In the annals of horror history, there are many sequels that rise above expectations to either equal or in some rare cases arguably surpass the classics that spawned them. Films like A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives come to mind as good examples of that phenomenon.
However, the 10 films we’re going to take a look at today rest on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from something like Bride of Frankenstein. These 10 sequels are – to put it bluntly – really, really bad. In some cases so bad that they almost cast a dark shadow across the legacies of their progenitors. The following 10 films are presented in no particular order, but rest assured, all of them suck. Without any further ado, let’s begin digging through the horror sequel gutter and see what type of refuse we can find.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
The problems with Halloween: Resurrection start right away, courtesy of Michael Myers’ rushed, anti-climactic murder of series heroine Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in the film’s opening sequence. Adding to the torment is the completely half-assed, kinda sorta found footage angle that dominates a good chunk of the movie, in a clear attempt to try and rip off the aesthetic of the only a few years old at the time The Blair Witch Project.Topping things off are the absolutely dreadful performances of rapper Busta Rhymes and former supermodel Tyra Banks. Busta’s work is particularly egregious, spinkicking Michael Myers like the world’s most annoying ninja, and ultimately uttering the immortal line that gives this article its title.
American Psycho II: All American Girl (2002)
As any fan would know, the very idea of doing a sequel to American Psycho is kind of self-defeating, as the film’s ending deliberately leaves things vague as to whether Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) has really killed all those people, or just imagined it all within his twisted mind. American Psycho II quickly clears that up by having Bateman (now played by some generic actor) get killed by a 12-year-old girl while attempting to murder her babysitter. Well, okay then. This girl grows up to be a young Mila Kunis, who herself is now a serial killer. If you think the idea of tiny Mila Kunis killing people sounds unbelievable, just wait until she tries to seduce William Shatner. Yes, THAT William Shatner.
Children of the Corn: Revelation (2001)
There really isn’t much to say about this, the seventh(!) film in the inexplicably long-running Children of the Corn franchise. The plot – such as it is – follows a woman who travels to Nebraska after her grandmother mysteriously goes missing. He Who Walks Behind the Rows-based shenanigans ensue, and massive amounts of boredom are had by all. Seriously, if anyone reading this is looking for an insomnia cure, just fire up this mess. You’ll be out within minutes. Worst of all, the great Michael Ironside is wasted in a complete nothing role. Misusing Michael Ironside should be illegal.
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Probably the most famously awful sequel on today’s list, Exorcist II is an absolute travesty, and in many ways a stain on the reputation of the classic original. The story follows a 16-year-old Regan (Linda Blair) as she attempts to move on with her life after the whole “being possessed by foul-mouthed demons” thing. That is until Father Lamont (Richard Burton) arrives, on a mission to discover the truth behind Father Merrin’s (Max Von Sydow) death. Naturally, this stirs up Regan’s dormant demonic persona, leading to one of the most bat**** crazy sequels in history. If you’ve ever wanted to see James Earl Jones dressed up like a giant bug, or a priest seriously consider banging a teenage girl, this is the movie for you.
The Birds II: Land’s End (1994)
This next one is probably the most obscure of today’s picks, but if you’ve seen it, you know why it’s here. A made-for-cable sequel to Hitchcock’s 1963 suspense classic, The Birds II stars a bunch of people you’ve never heard of in what is basically a poorly done retelling of the first movie’s story. To give you an idea of how bad this steaming pile is, director Rick Rosenthal demanded his name be taken off it, and the film instead be credited to Alan Smithee. That’s the same Rick Rosenthal who directed Halloween: Resurrection, and was fine with his name staying on it. Yikes. Another person who hates this film is The Birds star Tippi Hedren, who played a small role in the sequel. “It’s absolutely horrible, it embarrasses me horribly,” said Hedren in 2002.
Firestarter: Rekindled (2002)
Wow, 2002 was a really shitty year for horror sequels, huh? Another one many of you probably haven’t heard of, Firestarter: Rekindled was made for the Sci-Fi Channel, and stars Marguerite Moreau as an adult Charlie McGee. Sadly, Charlie still struggles with controlling her powers, especially when she has sex, as apparently getting horny makes her burn things. On her trail is the somehow still alive John Rainbird (now played by a slumming Malcolm McDowell), who of course wants her back in his clutches because he’s a huge creep. Dennis Hopper is also in this movie for some reason.
The Ring Two (2005)
The first in a string of Americanized J-horror remakes in the early 2000s, The Ring (2002) surprised everyone by being kind of amazing, and in some ways even better than the original. Naturally, this led to lots of anticipation for 2005 sequel The Ring Two, directed by franchise originator Hideo Nakata. Unfortunately, what resulted was one of the biggest letdowns in modern horror history, an absolute mess of a movie that sucked all the fear factor out The Ring and replaced it with ridiculous moments like Naomi Watts screaming “I’m not your f***ing mommy” at Samara. Plus, one can’t forget the CGI deer attack, featuring animals who would’ve looked right at home in a PS1 cutscene.
Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)
Possibly the worst of the sequels on this list is Hellraiser: Revelations, a “film” thrown together in a couple of weeks by Dimension Films so they wouldn’t lose the rights to the Hellraiser franchise. Seemingly made on a budget of about $500, Revelations is a grade-A piece of crap, with absolutely zero redeeming qualities. It’s also the only Hellraiser film to date without Doug Bradley playing Pinhead, who presumably read the script and ran away screaming. Still, at least Clive Barker doesn’t have the rights to his creation back, and that’s what really matters, right Dimension?
Amityville Dollhouse (1996)
Right up there with Children of the Corn in the “I can’t believe this movie got so many sequels” department is Amityville, and Dollhouse – the eighth(!) in the series – is perhaps the worst in an incredibly rotten bunch. Featuring dreadful acting, a made-for-Lifetime look and feel, rubbery looking special effects, and an inexplicable subplot about a mother who desperately wants to bang her stepson, Dollhouse is one of those movies that it’s astounding even got made. For the record, half of this list could conceivably have been Amityville sequels, as I’m pretty sure 90% of them were foretold in the Book of Revelation.
Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis & Rave to the Grave (2005)
Filmed back to back, these two abominations give Hellraiser: Revelations a real run for its money in the awful department. Featuring plots that border on incomprehensible, terrible gore effects and zombie make-up, and a cast that bizarrely plays completely different characters in each film, both ROTLD 4 and ROTLD 5 are the type of movie a particularly cruel Satan would force the damned to watch on a loop in hell. Of course, the real victim here is Peter Coyote (E.T., The 4400), who spends his entire screen time with a pained look on his face that says “when filming wraps, my agent is fired.”
That’s it for iHorror’s look at some of the worst horror sequels ever. Agree with the list? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.