Crossfader’s Super Spooky Listicles: Horror Sequels You May Not Have Seen

The horror sequel; every single fan knows the sense of impending dread that occurs upon shuffling up to the ticket counter and throwing $15 down on a follow-up to one of your favorite films. Is it because you’re frightened of the potential scares? No, it’s because you know that you will only be disappointed once that reel starts to roll. We’ve picked five horror sequels that set themselves apart from the mold, standing strong as their own frightful experiences and occasionally surpassing the original.

super spooky listicles conjuring

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THE CONJURING 2

When James Wan fired on all cylinders and released THE CONJURING in 2013, viewers were treated to such high profile horror fare that it felt like an experience that would come around once every blue moon. But only three years later, THE CONJURING 2 was delivered. Larger and notably more complex, Wan’s sequel stands proud as somewhat of an American horror epic. This is a 133-minute fright fest that jumps between two continents and slowly but surely blends two separate narrative threads. In a way, THE CONJURING 2 almost feels like two separate films that meet halfway, horrifically playing with simple practical effects to shocking success. The use of booming growls and menacing screeches instill such a permeating sense of dread that this is actually among the few horror sequels that can claim to be innovative on top of good. [Sergio Zaciu]

super spooky listicles curse of chucky

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CURSE OF CHUCKY

I salute the brave few that had the audacity to check out the sixth installment of the CHILD’S PLAY franchise, especially since it was a clearly abandoned Universal project that was the only film in the series to be released direct-to-video. Thanks to those pioneers, our attention was brought to a sequel that somehow, against all odds, is one of the strongest installments in a legacy long gone to self-awareness and watered-down dark comedy. Gone is the (comparatively) more family-friendly wiseacre Chucky of the past few films; instead, director and original franchise creator Don Mancini puts all of his efforts into making Chucky a horror antagonist we’re scared of again. With a crippled protagonist that’s isolated in a singular location, there’s a lot to be frightened of, and watching the way Chucky alienates Nica and turns her family against her is a well-written bit of ironic narrative tension. Topped off with some exceptionally gory kills, CURSE OF CHUCKY is probably the best fifth sequel ever created. [Thomas Seraydarian]

super spooky listicles final destination

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FINAL DESTINATION 3

While by no means a perfect film, FINAL DESTINATION 3 still offers a lot of fresh promise for an installment in a franchise with such an easily recyclable premise. Although the first act ends up being too long, I have to give credit to James Wong for attempting to establish a strong contextual background for the rest of the movie to springboard off of. In addition, though it could have been more fully capitalized upon, there’s a unique “human” tension running underneath the curse, wherein if the last person in the chain is killed, the curse will stop. Of course, everyone only tunes in for the kill scenes, and FINAL DESTINATION 3 is impressive across the board, with hotbed and nail death scenes that are among the series’s most memorable. Only the most squeamish will find themselves experiencing actual dread, but this is a movie made for beer on a Friday night, and in that regard it’s definitely an enjoyable viewing experience. [Thomas Seraydarian]

super spooky listicles paranormal

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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

It seems like people are slowly but surely coming around to this movie, but I’ve said since I first saw this in 2011 that this is the scariest installment of the franchise, and the only one that can compete with the mercilessly economical original. While there are certainly elements present that hint at what would later entirely derail the franchise, this is the last movie to bring something tangible to the ever-more-bloated mythos, with a witch-based origin tale that manages to make at least some sense. But story aside, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 proves to be a masterful use of suspense and anticipation, with a much more nail-biting pace than the original, occasionally offering pregnant static shots that do nothing more than have us hold our breath until we can no longer do so. And besides, everything else aside, I will fight each and every person who claims that the “fan camera” isn’t the scariest fucking thing this series would ever have. [Thomas Seraydarian]

super spooky listicles the thing

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THE THING (2011)

You know what, I’m gonna say it. 2011’s THE THING was not as bad as we all say it is. In fact, I’d wager that the only reason we all wrote off this release so quickly is because anyone who had any stake in the Carpenter film also has a bone to pick with CGI. Granted, its categorization as a sequel is a little bit confusing since THE THING is somewhat of a prequel to John Carpenter’s film, but also a remake of the original 1951 film, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. Here’s the rub, though: THE THING has admittedly shoddy CGI, but if you pay close attention there are some absolutely breathtaking prosthetics work burried under this animation. But what it really functions as is great fan service. This is a confident play on the tropes that made Carpenter’s film work. The detective work and the cataclysmic series of events that lead up to the explosive finale are all well done. Everything a fan of THE THING could want is technically here, it’s just not done quite as well as we all hoped. [Sergio Zaciu]

Crossfader Staff

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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