Exclusive Features
Anniversaries, Cover Stories, Editorials,
Interviews, Lists, and Comprehensive Rankings

Ranking: Every Horror Movie Sequel From Worst to Best

on October 29, 2018, 6:15pm

125. Underworld: Awakening (2012)


Awakening is a significant improvement over the 2009 prequel Rise of the Lycans which is one of the nicer things you can say about the latest installment in the Underworld franchise. Selene (and Kate Beckinsale’s considerable charisma and catsuit-wearing skills) are back, and now she has a vampire/lycan/human hybrid child named Eve. Michael (Scott Speedman) appears only in archival footage. Vampires and lycans continue to fail at diplomacy. And apparently we’ll get more of the same soon! —Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

124. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

The first two Insidious movies are so tremendously boring. I honestly can’t fathom how these films were both financially successful and critically acclaimed. I am sitting here at my desk getting angry thinking about Insidious: Chapter 2, which I know is one of the most pathetic sentences ever written. Here’s what I wrote in my review of Insidious: Chapter 3: “the Insidious movies are more Halloween costume than horror movie, relying on anachronistic aesthetics — candlelit hallways, vintage dresses, dollface makeup, marionettes, the list goes on — to tap into a universally accepted idea of horror, rather than anything truly uncanny.” That sums it up. –Randall Colburn
__________________________________________________________

123. Saw V (2008)

The worst of the series, undone by the franchise’s bizarre belief that we give a single fuck about the histories of its bland supporting cast. Saw V mostly concerns the backstory of Costas Mandylor’s Detective Mark Hoffman, a main antagonist/Jigsaw apprentice who is so boring and Jesus Christ why would anyone ever want to watch this. Completely inessential, even for fans of the franchise. –Randall Colburn

__________________________________________________________

122. Blair Witch (2016)

When it was revealed that Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s The Woods was actually a sequel to Blair Witch, the announcement was met with quite a bit of excitement for a sequel that arrived 16 years too late. The film ended up disappointing audiences, but who knows that they were expecting from a reboot of a franchise that appears wasn’t meant to be. The film’s third act delivers plenty of claustrophobic scares and some inventive takes on the genre (the drone in particular), but in the end Blair Witch is nothing more than a found footage potboiler. Maybe this was Wingard attempting to make sure there was never another Blair Witch like Gus Van Sant did with Psycho. –Mike Vanderbilt
__________________________________________________________

121. The Grudge 2 (2006)

Many horror sequels try to significantly up the gore and body count in an effort to give viewers something more and a little different from what they liked in the original. This sequel to the 2004 Japanese-American remake of the 2002 Japanese film, Ju-On: The Grudge, does something a little different. While only slightly darker and deadlier than The Grudge, it really doubles down on its predecessor’s unfocused plot to offer something maddeningly incomprehensible. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

120. Underworld: Evolution (2006)

Director Len Wiseman and screenwriter Danny McBride’s world-building skills start to show signs of strain in the second offering from their Underworld series about vampires, werewolves (known as lycans), and Kate Beckinsale’s considerable charisma and catsuit-wearing skills. But Beckinsale’s considerable charisma and catsuit-wearing skills are at least able to smooth out some of the weak story’s rougher edges as her character, the vampire Selene, and her vampire/lycan pal, Michael (Scott Speedman), face off against the original vampire. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

119. The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)

Noticing a trend here? This is the second subpar sequel of a Alexandre Aja remake (see: Piranha 3DD above). Once again, the follow-up can’t live up to Aja’s twisted vision, even though Martin Weisz comes a hell of a lot closer than John Gulager. After opening with one of the more twisted visuals in torture porn horror — a captive woman forced to breed mutant children — the story collapses from redundancy and a lack of sustainable characters. Which is strange since Wes Craven, who wrote and directed the original films, penned this remake sequel with his son, Jonathan. Bummer. –Michael Roffman
__________________________________________________________

118. Slumber Party Massacre Part II (1990)

The Slumber Party Massacre films have the distinction of being the rare slashers that are written and directed by women. The film features Crystal Bernard (Wings) as one of the survivors of the original film who is working through the disturbing events of five years prior. She’s now playing guitar in a pretty good pop-rock band who get away for a weekend to practice. Some guys show up to get in on the fun and it isn’t long before what appears to be “the Bowser” in a Sha-Na-Na tribute band shows up with a gloriously phallic guitar drill to off the boys and girls one by one. It takes 50 minutes to get there, but the musical numbers are a sight to behold. –Mike Vanderbilt
__________________________________________________________

117. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Retribution, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) escapes from an Umbrella base, faces clones of old foes, and finds herself responsible for the fate of what’s left of the human race. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

116. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993)

The first time I saw the trailer for Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, I was convinced the bad guy was played by the same cool actor who played Rudy in The Monster Squad. It wasn’t him. The Final Sacrifice is not directly based on Stephen King material as the original was, but does feature more teens killing in the name of He Who Walks Behind the Rows. While it isn’t “The Final” entry of the series, it’s the final one to see theatrical release. For good reason. –Justin Gerber
__________________________________________________________

115. Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Despite the odd moment that borders on bordering on inspired (you can’t go too wrong with a creepy amusement park), Revelation might be one of the most ironically named films of all time. The second film based on the Silent Hill video game series almost entirely fails to capitalize on its source material, its stereoscopic technology, and its surprisingly starish—studded cast and mostly makes you wish that you were watching them be Jon Snow, Boromir, Trinity, and Alex DeLarge, instead. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

114. Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is not as nasty as its predecessor, barely takes place on Christmas, and a good chunk of the film’s 88-minute runtime is comprised of scenes from the original, but it gave the Internet “Garbage Day.” Thanks, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2! Film star Eric Freeman wants to make a direct sequel to the film, ignoring Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 and creating an alternate timeline in the Silent Night, Deadly Night cinematic universe. Okay. –Mike Vanderbilt
__________________________________________________________

113. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Extinction, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) wanders around a T-virus ravaged America looking for survivors, spends some time in Vegas, and eventually amasses a clone army to take on Umbrella. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

112. Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)

The original Urban Legends worked in a sort of bargain basement Scream way, playing on the mid- to late ‘90s penchant for snarky, self-aware commentary on horror clichés and also giving us some Pacey and Jordan Catalano. By the time this sequel came out in 2000, though, the subversion of horror tropes was becoming a trope in of itself, and this somewhat lackluster retread failed to bring anything new to either the Urban Legends franchise or the meta-horror subgenre as a whole. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

111. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Afterlife, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) takes on the Umbrella headquarters in Tokyo with her clones, goes to Alaska in search of the promised land, and tries to build a safe haven on a tanker. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

110. Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

The original Exorcist stands the test of time as one of the scariest films ever made, even for atheists, thanks to its horrific make-up effects and matter of fact treatment of supernatural events. Unfortunately for Exorcist II: The Heretic, the two most interesting characters of its predecessor died in the film’s final moments. Richard Burton stumbles through futurist-style sets and swats away locusts for most of the film’s runtime, and while a satisfactory call back to the original film, the exciting climax is too little too late.–Mike Vanderbilt
__________________________________________________________

109. Species II (1998)

Come for the H.R. Giger creatures, stay for the… Wait, what? He didn’t return for the sequel? You wouldn’t know it, as Species II builds upon the first film’s biomechanical sexuality with more strobe lights, more tentacles, and an alien design that’s both alluring and nightmarish. Unfortunately, that’s about all the movie has going for it, and you don’t even see most of the gooey effects until the end. Before that, the central conflict of an infected astronaut fucking his way to world domination is more Skinemax than bona-fide science fiction. –Dan Caffrey
__________________________________________________________

108. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

It’s sorta fun to watch Hollywood flail around with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, a series it legit has no idea what to do with anymore. In this one, the bae Alexandra Daddario stars and Leatherface is used as both slasher and antihero. There might be no more cringeworthy phrase in modern horror than, “Get ‘em, cuz.” –Randall Colburn
__________________________________________________________

107. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

An offering from the Resident Evil film franchise is like a fast food meal: You know it’s not “good” for you, but it reliably and predictably satisfies a certain craving and it’s not really fair to judge it too harshly when it never sets out to be anything other than what it is. In Apocalypse, Alice (consistently bad ass Milla Jovovich) kicks a bunch of ass and narrowly escapes Raccoon City when the T-virus breaks out of The Hive and reaches the surface. –Sarah Kurchak
__________________________________________________________

106. Saw III (2006)

Saw III is one of the more stomach-churning entries in the franchise, with one especially long, agonizing sequence where each of a dude’s limbs get slowly twisted back until they snap. There’s also the dude drowning in pig guts. Some memorable kills, sure, but the story itself is fairly laborious, with actor Angus Macfadyen having to indulge pathos a bit too much as a character whose son died in a hit-and-run. It’s one of the crueler entries, honestly, which is surprising considering it’s also one of the highest-grossing. Pain sells, I guess. –Randall Colburn
__________________________________________________________

105. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

Whatever you may think about the original, the jump scare at the end was pretty cool. Unfortunately, this movie’s mere existence reminds us how that moment was just a dream, and by the end of this movie you too will be wishing it never happened. Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) returns with some new friends and they win a trip to an island and you know where this is going and the bad guy from the original and his son are in on it and boring. Oh, and Jack Black makes an appearance as a stoner dude. –Justin Gerber
__________________________________________________________

104. Saw 3D (2010)

As the Saw series became the Friday The 13th series for a younger generation (both cheaply produced and cranked out year after year), it was only fitting that the torture porn franchise got a “Final Chapter” and a “3D” entry. Saw 3D, aka Saw VII, continues the ambitiously serialized franchise with one more low-budget entry. Per usual, the traps are inventive enough (and probably pay off more in 3D), the gore is plenty gross, the cast is basic cable attractive, and the production value is somewhere between an Asylum film and a SyFy channel original series. Cary Elwes returns for the final entry in the saga and the film continues its long tradition of retconning what audiences thought they already knew in the third act. –Mike Vanderbilt
__________________________________________________________

103. Demons 2 (1986)

Lamberto Bava’s follow-up to his own superior original entry (Demons, or Demoni as it’s known in Italy) takes us from a local cinema to a high-rise apartment complex. Isn’t as nasty and strange as the original, but that somehow works against it. Memorable for the child demon that adorns its poster and a birthday party gone horribly wrong. Keep an eye out for a young Asia Argento, whose father, Dario, co-wrote and produced the film. –Justin Gerber
__________________________________________________________

102. The Ring Two (2005)

The Ring 2 is so stupid and pointless that it’s goddamned shocking to realize it was directed by Hideo Nakata, who helmed the original Japanese Ringu. Remember the CGI deer? Probably not, actually. Nobody remembers this movie. It is so completely, hilariously inessential to what was, by and large, both a seminal American horror movie and one of the rare remakes to surpass its original. It’s nice that Naomi Watts came back, though. –Randall Colburn
__________________________________________________________

101. Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985)

Unintentionally hilarious, Howling 2 features-

Oh. Sorry. Ahem…

Unintentionally hilarious, Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf features an opening straight out of Dune with Christopher Lee narrating the legend of the lycanthrope in the stars. We’re a long way from the local news station in the original. Long story short, movie’s garbage with the most bizarre end credits sequence you’ll ever see (let’s just say it involves nudity), but does have the greatest title track in the history of cinema. –Justin Gerber
__________________________________________________________

6 comments