Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' The 10 Best Films Of 2004 The 10 Best Films Of 2004 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

The Playlist's Guide To Horror Sequels Worth Screaming About

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist April 15, 2011 at 7:32AM

If it’s one thing that horror movies are good at, particularly in the past decade with our annual “Saw” installments, it’s churning out sequels – like this weekend’s not-very-good “Scream 4.” (To quote “Scream 2” -- “Sequels suck, they are, by definition, inferior product.”) While most of these movies are blatant cash-grabs by studios that know the relative inexpensiveness of the films can boost their bottom line, there are a few that exceed our admittedly low expectations. But a feature called “Horror Sequels That Exceed Our Admittedly Low Expectations” would have kind of been a mouthful, so we went with the above instead. And given those set of rules, we decided to forgo grading the films, instead letting the writing speak for itself.
51

scream 4
If it’s one thing that horror movies are good at, particularly in the past decade with our annual “Saw” installments, it’s churning out sequels – like this weekend’s not-very-good “Scream 4.” (To quote “Scream 2” -- “Sequels suck, they are, by definition, inferior product.”) While most of these movies are blatant cash-grabs by studios that know the relative inexpensiveness of the films can boost their bottom line, there are a few that exceed our admittedly low expectations. But a feature called “Horror Sequels That Exceed Our Admittedly Low Expectations” would have kind of been a mouthful, so we went with the above instead. And given those set of rules, we decided to forgo grading the films, instead letting the writing speak for itself.

The good thing, of course, about horror sequels, which almost always have lower budgets than their predecessors, is that they are occasionally riskier – with such little cash up front they can afford to take chances creatively. Not that horror sequels are known for their artfulness, but we think we’ve wrangled up a bunch that, if not worthy of placement in canonical film lore, try things differently and don’t completely shame the original. Some are even, dare we say it, bloody good?

“Aliens" (1986)
To call this film a masterpiece is to simply restate what’s already been said. James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's classic is commonly agreed upon as one of the best sequels ever made, right up there with “The Godfather Part II” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” and a textbook example of how to continue a story. Not simply a rehash of what came before, this sequel enriches the world of the characters (introducing the Queen Alien) and assembles a terrific ensemble cast (including Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton and Lance Henricksen, among others). And like those aforementioned films, this is the installment where the lead, Sigourney Weaver, in an Oscar nominated performance, becomes a total badass. Though not a straight-ahead horror film like the original, Cameron still manages to include some real scares among the action. The opening act of the film is an exercise in restraint; besides a dream sequence the alien doesn’t make an appearance until almost an hour in (truly remarkable, especially for a sequel). This gives the film a chance to establish all the new characters, so that the tension is nearly unbearable when all hell finally breaks loose. One of the best action films of all time is a sequel to one of the best horror films of all time -- only Cameron could pull something like this off.

“Blade II” (2002)
The first "Blade," with its innumerable stylistic embellishments (many of them both resembling and predating similar moments in "The Matrix") and comic book origins, was more of a superhero action movie that happened to feature a whole bunch of vampires. With the sequel, newly installed director Guillermo del Toro wanted instead to put some scariness in there along with all the automatic weapons and karate chops to the forehead. Along those lines he equipped the sequel with an even nastier villain – the Reapers, a strain of super-vampire led by Luke Goss, who have mouths that open up, with a flourish of vaginal imagery, to reveal a razor-lined maw. Del Toro also gives Blade (Wesley Snipes, again) a "Dirty Dozen"-ish band of vampires to interact with (among them: Ron Perlman and Donnie Yen). The resulting film is richer in character and detail, with del Toro's fantastical tableaus popping like particularly beautiful panels off a comic book page. Oh, and it was scary too.

This article is related to: Films, Feature, Scream 4


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates