Hello everyone and welcome to another Fright Day. Today, I would like to rate the sequels of some of my favorite movies. I will be picking horror movie franchises that I have viewed in their entirety. Without further ado
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Best: Dawn of the Dead- I would say this is the best sequel to Night of the Living Dead. George Romero upped the stakes and changed the setting from his seminal classic, giving us zombie carnage in a mall. The social commentary is as on point here as it was in the first, and the updated time frame allows Romero to push his gore content even further. If you haven’t viewed this masterpiece, check it out.
Worst: Diary of the Dead- I didn’t care for the documentary style it was filmed in. I felt this movie should have been much better, yet it strayed from the original formula too much. Romero’s other Dead films deal with zombies overrunning a location, lending to an atmosphere of claustrophobia. That claustrophobia was what made the original so scary to me and it’s missing here.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Best: Part 6- Campy as hell, this one is fun. The franchise needed a new direction following the disaster of the fifth film, and their decision to turn Jason into a complete zombie killing machine was an inspired one. No longer constricted by the logic that would apply to normal humans, the movie delights in giving Jason a full range of powers. If you like fun movies, this one is for you.
Worst: Jason X- Narrowly beating out the fifth film, this one takes the cake. Although it has maybe the best kill in the entire franchise, it has nothing else going for it. Jason is already ridiculously overpowered, and they make it even worse here by enhancing him even further. The space trope doesn’t work here for me, but that’s just one of many grievances I have with it. If you’re a purist and want to see them all, I can see watching it. Otherwise, you’re not missing much.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Best- Part 3- The third edition of Freddy brought him back to the dream world, and had him lock horns with the Dream Warriors. Although he disposes of most of them, the return of Nancy Thompson helps them defeat Freddy. This one did a great job of giving us a little more of Freddy’s backstory. Freddy is allowed to be campy and menacing here, as this is probably my favorite performance from Englund as the character.
Worst- Part 2- A train wreck. Don’t watch this one. Freddy is reduced to being a puppet master essentially, as the film seems to forget what made Freddy so scary in the first film. I’ve only watched it once, which is my fewest viewings of any of the films on this list. Thankfully, the franchise was course corrected with the next installment.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Best: Part 2- This is probably my easiest choice out of any on this list. The first sequel wasn’t exactly great, but Dennis Hopper gives it his all in a campy performance. The Sawyer family still gives you the creeps in this one, and their motives kind of make sense. Not to mention, the first chase scene in the movie is the closest the series comes to matching the terror of the original.
Worst: Part 4- You know my opinions on this film if you’ve been reading the column. It is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Leatherface is a pathetic imitation of his former self, and the entire plot of the film makes no sense. Avoid at all costs.
Best: Halloween- The 2018 sequel is the best. Disregarding the muddled timelines of the rest of the series, this film acts as a direct follow up to the original. It doesn’t try to humanize Michael. It doesn’t try to defend him or make us root for him. It is just Michael being the random killing machine we remember from the first one, and it gives Laurie Strode a confrontation for the ages, giving a payoff worthy of the original scream queen. Although I like the second Halloween, this one ranks slightly higher.
Worst: Resurrection- Where to begin? This is also one of the worst movies of all time. Michael Myers defeats Laurie Strode, disregarding the decent ending of H20 and then goes back to his house. While there, he starts killing people on a reality TV show, and Busta Rhymes does Kung Fu. This is one movie I am happy was erased from the timeline.
Well those are my picks for some of the best and worst horror sequels out there. Let me know what you think and what some of your favorite sequels are. Until next time…..
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