Being a horror fan is tough. In order to track down the gems, you have to wade through oceans of junk. You have to endure a dozen stinkers in order to discover that unknown winner. You have to put up with cheap knock-offs and direct to DVD nonsense to find an impressive indie. For every good horror movie, there are a dozen losers.
Narrowing down the 10 worst horror sequels of all time is a nearly impossible task. There are too many losers and too many varying opinions on what's acceptable/forgivable. Not to mention, there's a point where a movie is so bad it's good again. This list isn't science, but we do think it's tough to defend any of the films listed below. Here are 10 of the worst horror sequels ever made.
No list of awful horror sequels would be complete without this infamous slice of schlock, lovingly considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. 'Troll 2' has nothing to do with the first (and pretty good) 'Troll,' instead focusing on a family who encounters a group of evil vegetarian goblins who transform their human victims into plants before eating them.
It's a completely nonsensical experience, seemingly made by aliens who were tasked with making a movie despite knowing nothing about how human beings talk or interact. It's also completely charming and hilarious throughout, making it the only movie on this list that you should actually see. The "so bad that's good" discussion ends right here.
'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2'
When 'The Blair Witch Project' hit theaters in 1999, it changed the foundation of the horror genre overnight and we're still seeing its lasting impact to this very day. Although horror fans will be quick to cite the first film as one of the most influential movies ever made, the sequel has all-but-vanished from memory and for good reason: it's awful.
Perhaps the greatest sin committed by 'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2' is that it's content to be painfully dull and straightforward. It's an insult to everyone who made the first film a smash hit -- they took a film that shook the genre to its core and felt content to rush a slapdash and by-the-numbers sequel out a year later to capitalize on its success. This is a poor film in any context, but it suffers even more when measured against its predecessor.
'The Howling: New Moon Rising'
Like so many long-running horror franchises, the 'Howling' series started off so well. Joe Dante's original film remains a hugely entertaining werewolf flick, but the series took an immediate nosedive with Part 2. Although fans can debate which film is the franchise nadir, we don't think it's a contest. 'The Howling: New Moon Rising is the seventh film in the series and for our money, it's easily the worst.
This is the kind of werewolf movie where there is more time dedicated to square dancing montages than werewolves. This is the kind of mystery where the "Who is the werewolf?" question will be solved by anyone who has seen at least one movie before. Heck, there isn't even any cool gore and werewolf effects to fall back on -- this is the kind of low budget production that could afford only two or three werewolf scenes, meaning that the bulk of the film is spent watching lousy actors talk to each other in lousy southern accents.
'Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2'
'Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2' has one legitimately amazing moment of camp that has already achieved infamy through YouTube. In fact, you've probably already seen the scene in question and if you haven't, you need to stop and watch the clip above, right now.
Once you've seen that, you have no reason to see the rest of the movie, which has just as many "flashbacks" to the original film as it does new material. 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' is no classic (it's actually kind of awful), but at least it was a complete movie. It's sequel is a no-budget cash-in that only achieves feature length by having the lead character recap the first movie for most of the running time. Few movies have had this much contempt for their audience.
'Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare'
Every horror icon reaches a point where they stop being scary and start being a joke, but Freddy Krueger of the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series hastened that process by becoming a goofy practical joker by the third film. Dropping just as many lousy puns as horny teenagers, Freddy's dreamworld murder sprees became increasingly comedic as the series went on, but they only became truly unbearable in the sixth film, 'Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.'
Anyone still hoping for a scare or two from Robert Englund's scarred child murderer will feel their soul break as they watch him strap on a Power Glove for a video game-centric kill. Anyone hoping that the "final" film in the series would send Freddy out with a bang gets to see him lamely dispatched with a stick of dynamite. This is a lazy and hackneyed production that treats its villain as a cuddly mascot instead of a crazed killer. Everyone involved should have been ashamed of themselves then and should be ashamed of themselves now.
John Carpenter's original 'Halloween' is, without argument, one of the best horror films ever made. Of course, that makes the series' descent into mediocrity and eventually, utter nonsense, all the more depressing. Fans will bicker back and forth about where the franchise truly lost its edge, but you'll generally find horror buffs in universal agreement that 'Halloween: Resurrection' is the absolute worst of the lot.
After an insulting opening that completely undoes the ending of 'Halloween: H20' and officially removes Jamie Lee Curtis from the franchise, the film descends into utter nonsense, following a group of blank pretty people who are tasked with exploring masked killer Michael Myers' childhood home as part of an internet horror show. Naturally, they all start to die and everything happens exactly how you expect it to happen. Fans may complain about Rob Zombie's utterly weird remake of the first film, but at least that movie didn't feature Michael fighting Busta Rhymes.
'Silent Hill: Revelation'
People have been making awful horror movies for decades, so it takes something really special to break into the upper tier of bad horror sequels. So, congratulations to 'Silent Hill: Revelation,' which, despite being a 2012 release, has already more-than-earned its place as one of the worst horror sequels ever made.
While the first 'Silent Hill' film made up for its nonsensical plot with a spooky atmosphere, the sequel is painful nonsense from frame one, lurching from one half-baked set piece to another. While a few big name actors show up to phone in their performances (Sean Bean and Malcolm McDowell seem to gritting their teeth and thinking about their paychecks), the rest of the film rests on the shoulders of Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harington, who earn an extended stay in actor's jail for their work here. It's especially strange to watch Harington, who's perfectly fine on 'Game of Thrones,' drag down every scene he's in with the worst American accent you'll ever hear. This is complete and utter nonsense, made for pennies and made my people with a tin ear for dialogue, tension and plotting.
No horror franchise has had the diminishing returns of the 'Hellraiser' franchise, which went from undisputed classic to unwatchable over the course of three movies. Picking the worst of the bunch is quite the challenge, but we've got to give the dishonor to 'Hellraiser: Revelations,' the ninth and so far, final film in the series.
Although whether or not this is actually the worst of the bunch is debatable, the story of its production pushes it right to the top. Written, shot and released over the course of a few months on a shoestring budget, the film was made solely so the studio could hold onto the 'Hellraiser' rights as part of their plan to produce a remake of the first film. This was a project made for such cynical reasons that Doug Bradley, as Pinhead, the star of every other film in the series, declined to join. On the surface, it's just another atrocious 'Hellraiser' sequel, but the nasty story of its production elevates it to something truly loathsome.
To watch 'Jaws: The Revenge' without alcohol or another mind-altering substance is to watch one of the most depressing film productions of all time. How did Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws,' one of the best films ever made, lead to this?
While the first film remains a horror benchmark that uses subtlety, well-drawn characters and technical precision to build scares, the fourth and final film in the series is a nightmare of lousy acting and poor filmmaking. Gone are the subtle shots that suggest the presence of a killer shark, and in its place are the many shots of the hilariously fake shark leaping out of the water. Gone are the likable characters who we care about deeply and instead are a bunch of actors cynically collecting paychecks. Gone is any sense of class whatsoever.
Everything you need to know about 'Jaws: The Revenge' is the plot, which suggests that sharks keep on attacking the Brody family out of a need for vengeance. Seriously. It's difficult to taint the legacy of a a film as good as 'Jaws,' but this movie sure does try.
'Leprechaun 4: In Space' obviously doesn't want you to take it seriously, but that doesn't excuse it from being one of the most miserable movies ever made. The 'Leprechaun' franchise was always goofy (and always not-good), but the fourth entry takes Warwick Davis' pint-sized psycho to painful new lows, offering excruciating comedy in place of anything remotely resembling horror.
As the title implies, the fourth 'Leprechaun' film journeys into the cosmos, where the title creature matches wits with alien princesses and astronauts on board a spaceship that looks like it was built by a high school tech theater class. It's all so boring and cheap-looking, paced so poorly that its brisk running time feels like three hours. If you think this sounds like it's good for a laugh, don't bother. There are plenty of awful horror movies actually worthy of your attention (see: 'Troll 2'). This film exists because the thought of a Leprechaun rampaging in space is supposed to catch your eye at the video rental store (or, uh, Netflix). Don't pick it up. Don't let it win.