Movie sequels are interesting to me. They're incredibly divisive, as you have some who can't wait for a follow-up to a film they love and others who say they're unnecessary cash grabs. I think both are correct. Yes, a sequel to a successful film means more money. But if the film turns out to be good, it's a win-win situation for movie makers and movie fans. I would like to present 3 of my favorite horror sequels that I feel do not ever get the attention they deserve. They aren't obscure, unknown titles. They're actually all from top successful horror franchises and yet being sequels, they're always being downed for not beating the original film that spawned them. Let's get that out of the way now. None of these sequels are better than the first entries in their franchises, but in my mind, they're much better sequels than we see in the horror genre nowadays.
1. Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers
After a third Halloween film that didn't feature Michael Myers, the producers of these films realized the masked slasher was what people wanted to see. So, naturally, they brought him back in Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers, in which we discover that Michael (and Dr. Loomis) survived the explosion at the end of Halloween 2. An attempt to transfer Michael's comatose body naturally goes horribly wrong and our beloved boogeyman escapes, finds his signature mask and coveralls and returns to his hometown to stalk his young niece. I love this movie. It's my favorite Halloween film after the first one. Sure, this one, like a few other sequels in the series suffers from a bad mask, but the pacing is great, the focus is still more on suspense than gore and the young characters we're following are well written. They look and feel like real kids, something I wish I could say about more horror films centered on young people. Bonus points for a creative kill which sees a young woman getting impaled with a shotgun.
2. Scream 2
This one gets a lot of hate and I don't understand it. Actually, I should point out that even the first film has received a backlash in recent years for reasons that I may pick apart in another article at some point. But for the most part, people, die hard horror fans or not, know and enjoy the first Scream film. But Scream 2 has a bad reputation why? It's basically more of the same, but sometimes that's not a bad thing. The survivors of the first film return and they're all still lovable, it earns it's R-Rating with a nice amount of bloodshed and just like the first one it has a very successful mystery element as you try to figure out who's behind the Ghostface mask this time around. The reveal, to me, is a very satisfying one that tips its hat to the killer in a classic 80's slasher film. Honestly, in my opinion, when it comes to slasher sequels, they don't get much better than Scream 2. Especially notable for the opening kill scene featuring Jada Pinkett-Smith and a truly suspenseful sequence where Sidney and her roommate are trapped in a police car and have to crawl over the body of the killer. To this day, I still tense up during that scene, even though I've seen it a million times.
3. Wes Craven's New Nightmare
One of my favorite movies of 2013 is This Is The End, an apocalyptic comedy in which actors play versions of themselves in a horrific (but played for laughs) situation. But do you remember when Wes Craven did it with the seventh film in the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise? The story here is that all the previous Nightmare films were truly just movies and this film takes place in the real world where a mysterious ancient evil has taken the form of Freddy Krueger and begins to menace actress Heather Langenkamp (playing herself) who starred in the original film as heroine Nancy. I find this movie to be so unique and interesting. With the increasingly atrocious sequels that followed the original film (Nightmare 3 being an exception) I feel that this film was a smart way to go about undoing the damage those films did to Krueger. It was certainly a better way of going about it than Halloween H20, which isn't a bad film, but basically just doesn't acknowledge films 4 through 6 in any way, opting to act as though those films never happened. This story line is quite meta and interestingly predates Craven's meta-masterpiece Scream by 2 years. I actually feel like had it not been used in Nightmare, this approach would have been perfect for a final ultimate meta Scream film.
As always, I want your feedback. Do you like any of these movies and feel they're underrated? What horror sequels do you love and feel don't get the attention and appreciation they deserve?