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Third Times the Charm: Top Ten Horror Threequels

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Insidious Chapter three comes out this weekend solidifying itself as one of the latest horror franchises to make it to the third installment. This is what is known as a threequel, because everything needs a terrible pun. Often times horror concepts run out of steam after the first film, but these Threequels prove there is still a bit of story left. Sometimes they completely change the dynamics of the franchise or conclude the series in a great manner that turn the series into a nicely wrapped trilogy. Sometimes they bring the series to the next level allowing it to thrive once more and sometimes they make up for a crappy second film. These are the ten best horror threequels:




Honorable Mention: Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go to College

Guiltiest of pleasures.

Guiltiest of pleasures.

Everyone’s favorite toliet deweling deviants are going where their shenanigans would flourish: College. This film series is a guilty pleasure of mine and this film is no different. The film is heavily influence by films like Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds and takes an already weird series down an even weirder path.


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10. Return of the Living Dead 3


What is probably the last decent film of the franchise, this film is an undead love story with spikes and fishnets. But this one gets brownie points for not just rehashing characters and plot point from the first film.

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9. Scream 3


I debated putting this one on the list. While there is a lot of evidence that the meta nature of the series was losing its steam by this point, they still managed to give the trilogy a fun send off. Until the 4th came out poking at reboots/remakes. And now a TV series……

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8. Poltergeist 3

Poltergeist 3

After the disappointment of the second one, the third actually make the series scary again. Though it doesn’t touch the original, this film manages to create a lot of good scares. Brownie points for starring Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen

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7. Friday the 13th Part 3 -3D

Friday13th 3D

Jason is back and in the third dimension. This film is most notable for Jason finally donning the iconic hockey mask we all know and love. Other than that its him killing a group of over sexed teens in creative and gnarly ways. IN 3D! What more do you want?

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6. Exorcist III

Exorsist 3

The Exorcist II: The Heretic made the mistake of following Reagan after the exorcism, who turns out to be pretty boring when not possessed. William Peter Blatty corrected this mistake with the third installment bringing back both the demon and the priest who fought him in a true follow up to the iconic classic. 
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5. Halloween III: Season of the Witch


Leaving Michael Myers alone, this installment was intended to steer the franchise into becoming a series of anthology films with different tales of horror revolving around Halloween. But it came a film too late and many were furious that Myers was replaced with Tom Atkins and story about masks. Luckily this awesome story of macabre is now getting the proper attention it should have gotten years ago. 

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4. NIghtmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors


The second NOES film showed us why slasher films need a final girl and guy can’t fit into the formula (unless your name is Ash). The third installment not only brought back Heather, but also brought some others to bring the battle to Freddy’s doorstep breathing new life in a series that was almost dead with its second outing. 
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3. Army of Darkness


After Evil Dead 2‘s more comedic turn to the gorfest subgenere, Raimi & co went full blown comedy adventure in their third Evil Dead film. Heavily influence by the films of Ray Harryhausen and the Three Stooges, Army of Darkness is one of the funnest film out there. Hail to the king, baby. 

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2. The Omen III: The Final Conflict


What was (and should have been) the final chapter in a trilogy of films that was never intended to go past the first, The Final Conflict continues the trend of mimicking Jesus’s life events through Antichrist Damien Thorn. This film, though cheesy at certain points, boasts a darkly great performance by Sam Neil who is both charismatic and menacing as the adult Damien. The scene where Damien talks to a statue of Jesus is pure bliss to watch. 

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1. Day of the Dead

Day of the dead

Another film on this list that was over looked for years and has recently earned the respect it deserves, Day of the Dead takes a darkly comedic turn for the Dead franchise. The cinematography, score, social commentary, and over all progression of time on both the people and environment shown makes this film an under appreciated work of true horror. 

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And there you have it folks, the best third acts in horror franchises. Did we leave any off the list? do you agree or disagree? Am I blinded by my undying love for The Omen 3? What are you favorite threequels? What are the worst third parts in horror? Tells us in the comments below.

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