10 Best Horror Movie Sequels | TheReviewGeek Recommends

It is a truth universally acknowledged in Hollywood that a movie that does well has to have a sequel. Sometimes, these follow-up movies are pale imitations of what came before. But occasionally, they match the quality of the original and in some cases, actually better them.

In this list, we look at 10 of the best horror movie sequels ever made. Do you agree with our picks? Or do you have your own suggestions for a horror sequel that is as good as (or better) than the original? Let us know in the comments below.


Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

Very few zombie movies have matched the power of George A Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, a movie that told the story of a group of people holed up in an old farmhouse during a zombie uprising. It was tense, it was scary, and by the end, it was actually quite emotional due to a punch-in-the-gut ending that shed light on the racism inherent within certain parts of America at the time. 

Romero’s sequel movie isn’t quite as powerful as that horror masterpiece but it’s still earned a reputation as one of the best zombie movies ever made. In Dawn Of The Dead, the undead have grown in number and have taken over most of America. A group of survivors take refuge in a shopping mall where there are enough supplies to keep them going for years. Unfortunately, the zombies outside the mall retain some memory of their past lives and shopping habits and are naturally drawn to the giant shopping complex that once gave them a lot of pleasure.

This is as much a satire on gratuitous consumerism as it is a horror movie but despite being a critique of our society’s obsession with shopping, there is enough head-munching and other scenes of bone-crunching terror to please Romero’s legion of fans. 


 

Aliens (1986)

Ridley Scott’s 1979 movie Alien was unnervingly tense and dripping with menace which is why it is still heralded as one of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made. James Cameron’s sequel eschews the haunted house atmosphere of the original in favour of gun-blazing action, but there are still a few jump-scare moments within the movie that tells the story of a group of space marines (with the help of the previous movie’s survivor, Ripley) who take on a horde of aliens aboard the U.S.S. Sulaco.

The macho marines are no match for the alien menace in this action-packed follow-up, although these space creatures haven’t reckoned on Ripley, who is much more resilient in this movie than she was in the original. The incredible final face-off between Ripley and the Alien Queen is the movie’s standout sequence but there are plenty of other nerve-shredding moments in this exhilarating sequel. 


Doctor Sleep (2019)

Doctor Sleep is both a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and a (mostly) faithful adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel novel that was more satisfying to the author than the previous movie that deviated from his work. 

In this one, we are introduced to a grownup Danny (Ewan McGregor) who has now come to terms with his psychic abilities. As the movie progresses, he meets a young girl who shares similar powers to him and becomes her protector when she is threatened by a sinister group known as the ‘True Knot.’

Mike Flanagan, who is no stranger to Stephen King after directing Gerald’s Game, impressed audiences with this scary and strongly-written sequel. It’s arguably not as good as Kubrick’s movie but thanks to the powerful performances of the main cast, most notably Rebecca Ferguson as the sinister Rose the Hat, it’s still a gripping watch for horror fans. 


Damien: Omen II (1978)

The Omen is considered a classic of the horror genre thanks to Richard Donner’s imaginative direction, Jerry Goldsmith’s nerve-jangling music score, and creative death scenes.

This sequel isn’t quite on par with the original but it’s still a fun watch thanks to the havoc caused by the demonic Damien, who is now a teenager trying to come to terms with his destiny.

Exploding brains, dismemberment by elevator cable, and death by raven are just a few of the gruesome horrors that await the junior antichrist’s unsuspecting victims as they experience more than just growing pains at the hands of this pubescent devil. Another sequel followed with Damien as an adult working his way up to the Presidency but that failed to match the quality of the first two entries in the Omen franchise. 


 

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1983)

Masked maniac Michael Myers will likely be the first image that infiltrates your mind when thinking of the Halloween movies. However, the third entry in the long-running franchise gives the unstoppable killer a rest and focuses on a mad scientist who intends to launch a line of ‘Silver Shamrock’ Halloween masks that are designed to kill children. 

The plot is rather silly – it ties in a plot about an ancient Celtic ritual and Stonehenge – but most people don’t remember these aspects of the storyline anyway. More memorable is the TV ad with the flashing pumpkin and the catchy ‘x more days to Halloween’ song that sends chills down the spine every time it is featured in the movie. 

Michael Myers returned to the franchise when this one failed to drum up audience interest in more original Halloween movies but most of the subsequent sequels failed to match the horrors of this one or the John Carpenter classic. 


 

28 Weeks Later (2007)

Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, which told the story of a group of survivors trying to find sanctuary after a zombie-spawning virus threatened the world, was a dark and suspenseful horror flick that surpassed most other movies within the genre. 

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s sequel is a pulse-pounding nerve-shredder of a movie that chronicles Britain’s attempt to return to normality 28 weeks after the initial zombie invasion. A so-called safe zone has been set up to protect the remaining survivors but it’s not long before the residents of this sanctuary realize there is no safe place to hide from the brain-dead monsters that are threatening humanity. 


Evil Dead II (1987)

Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead was considered too violent and damaging for UK audiences and was banned from release after being placed on the infamous ‘video nasty’ list. People still got to see the movie due to the bootleg copies that were in circulation at the time, much to the dismay of the government and protective parents who didn’t want their children to be corrupted by Raimi’s blood-soaked cabin-in-the-woods-movie.

The movie was finally made available to the public in 1985 and surprise surprise, it didn’t turn the nation into maniacal killers! Evil Dead II was released a couple of years later, although it’s less a sequel and more a remake of the original movie. It’s a more polished effort than its rough and ready predecessor, with better special effects and more stylish direction, with a returning Bruce Campbell as Ash, the poor sap that is forced into battle against demonic forces after they are released from a so-called ‘book of evil.’

More sequels followed, including the recent Evil Dead Rise, but they weren’t quite as fun or as ‘groovy’ as this one or the 1982 original. 


Poltergeist 2: The Other Side (1986)

They’re here…again! In this sequel to Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist, the Freeling family have moved to a new home but their battles with the supernatural are far from over as the first movie’s Beast (who takes on the form of the sinister Reverend Kane), still has a vested interest in young Carol Anne. It’s up to psychic Tangina, an elderly Native American, and the girl’s parents to fight for the child’s life and fend off the supernatural forces that want to take hold of her. 

This isn’t quite as good as the 1982 movie but the special effects are good and there are a few decent scenes of spine-chilling terror. A second sequel followed in 1988 set in a high-rise apartment building, where demonic figures returned to claim the life of Carol Anne. That movie was a dud – a classic example of a sequel that didn’t need to exist – so forget that one and return to the Tobe Hooper original and the enjoyable first sequel. 


Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

2017’s Happy Death Day focussed on Tree Gelbman, a young college student who was forced to relive the day of her murder over and over again in the kind of time loop that blighted Bill Murray’s life in Groundhog Day. The movie was fun and less repetitive than you might imagine but it didn’t really need a sequel.

Still, a sequel did come along – typical Hollywood – and while it isn’t quite as fresh and original as the first movie, it still manages to deliver a few new plot twists to keep viewers invested in its story. Gelbman returns for the sequel and is joined by another student who has to relive the same day repeatedly when a masked killer keeps murdering him.

Happy Death Day 3 is in development apparently so here’s hoping it manages to maintain the high quality of the movies that have come before instead of falling into the Halloween trap of deja vu and over-familiarity.


candyman 2021

Candyman (2021)

Bernard Rose’s 1992 original, an adaption of the novel by Clive Barker, was one of the best horror movies of its time and far better than the immediate sequels that followed. It didn’t necessarily need another follow-up but courtesy of Nia DaCosta (Little Woods), we were given one anyway.

Thankfully, this isn’t a lazy retread of what came before as the director makes a valiant attempt at doing something new with the Candyman mythology. The movie tells the story of Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), an aspiring artist who moves into the now-gentrified Cabrini Green with his partner, Brianna (Teyonah Parris). After learning of the Candyman legend, he uses what he has heard for his next art piece but in doing so, he opens himself up to the hook-handed killer whose name we dare not speak five times in front of the mirror. 

The movie delivers plenty of scares and gruesome kills, and with its sharp social commentary, it’s so much more than those Hollywood sequels that fail to deliver something new for their audiences. 


So, there we have it – our picks for the 10 best horror sequels. Do you agree with our choices? Have we omitted one of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

Leave a comment