In honor of the October 28th release of Jigsaw – the highly anticipated return of the Saw franchise after seven years of dormancy – iHorror has decided to take a quick look at some other horror franchises that came back to life after a long period of inactivity.
The 10 resurrections listed below range from the successful to the abysmal, and are listed in order of shortest gap in time to longest. It should be noted that we’re only counting franchises that returned with a sequel or prequel to the previous film, not a remake or reboot that overwrote the existing continuity. Let’s get started.
After the critical and commercial failure of the Myers-less Halloween III – horror fans love it now, but audiences then despised it – it took six years for Michael to return and reignite his stalled franchise. There was another six year gap between 1989’s terrible Halloween 5, and 1995’s also pretty terrible Halloween 6.
The inspiration for this piece, next weekend will see Jigsaw’s twisted game return to theaters, just in time for Halloween. After a long period where a new Saw entry was released every single year, it’s now been seven since fans got another addition to Jigsaw’s complex puzzle. Here’s hoping it’s worth the long wait.
After New Line Cinema acquired Jason in the early 90s, the first thing they did was try and kill him off. Jason’s trip to hell stuck for awhile, with it taking nine long years for Mrs. Voorhees’ baby boy to return for more bloodshed in the super fun future-set sequel Jason X. The world needs more Uber Jason.
After meta sequel New Nightmare masterfully brought creator Wes Craven’s journey through the Elm Street series to a close, it took nine long years for Robert Englund to get back under the Freddy make-up in order to beat the crap out of Jason. Sadly, this marked the end of Englund’s tenure as the Springwood Slasher.
It’s fair to say that most Chucky fans were unimpressed by 2004’s ridiculously silly Seed, which served as franchise creator Don Mancini’s directorial debut. Yet, nine years later, Mancini returned to helm Curse, which took Chucky back to his sadistic roots, and is in the opinion of some the best sequel in the series.
Here’s a clear example of when a franchise resurrection wasn’t for the best. The Final Conflict wrapped up the original Omen trilogy nicely, and featured a brilliant performance from a young Sam Neill as Damien. Ten years later, the made for TV Omen IV featured Lifetime movie level acting and scares.
After an 11 year hiatus, late horror master Wes Craven came back to try and revive the Scream series for a new generation of young moviegoers. Scream 4 came and went from theaters without much fanfare, although it definitely has its fans, and it’s nice to see Sidney, Dewey, and Gale back together again.
After grindhouse classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre put director Tobe Hooper on the map, it took him a whopping 12 years to return to the world of the cannibalistic Sawyer clan. Audiences at the time weren’t exactly thrilled by how comedic TCM2 ended up being, but the sequel’s stock has increased since then.
Exorcist II’s reputation as being perhaps the worst sequel in horror history precedes it, and while there might actually be worse sequels, it’s hard to think of a bigger drop in quality from a first film to a second. Thankfully, The Exorcist III would arrive 13 years later to prove that not all Exorcist sequels have to suck.
Unlike most series, long delays between entries in the legendary George Romero’s Dead franchise were the exception instead of the rule. There was a 10 year gap between Night and Dawn, and then a 7 year gap between Dawn and Day. The longest period of inactivity occurred between Day and Land, which came out a whole 20 years apart. Fueled by the success of Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn, Land saw Universal give Romero more money to work with than he would ever have before or since.