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.
Final 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.
Child’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.
Hellbound: 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.
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.