movie Poster with alien man

In a remote facility in Antartica, a research team is hunted by a bizarre alien life form that can transform its body to mimic other forms, in this case shapeshifting to assume the form of its victims. The plot of this film is simple and wastes no time in getting to the good stuff. The paranoia and body count runs high as the isolated research station is invaded and the team desperately tries to root out the evil and survive. The movie also has some of the best practical effects ever, making the many “wtf” moments that much more special. It’s bizarre, it’s gruesome, and it’s a whole lot of fun. The Thing is directed by John Carpenterand stars Kurt Russell as well as a great cast of supporting characters. 

Videodrome (1982)

Videodrome Body Horror movie poster with man floating

There’s a shocking new satellite feed airing on television called “Videodrome”, which depicts random people being sodomized, tortured, and murdered in various ways. The president of the TV station, Max Renn, becomes determined to find out who the creators are: a quest that will feature a wide variety of graphically deranged scenes and lead to his own psychological unhinging. It’s a body horror program within a body horror movie, full of the director’s emphasis on surrealism but loaded with even more gore. It also effectively blurs the line between reality and fantasy as it becomes something of a study on the genre itself. Videodrome is directed by David Cronenburg and stars James Woods, Debbie Harry, and Sonja Smits.

Honorable Mentions

Tusk (2014)
Antiviral (2012)
The Skin I Live In (2011)
Cabin Fever (2002)
Brain Damage (1988)
Hellraiser (1987)
From Beyond (1986)
Re-Animator (1985)
The Stuff (1985)
Possession (1981)
Eraserhead (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

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Best Family Horror Movies

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Best Of Best of Movies Featured Scary Movies and Series

That most wonderful month of October is once again fast approaching, when stores begin to stock their most malicious outfits and decorations and movie channels run red with the blood of the living, and the dead. Most of us would gladly hunker down with some of the most gruesome and bloody slasher flicks the world of film has to offer, but what if the kids are still up? We can’t very well expect them to fall asleep after the sheer volume of sugar that Halloween provides, so the best course of action is to take a trip back to the family friendly horror movies you loved at their age. With this in mind, I’ll dive into some of the best family-friendly horror movies around, from old favorites to modern classics which capture exactly what kids want from the spookiest season of the year, without being too scary for younger audiences.

Goosebumps

goosebumps family friendly horror movie poster featuring teens, monsters and a magic book

More than just a film, Goosebumps has been one of the forerunners of children’s horror since 1992 with the groundbreaking Goosebumps children’s book series, and the hair raising tv series of the same name beginning in 1995. In addition were two more recent Goosebumps films and some noteworthy comic and video game adaptations. I indulged in plenty of the Goosebumps literature at a young age, particularly the ‘choose your adventure’ titles as something about making the wrong choice resulting in someone dying horribly was all the scarier. That being said, I remember being frightened witless at just as many moments in the television series. Slappy’s original design from Night of The Living Dummy still lives bored into my mind as one of my earliest jumpscares, and his sinister smile still chills me to this day. That episode also featured another sentient doll which held her owner hostage and threatened to kill her entire family (yes, this show was aimed at 7 year olds). I blame Goosebumps as a franchise almost entirely for my love for, and discerning taste in, all things horror.

Are You Afraid of The Dark?

A show known only to me as ‘Canadian Goosebumps’ at one point in time, the equally creepy Are You Afraid of The Dark aired from 1991 to 1996, with one revival show airing from 1999-2000 and another beginning in 2021. The most recent revival has been met with a great reception, though the early-90s original was not without its charms. All adaptations centre around a group of kids who called themselves ‘The Midnight Society’, who meet up ritualistically in spooky places in the dead of night to tell scary stories. Each episode, these stories are shown to the viewer as blood-curdling short films, which often bleed over into that character’s reality in some way.

Frankenweenie

Tim Burton is a name that will likely pop up a number of times in this article, as he is one of the few who truly understands the balance between dark scares and childlike wonder. To be told that Frankenweenie is Burton’s best film in a long time should be encouragement enough to watch it, and that is exactly what the general consensus is. In this alternate timeline, a young Victor Frankenstein is a scientist and outsider at school with one true friend; his dog Sparky. When Sparky is tragically killed, Victor takes the advice of his science teacher and reanimates his companion. When Victor’s classmates steal his work and attempt to use it on their own pets however, things go horribly awry. Burton pays homage to plenty of classic horror movies and returns to his roots with blazing success with Frankenweenie, a flick not to be missed by horror fans young and old.

Monster House

Monster house kids horror movie animated poster featuring three kids and a scary house

It took me a criminal amount of time to finally watch the brilliant animated family horror Monster House, though better late than never. This clever little tale centers around two friends who discover that their creepy neighbor’s even creepier house is far more monstrous than it looks. When the house itself begins eating people on the run-up to Halloween, the boys must try to convince an adult of what is going on before the ultimate smorgasbord of trick-or-treaters file up to its ravenous door! Featuring an all-star cast of voices, and some bone-chilling animation including the evil house’s twisted transformations, Monster House is a modern classic which blends family-friendly humour with a tangible and at-times terrifying threat.

Coraline

Coraline was adapted from the 2002 Neil Gaiman book of the same name, and is an utterly skin-crawling experience, albeit one packed with heart and nostalgia. 11 year old Coraline finds an alternate, and rather ideal, version of her own home within its walls, though before long she realizes that the place holds a dark and insidious secret. While remaining appropriate for children, Coraline features some truly chilling concepts and hair-raising stop-motion animation that is kept raw to utilize the unsettling effect stop-motion can have. Neil Gaiman always manages to capture the hearts and minds of his audience, especially given his penchant for horror, so one can only be thankful that Henry Selick had the directorial prowess to take it to the big screen.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

You’ve seen the merchandise, you’ve heard at least one of the songs, though if you haven’t actually sat down to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas yet you’re missing out in a big way. This 1993 Burton classic paved the way for many animated films that followed its staggering popularity. The story focuses on Jack Skelington, King of Halloween Town as he one day stumbles upon the neighboring Christmas Town. When he becomes obsessed with Christmas culture he attempts to bring it back to his own people, to great confusion and uproar. Jack’s is a unique tale with a solid moral compass, one layered with catchy songs and lovable voice acting throughout.

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice movie poster featuring a groom and bride and Beetlejuice on a house

This one might be a little bit of a cheat, as there are plenty of parents who wouldn’t want their young children watching Michael Keaton sauntering around making crude gestures and more innuendos than Austin Powers. But that is part of what makes this dark, wacky live-action headtrip such a quintessential Tim Burton classic. Sure, it’s not fully aimed at kids but there’s enough slapstick comedy and colorful integration of unnerving stop-motion (I’m looking at those sandworms) to entertain people of all ages. While it’s not exactly a musical, the placement of a couple of Harry Belafonte songs are particularly hilarious, and the overtly stylized look of the film combined with some brilliantly off-kilter performances are enough to warrant this film a cult classic. Keaton is a force to be reckoned with as the reverse-exorcist Beetlejuice, who promises to rid your home of the living should you simply say his name three times. No one would be that stupid though, right?

James and The Giant Peach

Things are getting personal now as we visit another early Tim Burton nightmare. One of my earliest memories of being terrified is of the hellish mechanical shark with its rotating layers of steel teeth, or the horror of the black rhino in the storm clouds. James and The Giant Peach is adapted from a Roald Dahl book and given a suitably dark and unsettling stop-motion style, blended cleverly with live-action as James crosses into a dreamlike reality of giant fruit and huge talking insects. On a voyage across the ocean and skies to New York, James and his band of oversized creatures must battle peril upon horrendous peril, while ultimately finding himself in the comfort of his friends. This adaptation catures the comic brilliance and surreal grimness of Dahl’s work perfectly, and makes for solid family viewing any time of the year.

Gremlins

Gremlins family friendly horror movie poster featuring a box with a gremlin monster in it

Fun fact: Gremlins was almost an R-rated gorefest of a movie before some studio head decided it was worth converting into the fun and exciting festive horror-comedy we know and love. The story centers around struggling inventor Randall Peltzer who is looking for a Christmas present for his son, Billy. When he wanders into an old bazaar in Chinatown, he encounters an old man who presents him with a cute, furry creature called a Mogwai. The man imparts upon Randall the few vital rules one must follow when owning a Mogwai, though Billy himself has a little trouble keeping to them. While it remains a cult-classic among many adults, Gremlins has enough laughs and cuteness from Gizmo the Mogwai to entertain children of all ages, even though those under 10 might find certain scenes of fantasy violence disturbing.

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Best Found Footage Horror Movies

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Best Of Best of Movies Featured Scary Movies and Series

What makes a horror movie scary? The answer to that question is fairly subjective, but there are likely some commonalities across the board.. And while intense action sequences, shocking twists, chilling imagery, and startling jump scares all deserve a place on that list, one of the most important factors (in our opinion) is realism. The more believable a horror film is, the more genuinely terrifying it will be. This suspension of disbelief, the thing that pulls audiences into the story and envelops them in its horror, is a contributing factor to some of the scariest films ever made. The best found footage horror movies exemplify this.

This is why the found footage horror genre works so well in horror. Found footage movies are presumed to be recovered recordings of actual events. They’re shot with low quality cameras, cast with no name actors, and often created on a tight budget. And yet this obvious lack of “quality” is exactly what makes these films succeed. The handheld cameras and documentary-style narratives help shape movies that seem incredibly realistic – and when they’re in the horror genre this also makes them incredibly frightening. To give you a taste of what this wide-ranging sub genre has to offer, we’ve explored the history of found footage horror to give you some of the best found footage horror films!

Host (2020)

Host found footage horror movie poster

It’s July of 2020, and the United Kingdom is in the middle of a lockdown due to the Covid-19 virus. A group of friends have decided to use weekly Zoom calls as a way to stay connected, and in this latest call they have invited a medium to host a seance. Things start off innocently enough, but when one of the friends feels the presence of their dead friend Zack, things start to go off the rails. It’s a frighteningly good time, blending real world circumstances with supernatural scares. The entire movie was shot on Zoom during Covid, so it works as effective found footage horror movie as well as a marker of life during the pandemic. In the realm of “movies shot on the Internet” this stands out above the rest.

Creep (2014)

Creep found footage horror movie poster

A young, burgeoning filmmaker named Aaron has found a new gig: recording a video diary for a new client. Josef, who wants to film his final moments for his family, invites Aaron to his cabin in the woods. But Josef’s behavior is increasingly erratic and strange, and by the time Aaron realizes the truth of what’s going on it may be too late. This psychological horror film has the found footage horror movie genre hallmarks of a low budget and stripped down story, but it goes a step further by removing many of the obvious horrors. Instead it’s a case study of two men – one whose madness is slowly revealed and the other whose life is in danger because of it. It’s a risky choice for the genre, but it’s pulled off incredibly well thanks to the magnetic energy and chemistry of its leads Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice.

What We Do In the Shadows (2014)

What We Do in the Shadows found footage horror movie poster

It may not be as scary or disturbing as the other entries on this list, but as a horror comedy hybrid What We Do in the Shadows excels. The movie fits into another sub genre known as mockumentary, and the premise concerns a documentary crew who are filming a group of vampires who share a flat in a suburb of New Zealand. These vampires have varying powers and personalities, and much of the film follows their nightly exploits as they search for humans to kill and live their best undead lives. Comedic duo Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement wrote, directed, and starred in the film that has also launched a television show and a cult following of loyal fans.

Frankenstein’s Army (2013)

Frankenstein's Army found footage horror movie poster

It’s towards the end of World War II and a Red Army team on the Eastern Front has received a Soviet distress call. The company traces the call to a seemingly abandoned church where one of their members is suddenly attacked and disembowled by a zombot – a murderous half man/half robot creation. It turns out that the church, as well as the catacombs beneath it, are teeming with zombots created by a mad scientist descended from Victor Frankenstein. The movie has its gory moments and the plot takes some interesting twists and turns, but the standout stars by far are the uncanny and unsettling monster designs and grisly practical effects. Altogether the film is a fun mix of grindhouse, sci-fi, and body horror.

The Conspiracy (2012)

The Conspiracy found footage horror movie poster

Two young documentary movie makers, Aaron and Jim, have decided to make a film about a local conspiracy theorist named Terrance. During the course of their movie, Terrance suddenly disappears, leading them further down the rabbit hole. Their search reveals a secret organization named the Tarsus Club, and soon they are wrapped up in its strange rituals and shadowy machinations. The film does a good job of striking a mysterious tone early on before shifting to mounting dread as the plot goes from faux documentary into straight horror. The final scenes are shocking, particularly one involving a bull’s head, and they will stay with you long after the movie ends.

Grave Encounters (2011)

Grave Encounters found footage horror movie poster

Grave Encounters is about a reality tv show that focuses on the paranormal. Its crew consists of ghost hunters, occult specialists, and mediums who journey to various haunted locales. Each episode features a different spot, and their latest is an abandoned and presumably haunted insane asylum known as the Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital. Part of the hospital’s sordid history involves a mad doctor who conducted ghastly experiments on the residents. The crew decides to spend the night in the hospital and becomes inexplicably trapped inside, filming what may be their last episode. Not only is this movie a humorous parody of actual paranormal reality shows, but it is also one of the more genuinely frightening found footage horror movies.

Lake Mungo (2008)

Lake Mungo found footage horror movie poster

The Palmer family is grieving the loss of their sixteen-year-old daughter, Alice, after she drowns while swimming in a dam. Her younger brother, Mathew, sets up video cameras around their house to record what appear to be images of her ghost as more dark secrets begin to unravel. The film is shot in a docufiction/mockumentary style, where the main story is communicated through a series of interviews with the family and found footage. More than just a supernatural thriller, the movie is a tense and mournful exploration of grief and how families cope with loss. There was no dialogue written into the script, and the ad-libbing of lines lends to the “real” feel of the movie. Overall, it’s a masterclass in making a powerful movie on a shoestring budget.

Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield found footage horror movie poster

Unlike most found footage horror movies, Cloverfield was created by a big name creator, backed by big name production companies, and funded with a moderate budget. J.J. Abrams was able to get the project secretly greenlit and utilized a viral marketing campaign of trailers, posters, websites, and merch tie-ins to build hype before the film’s release. The movie is about an enormous monster attacking New York City, and it’s all filmed cinema verite style through the camcorder of a character named Rob. The chaotic scenes of destruction, the incredible design of the creature, and the realistic shaky home video quality (which caused some moviegoers to fall ill) all work in tandem to create a tense and highly enjoyable found footage movie.

REC (2007)

Rec found footage horror movie poster

A reporter and her cameraman are covering the night shift of a local fire station for the television program While You’re Sleeping. A fire station gets a distress call from a nearby apartment building, and after they arrive the building ends up being sealed off due to the outbreak of a deadly virus. The virus, which presents like rabies, is causing the residents to attack and subsequently infect each other, spreading quickly throughout the building. Those who haven’t been infected, including the camera crew, must find a way to escape and survive. The Spanish film was an immediate critical and commercial success, even spawning a less-than-stellar American remake (Quarantine). 

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Paranormal Activity found footage horror movie poster

Not many movies (except the next one on our list) are as closely associated with the found footage movement as the Paranormal Activity franchise. The first film centers on a couple named Katie and Micah who are trying to capture evidence of and communicate with the increasingly angry demon that haunts their house. The creation of one-man show Oren Peli, who did pretty much everything but act in the movie, Paranormal Activity was an unexpectedly massive success. It’s one of the most profitable films ever made and, because Peli decided to focus on believability instead of gore and action, it’s also one of the most genuinely terrifying films in the found footage horror movie genre. 

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Paranormal Activity may have generated more sequels, prequels, and video game adaptations, but its success owes thanks to one of the first found footage horror films that pioneered the genre in America: The Blair Witch Project. The film, which follows doomed student filmmakers as they attempt to investigate and document the local legend of the Blair Witch, has all the classic tropes and markings of the found footage genre. It’s shot mockumentary style on handheld cameras, it features no name actors ad-libbing the script, it utilized a viral marketing campaign, and it grossed many times over its miniscule budget. It may not be the best found footage movie ever made, but it will always hold a special place in our hearts thanks to the groundbreaking work that paved the way for future films and enabled the genre to become a mainstay in pop culture.

Honorable Mentions

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
Unfriended (2015)
Hell House LLC (2015)
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
As Above, So Below (2014)
Afflicted (2013)
The Borderlands (2013)
Trollhunter (2010)
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

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Best Performing Sequel Horror Movies

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Scary Movies and Series

Ranking The Best Horror Movie Sequels?

Horror movies are sometimes so good that they prompt follow up movies known as sequels.  It is no new news, however, that most horror movie sequels suck. At minimum, most of the horror movie sequels out there are simply no where near as good as the original movies. Still, even with the sea of terrible horror sequels, there are a few gems which have done pretty good, just as good, or better than the original movie.  In some franchises, it may just be the first and/or only sequel to perform well, while there are some horror movie franchises with several movies which do pretty great.  The next natural question to ask is “which horror movie sequels are the best?”  While something like “the best horror movie sequels” is very clearly an opinion, many fans can agree on most of the best ones (coincidentally also the most popular ones); and thus Horror Enthusiast has officially ranked the best horror movie sequels of all time!

The Best Horror Movie Sequels Of All Time

This is a ranked list of the best horror movie sequels of all time. Remember, sequel means “part two”, or subsequent part of a series, not “remake” (thus there are no remakes on this list).

A New Nightmare (1994)

A New Nightmare is one of Wes Craven’s greatest creations.  Arguably the best Nightmare movie ever made, although that is a rough call when taking the original and part III into consideration. Still, in terms of sequels, it is an original adventure that continues the story beyond the idea of simple, fictional, on-screen fear.

Saw II (2005)

Saw II is arguably more sadistic than the original by far, which is an interesting variable when ranking sequels.  Still, it is one of the best performing and most entertaining sequels there are in terms of horror movies.  Saw II took the winning concept of a trap room as seen in the original movie and essentially expanded it into an entire house.

best sequels for horror moviesFinal Destination 2 (2003)

The Final Destination franchise was cutting edge in terms of suspense-thrillers and also unique on-screen deaths.  The second movie was the response of the hype built up from the original, which many people loved.  Fortunately, Final Destination 2 stepped up to the plate, making a place for itself on the list of best horror movie sequels ever.

Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4 came a bit late in the franchise, but it was nevertheless truly exhilarating to watch. Bringing movie goers back to the original town of terror, Woodsboro, they embark down Sidney Prescott’s decade’s worth of effort to move on from her traumatic past.  Scream 4 did a great job of reminding the audience exactly how scary Ghostface can be!

Nightmare on Elm Street Part III: Dream Warriors (1987)

The third installment of the Nightmare series earns itself a healthy spot at the top of the list, as it embraced creativity, re-invented the idea of Freddy Krueger in a way that people enjoyed.  Giving the heroes the abilities to fight back in their own unique ways kept the Nightmare franchise rolling, full steam ahead!

Halloween II (1981)

One of the things that made Halloween II more terrifying than the original and more terrifying than many horror movie sequels, is the fact that it takes place largely in a hospital setting.  Hospitals are supposed to be safe havens, not bloodbaths! This true terror of a Halloween sequel is one of the best horror movie sequels of all time. 

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

This movie is one of the most controversial horror movies of all time…but it is also one of the best sequels for two independent franchises (and one of the only of its type). Both franchises, the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, saw this sequel as a hit and an instant classic among fans.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

This Paranormal Activity movie is arguably the best of the franchise. The amount of ritualistic-style terror is off the charts and the, well, paranormal activity, is on a whole different level of scary.  This movie most certainly deserves a place on the list of best horror movie sequels of all time.

chucky is great in the sequelsChild’s Play 2 (1990)

A lot of fans argue about which movie is best: Child’s Play or Child’s Play 2.  Regardless, Child’s Play 2 is absolutely one of the best horror movie sequels ever.  It’s an adventure that created a bigger cult fear of Chucky than the original movie could have ever mustered alone.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

Although it is technically a “prequel,” it is most definitely a follow up to the success of the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (which could not make the list due to being classified as a remake, not a sequel).  The Beginning, however, helps the audience understand how Leatherface and family got to be so savage (definitely worth seeing)!

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Halloween H20 is set (obviously) 20 years after the original movie’s release, and in the storyline, it is set 20 years later as well.  Laurie Strode is now trying to cope with her past and still struggles with the idea of being stalked by her murderous, mute, brother, Michael Myers.  He in fact returns on Halloween and the slayings continue, while Halloween H20 secures a spot as one of the best sequels in the horror business.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

There are a lot of Friday the 13th movies, but only some of them are good.  The Final Chapter is one of the best ones, if not the best one. Jason has been revived for (supposedly) one last rampage, making his way from the morgue back to his beloved Camp Crystal Lake.

28 Weeks Later (2007)

This sequel is staged 28 weeks after the original outbreak in the storyline.  With the plague-like virus that had everyone turning zombie supposedly eliminated, the US Army begins rebuilding life on the British Isles.  Unfortunately, the virus isn’t gone and it comes back stronger than ever.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

It is no surprise that Jason has made the list again, as there are a lot of Friday the 13th movies, however, the second movie is definitely a gem. It is the first movie Jason is the killer, and showcases the most human-like Jason of them all. It’s scary because it seemed it could really happen.

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious is its own brand of scary. It showcases a fear that steps beyond the normal world, suggesting there are places we cannot see that exist all around us, all the time.  The idea that the supernatural can interfere with the real world in this way is a very terrifying thought!

The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)

The remakes of the Hills Have Eyes (in the 2000s) couldn’t make the list, but the actual sequel of the original movie, is absolutely terrifying enough to make the list. The storyline continues 8 years later, following the sole survivor of the tragedy, who ends up having to relive the horror.

horror movie sequels that are goodHellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Hellraiser is always scary but Hellbound, the second movie in the body horror franchise, is truly terrifying.  This movie gives the heroine residence in a mental institution, where she struggles to help her father, whom is trapped in hell, dealing with a number of horrifying demons.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Jason has made the list another time with Part VI: Jason Lives.  This is the first time Jason has been very obviously considered supernatural by the writers.  The audience sees what they would further understand as an immortal Jason and a killer who is going to continue to return.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

So many fans like the fourth movie in the Nightmare franchise, despite an almost equal group of fans absolutely hating it.  It retains a really large following and showcases some pretty narly Freddy Krueger kills, making it a strong enough contender to be one of the best horror movie sequels of all time.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

The sequel to “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” is probably just as good as the first, if not better.  Although the cast changed, the actual murders were just as scary. The killer is just as good a mystery and the twist is pretty awesome.  This movie easily earns a spot on the list for its cleverness and creativity.

Psycho II (1983)

Norman Bates is a truly terrifying weirdo. In the sequel to the Psycho film, Bates has finally finished his run at the mental hospital and he’s back home, trying to adjust to a normal life.  The problem is, the voices haven’t stopped, and the murder spree needed to continue.

Scream 2 (1997)

Ghostface makes the list again as he wreaks havoc on heroine Sydney Prescott and her friends. This time, a parody of the event, a horror movie called “Stab” has been released, and the real killer is back again as the movie picks up steam.  A movie within a movie, need we say more?

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

The Purge franchise is a unique horror that brings the idea of killings into every day life.  Part of what makes this particular sequel so scary is its plot is so closely intertwined with the timeline of the actual election in the United States. Talk about tension!

Final Destination 5 (2011)

The second time Final Destination landed a movie on this list, the fifth movie in the installment does a great job of bringing back the fear.  Final Destination 5 reminded the audience what made death so scary to begin with, and it did so with flair and death scenes like never before.

Final Words On The Best Horror Sequels Ever

One of the best parts about horror movie sequels is there can be another at any time! A lot of franchises have begun from a movie that swore up and down from every angle it would be the only one.  There were many sequels which spawned from movies that were meant to only be a single story. Even fan-based sequels have followed masterpieces and done very well.  There will always be more horror movie sequels and this list will always be able to expand.  As of 2018, the best sequels are pretty clear though, and many of them have provided fans a way to further explore the worlds that they have come to fear in the original movies.

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Binge Watch These 4 Pandemic and Viral Outbreak Movies for Serious Survival Tips

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Featured Scary Movies and Series

First you hear rumors on the web and watch a few videos on YouTube, that say a terrible virus is ravaging China. What little information the country allowed to escape its borders anyhow, thanks to authority sources like The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 The average person thinks “okay, that sucks, but I got my flu shot, I should be good”. The slightly more anxiety prone person thinks “oh $&#@, can that thing make it here to America?”. 

The horror movie fan on the other hand is like… “I’ve been training for this moment my whole life!”.  

Fist bump if you agree that the multitude of horror movies, series and books you may have read about post-apocalyptic life, global contagion, mysterious viruses and outbreaks have given you some serious survival chops?

Research.  It was research all along.  Since we are all sitting at home doing that ‘social distancing’ thing to prevent the virus from infecting everyone,  now is probably a good time to revisit some of those classic outbreak movies and glean some extra survival tips that could come in handy.  Particularly if this health threat continues longer than authorities think it will.

Folks Are Streaming the Wrong Prepper Movies on Netflix (In Our Opinion)

Before you think it’s a little weird to be watching pandemic movies during a pandemic, Netflix reported a significant spike in the genre of outbreak and virus movies on Friday, March 20th. In fact, the Netflix original docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” and the disaster movie “2012” were two of the highest streamed movies on Netflix this week.

Our take on those two titles? While the Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” is very informative and interesting; we’re in a pandemic.  Not particularly useful information at this point, as we navigate the COVID-19 global health crisis. But at least you understand the ongoing work that health organizations do globally to prevent more of these devastating viruses from going ape shit on the human population. At this point though, we feel it’s a little redundant.

The disaster movie “2012” is a high action reaction to a cataclysmic global warming and flood event.  It’s not even about a virus.  Sure, Bill Gates resigned his leadership of Microsoft (we think he headed to a bunker) about a week before things got really bad, but unless volcanoes start popping off all over the world and you get an email for a lottery ticket to an Ark, probably not that useful.

Our Top 4 Practical Pandemic Training and Global Virus Movie Picks

After our team at Puzzle Box Horror scratched our heads (on Zoom… social distancing) and had our “holy #!%& this is real!” moment like the rest of the human race, we thought about the top five movie s that actually provided some valuable ‘how to’ in terms of survival tips for a global viral pandemic.

1. “The Stand” By Stephen King

Let’s ease you in with an epic, because if you have never watched or read “The Stand” you are missing out on some serious survival and prepper tips.  The story revolves around a slow but deliberately moving respiratory virus, or super flu called “Captain Trips” kills victims in less than a week with horrible pneumonia like symptoms and fever.  

Key pandemic takeaways from this movie?

  • Stay home (it’s safer).
  • Dumb people who don’t take the virus seriously are usually to blame for pandemic spread (sigh).
  • Have a lot of unperishable foods.
  • A can opener is really important.
  • Know how to start a fire.
  • Laura San Giacomo is really hot.

Eventually in the movie the virus kills almost 95% of the human population. The book was first published by Stephen King in 1978 and it is a BIG book thanks to the character development of an epic good vs. evil end of days storyline, pitting survivors into two main groups.

2. “Dawn of the Dead” (1979) George C. Romero

No offense to Sarah Polley (love you!) and amazing cast of the remake of the George C. Romero zombie apocalypse movie “Dawn of the Dead”, but when it comes to survival tips, nothing beats the 1979 original.  

Forced from their homes in a rapid exit by helicopter in Philadelphia, an intrepid team of two SWOT officers, and two reporters find themselves setting down on top of a mega mall. After clearing the mall of said zombies, the survivors set up one of the most amazing doomsday shelters, having fun shopping for stock in the mall (and grocery store).

Key pandemic takeaways from this movie?

  • Non-perishable supplies are really important.
  • Have more than one exit to your home if you barricade yourself in.
  • Never underestimate the desire of people with no supplies, to steal your supplies.
  • Life is really boring without cable tv when you are quarantined.

For fans of the “Dawn of the Dead” series, did you know that Romero actually had a far darker ending written for the original movie? Instead of Peter (Ken Foree) changing his mind at the last minute with a gun to his head and fighting his way to the pregnant Francine (Gaylen Ross), the suicide is followed through.  Hearing the gun shot, Francine herself gives up hope, and walks straight into the helicopter blades. 

Bleak ending right? Romero said by the end of filming that he had become pretty attached to the characters of Peter and Francine and wanted to give them a ‘fighting chance” so he rewrote the ending into something indeterminant but with a possibility of survivorship. 

3. “12 Monkeys” (Screenplay by Janet and David Peoples)

Hearing that Cher song “if we could turn back time” and had the ability to time travel, would we send our best and brightest to Hunan China, shut down the despicable wildlife ‘wet markets’ where the animal virus made the jump to human super virus?  Hell yes.  Let’s do that.   Time travel would be particularly useful, since humans seem to make these critical errors of judgement the jeopardize the planet.  But we digress (unless someone has a time machine handy).

Key pandemic takeaways from “12 Monkeys”:

  • When we wreck the planet, there are consequences.
  • Time travel is really tricky.
  • As smart and strong as we are as a species, we can be wiped out by a microscopic virus.
  • Social distancing is crucial in outbreaks.

In this movie, our favorite American hero Bruce Willis is sent back from the year 2030 to the 1990s to intervene and prevent the unleashing of a virus that would wipe out most of the human population, sending survivors into the underground to hide from the infected.

4. “Outbreak” (Screenplay by Laurence Dworet and Robert Roy Pool)

Who doesn’t love Dustin Hoffman? The guy pretty much exudes everything that is good about Americans in general; smart, strong, and in this case, the world’s best defense against a super bug that kills with symptoms far worse that Ebola.  Which essentially liquifies your organs until you bleed to death on the inside.

Yeah, we don’t like Ebola.  And we thought COVID-19 and the injuring pneumonia symptoms were scary enough.   But the African Motaba virus is also airborne (like COVID-19), and in several instances throughout the movie you see how quickly an airborne virus can spread.  From something as simple as a cut on your finger to breathing it in through the ventilation system in a hospital.

And… now we want to order one of those big yellow inflatable level 4 lab outfits with independent oxygen and install a microbial cleansing shower in our garage.   Because you know people like Jack Ma, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos totally have one.  Sigh…

Key pandemic takeaways from “Outbreak”:

  • Airborne viruses spread really quickly.
  • Limiting your exposure and self-quarantine are effective ways to protect your family.
  • Viruses that jump from animal to human genomes are particularly deadly, because we have no antibodies or immunity against them.
  • Facemasks only protect you from inhaling viruses or coughing and spraying out moisture particles infected with the virus.  If you want to be out in public (only when you have to be) invest in a full mask and face shield that protects your eyes.  Viruses enter the body through mucus membranes and your eyes are two big open doors to viral infection.
  • People who don’t follow quarantine measures risk infecting thousands of people.
  • Human contact with exotic wildlife is the number one-way pandemic level viruses are created.
  • Marshall law is always a possibility in a pandemic (and it sucks).

One of the most important takeaways from the movie “Outbreak” is that there are really brilliant medical researchers working on a cure and vaccine, round the clock, and at their own peril.  And we should call these people heroes.  Because they are.

Make smart choices during the quarantine period.  Do not take unnecessary risks and even if you consider yourself to be very healthy, understand that one person who is not symptomatic for up to 14 days can infect thousands of people.   Stay home.  Binge on Netflix.  Alphabetize your horror DVD collection, but do your part to keep your friends, family and yourself safe.

And don’t forget to stock up on toilet paper. If you can find any.

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