There are times when sequels become more famous than the original. There are also times when sequels uphold the tradition and serve the same quality as their predecessor did. This is particularly common in horror movies, so let’s talk about 15 of the best horror movie sequels of all time:
15. Final Destination 2 (2003)
Final Destination movies are available in abundance now. Nowadays, there are talks for a sixth installment, which seems to be moving forward at a snail’s pace. However, before that sequel arrives, we need to talk about the second installment.
After the first movie, Final Destination 2 took up the mantle and then some. Widely considered the best film in the franchise, Final Destination 2 is proof that sometimes the 2nd can be better than the first.
14. Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 2 is another great film where the sequel edges past the original slightly. However, many people would argue with that but Scream 2 is higher-rated than its predecessor on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s because a lot of people thought Scream 2 was bloodier than the first one.
While the first one was story and character-driven, this one was driven by the villain. However, even if you don’t think it’s as good as the first one, it surely does justice to the first one and delivers a bone-chilling horror.
13. Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday The 13th became quite redundant after the first one. The four sequels that follow this film and the first got the same reception by audiences and critics alike – which ended in the question; what’s new?
There wasn’t anything new about them until Friday, The 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives arrived. This film changed the common perception surrounding Jason Voorhees and gave the character a new life (quite literally).
12. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Hellraiser’s pinhead is widely considered one of the greatest horror film characters of all time. So, there’s no wonder that after the success of Hellraiser, people wanted to see what was next for this franchise and character.
While it didn’t live up to the hype to some, a lot of people consider Hellraiser II to be the perfect sequel to well-established lore. While there is a total of 10 movies in this franchise, people agree that the 2nd one is the best after the original.
11. Psycho II (1983)
Psycho established an eerie lore surrounding the Bates Motel and the main character Norman Bates. If you’ve watched the first film, then you know it’s an unhinged story of a motel where the main character/antagonist is haunted by the memories of his mother.
When Norman Bates gets to come back to the Bates Motel, things begin to look the same. Despite being released 23 years after its original, Psycho II entertained many people.
10. The Ring Two (2005)
The Ring is another famous horror franchise, and it all started with a strong first movie. So, when the sequel was announced for 2005, a lot of expectations were hanging on it. When you look it up, the ratings do not reflect the love people have for it.
This is because a lot of people think the sequel is scarier, whereas the first one was mainly driven by an outstanding performance. That’s one of the reasons it has claimed sort of a cult-classic status as of late.
9. Doctor Sleep (2019)
Doctor Sleep is a direct sequel to the widely renowned The Shining. However, this film is based on the perspective of Danny Torrance, who struggles to overcome the events in The Shining. Soon, he finds someone who has similar abilities and decides to protect her.
While the film largely flew under the radar, Doctor Sleep is a great sequel to the original. Besides that, it’s based on the 2013 Stephen King novel of the same name. This has earned it a reputation among horror movie lovers.
8. A Quiet Place Part II (2021)
A Quiet Place was one of the highest-rated horror movies of all time, so the sequel had some big shoes to fill. When it was announced that it would explain the outbreak of the aliens that now haunt the earth, many people were already down to watch it.
However, it was delayed from 2020 to 2021 due to the pandemic. But once it arrived, it delivered exactly as per fan’s expectations. It is widely considered a worthy sequel to the first one and sets up further possibilities for world-building, including an already-announced third installment.
7. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The Conjuring 2 is another great example of sequels holding up tradition and quality. Based on true events, Conjuring 2 put many people in awe because of its investigative mystery and horror elements that surpassed many movies in the 2010s.
The paranormal activities in this film, as mentioned before, are based on Peggy’s family in London. The film begins when Peggy decides to seek the help of Lorraine Warren and Ed Warren to investigate the strange occurring in her household.
6. Saw II (2005)
Saw II was another highly anticipated movie, which shook the box office with 147 million in earnings. It may not sound like much, but those are heavy numbers for horror films. Coming 12 months after the original Saw (2004), the film had a lot to live up to.
While some of the franchise fans don’t like it as much, a majority of them agree that this 2nd installment did deliver. That’s one of the reasons it is one of the most-watched Saw movies in the franchise—surpassed only by the original.
5. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead is perhaps the film that set the trend for all horror film sequels. Coming 10 years after Night of the Living Dead, Romero left nothing on the table for his much anticipated 2nd installment.
That’s why the film earned a remarkable 66 million at the time and has a rating of 95% on rotten tomatoes. Even though the first film started it all, the 2nd installment is also considered to be a pioneer of zombie outbreak films and stories.
4. Evil Dead II (1987)
The Evil Dead is Sam Raimi’s best work, and he had some more to deliver when the sequel was announced a few years later. So, when Evil Dead II arrived, people had great expectations of it, and did it pass with flying colors.
That’s why a lot of people still consider this 2nd installment to be the best in the entire franchise. Outstanding visuals, great effects, and horrifying sound mixing have made Evil Dead II one of the most iconic horror movies of all time.
3. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
28 Weeks Later is a direct sequel to 28 Days Later. As the title suggests, the film begins 28 weeks after the Rage virus outbreak. However, this time, things are in control, and the US Army is helping repopulate a quarantined zone of London—while the rest clears out.
But, things go awry, as they do, when a career enters the fray. Soon, things begin to go wrong all over the place. While it took a definite turn from the original, a lot of people thought it was a welcomed change. That’s why, to this day, there are demands for a 28 Months Later sequel.
2. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
10 Cloverfield Lane is another direct sequel to the first film titled Cloverfield. However, instead of taking a casual approach to sequels, this film turns it upside down and adds a psychotic and estranged man called Howard into the fray.
It all begins when Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself trapped in a bunker after an accident. That’s where Howard tells her that the world outside has changed, and she decides to escape. That’s why this film has a higher Rotten Tomatoes rating compared to the original.
1. Aliens (1986)
After the immense success of Alien (1979), there was bound to be an Alien sequel. To replace Ridley Scott as the director, the studio hired James Cameron, who was hot at the time from his recently successful Terminator (1984).
As a result, this film was equally successful and surpassed a lot of expectations. To this day, the film stands at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, the same as the original Alien. That’s why it is perhaps the best sequel to any type of film ever made.
- Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
- Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
- The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
What are your favorite horror film sequels of all time? Share with us in the comments!