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Top 10 Worst Horror Sequels...

Posted by StuckintheSeventies423 on 5:28 PM

Well, we’re already into September which means I’ve waited long enough. Halloween is coming around again and so I’ve decided to make several lists dedicated to my beloved horror genre. I will be reviewing films that are both good and bad, classics and trash. I’ve subjected myself to many a bad film throughout the course of my life but it’s worth it when I stumble across something that doesn’t require the consumption of a six pack to find enjoyable. So besides a Top 20 list, I will be doing two separate lists for Best and Worst sequels (10 each). So, the countdown to Halloween begins now with the first half of the Top 10 Worst Horror Sequels. Are you scared yet?

10. Jason X (2002)

Usually, by the tenth film in any long running series the creators have already run low on ideas. So with Freddy vs. Jason on the back burner for another year, the good people at New Line Cinema decided to take Hell’s favorite goaltender to a realm he had never before gotten the chance to conquer. Outer fucking space! I’ve noticed that whenever a film series has to resort to putting its main character in space that it usually never works. It happened to James Bond with Moonraker as well as Count Dracula in Dracula 3000 (if you could put vomit into a DVD player, I’m pretty sure this would play on the screen). Now, it’s Jason’s turn! “It’s okay! He just wanted his machete back!”

Jason X starts out pretty promising with Jason breaking free of his chains at a research lab where he proceeds to kill about a dozen National Guardsmen in twenty seconds. After getting his trusty machete back (I wonder where he found it) he stalks a scientist into the bowels of the research lab where she shotguns him into a cryogenic freezing tank. However, Jason stabs through the thick metal door and causes a leak which leads to a lockdown of the entire lab and the scientist freezes with him. Three hundred years later, a team of students discover the bodies and they move them onboard their space ship (apparently, the Earth is dead and mankind now lives on Earth II…). They re-animate the scientist who tries to warn them about bringing Jason onboard but before you know it, Jason is up and walking around again. After wiping out the ship’s garrison of Starship Trooper wannabes, Jason actually gets his ass whooped and is definitively killed by this killer android chick. However, he falls on one of those reanimation beds and comes back more pissed than ever. Worse yet, now he’s made of metal. As their spaceship starts to fall apart, the remaining lackeys have to try and put as much distance as they can between themselves and the new T-800 Jason before a rescue ship can finally reach them.

To be honest, this movie plays out more like a comedy than a horror film. It’s nice to know that in the future, slasher movie victims will still be making the same dumb mistakes that they’ve already been making for thirty plus years. The script is peppered with atrocious dialogue with the worst lines being uttered right before a character meets their end. The CGI looks like something out of a lousy video game and I still can’t get over Jason’s ridiculous cyborg getup. If these machines repair bone and flesh, then why is Jason made of metal now? Also, shouldn’t the ship be depressurizing as Jason knocks down all of those doors? Now I’m just nitpicking. In space… no can hear you laugh!

9. Scream 3 (2000)

The first Scream was brilliantly simple with its engrossing mystery and well developed characters while Scream 2 was more of the same but with a bigger body count and less story. With Scream 3, they tried to combine the best of both worlds. What we ended up getting was a convoluted mess of a movie that hardly feels like either of its predecessors as it tries to deconstruct the rules of a trilogy. There’s a reason why there aren’t many trilogies in the horror genre and that’s because they aren’t easy to pull off. The problem with Scream 3 is that there’s too much back-story considering that this is already the third film in the series. Everything that happens in this movie seems to be getting pulled out of left field for the sake of having things come full circle. Shit, even the recently released Scream 4 seemed to drop any direct connections with Scream 3. All for the better, I say. Welcome to the final act… Not!

The movie opens in typical Scream fashion with a few creepy phone calls and the killings of two people. Interestingly enough, good old Ghostface seems to have gotten his hands on a voice changer that can perfectly duplicate the voices of any of his intended victims. Seriously, who has this kind of technology? It isn’t long before the killer makes it clear that he’s after Sidney Prescott (again) when he starts leaving photos of her mother (murdered before the events of the first film) from when she spent time in Hollywood as an actress. Unfortunately, this means that Sidney really isn’t the big fish in this one. In fact, she’s really not in the movie very much at all as her friends do most of the snooping around. She’s also wearing the same shit she wore in the previous film. All the focus on her mother makes Sidney look pretty insignificant in this one. Poor girl.

This film also suffers from one of the weakest “reveals” in the series and the shocking level of violence from the previous two has been watered down and replaced by comedic moments that come across as more awkward than anything else. Jay and Silent Bob make a cameo as well as Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). One other particularly out of place scene has to be when the house explodes. Did anyone else think that was a bit much for a Scream flick? This one is a drastic departure from its predecessors and I for one am glad that they finally made another somewhat better film to close the series out.

8. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

By the late 80’s, the slasher boom was in serious decline and by 1989 it was clear that the end was coming soon. All of the iconic slasher villains of the 80’s were no longer scary as each new sequel watered the characters down just a little more. The eighth Friday the 13th film is the perfect example of a franchise that had completely run out of steam. By this point, we really don’t care about any character other than Jason because no one acts like a real person in this movie. Shit even Jason looks bored in this one. He walks soooo slow which is probably why this is the longest running entry in the series. The film is also somewhat falsely advertised as Jason Takes Manhattan, yet the first 2/3’s of the movie take place on a luxury cruise ship (should’ve been called Jason Takes the Titanic).

All the stock characters are in place for this one including the geek, the jock, the slut, the film student with the funky eyebrows, the rocker chick with the pink guitar, the asshole teacher, and the crazy girl with issues. Do we care about any of them? You bet your ass we don’t and neither does Jason. However, the death scenes also fail to deliver the goods as Jason kills people with guitars, wrenches, and hot sauna rocks in this one. Each scene in the movie is as goofy as the one before it with the most intense moment being the one where a few street thugs jump our main characters and force one of them to do heroin. Suddenly, Jason doesn’t seem that bad anymore. Overall, I’d say if they spent more time in New York and less time on that stupid ship this movie probably would’ve been a lot better. Due to a really small budget, many of the New York scenes were shot in Montreal (with the exception of the stare down in Times Square). Friday the 13th sequels tend to be pretty enjoyable do to their quick pacing and predictability but this one hardly ever picks up and you’ll be fighting to stay awake through it.

7. The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

In the 1960’s, a British film studio that went by the name of Hammer remade many of the monster movie classic of the black and white era including Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Mummy. Each colorized adaptation was a huge success and spawned many sequels. Hammer horror films are among my favorites due to their style and approach to many of these classic stories. Not to mention the performances of such legendary actors like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Throughout the 60’s, these movies made a killing at the box office but by the early 70’s audiences began to lose interest as the producers began to run low on fresh ideas. One idea was to take Dracula out of Transylvania and bring him to swinging modern day London in Dracula AD 1972. A direct sequel followed and was also the last to feature the pairing of Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and Christopher Lee as Count Dracula.

This film starts in a weird spot and continues to go in weird directions as a man escapes a country house were dark “satanic” rituals are being celebrated. Before dying, he tells the police that four prominent members of British society are involved in this mysterious cult. The police call in the supernatural expertise of Professor Van Helsing and his granddaughter to help in the investigation when a secret service secretary is abducted by the motorcycle riding cult. Van Helsing discovers from one of the conspirators that a secretive business man is trying to have a virulent strain of the bubonic plague created so that it can be unleashed upon the world while his granddaughter and an inspector discover vampires at the country house. Van Helsing confronts the business man who turns out to be a reincarnated Dracula and all hell breaks out at the country house where Dracula prepares to exact his ultimate revenge on humanity.

Honestly, I don’t hate this movie. In fact, it’s one of my favorites to watch on a shitty rainy day. The story is actually a step up from its predecessor and there are an ample amount of twists and turns that manage to keep things interesting. Peter Cushing, as old as he was here, actually has a lot to do and seems to be enjoying every bit of it. Same goes for Christopher Lee, who by this point absolutely hated playing the part of Dracula, but he has several incredible lines that’ll chill you with their cold and brooding delivery. Of course, there are better films in this long running franchise like Dracula Has Risen from the Grave or Dracula: Prince of Darkness so this one is far from my favorite but like I said, I still enjoy it when the weather’s lousy. Bad days and bad movies go hand in hand like beer and cigarettes.

6. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

As I mentioned earlier, the late 80’s were a time when the slasher kings were all on their last legs. Jason went to Manhattan, Freddy Krueger had a son, Leatherface became a heavy metal fan, and Michael Myers was now under the influence of a Celtic rune that makes him kill members of his family. What the hell happened here? I thought he was just some escaped mental patient who stalked babysitters on Halloween Night and couldn’t be killed. Now there’s some sort of ancient curse controlling his actions? It’s always bad news for any franchise when a family bloodline subplot becomes involved. It limits the amount of story you can develop and becomes far too restricting. While Halloween 4 stuck closer to the elements that made Halloween a success, Halloween 5 was about to take the story in a direction that the franchise never quite recovered from.

Picking up where the last one left off, Michael escapes the mine shaft before the state police have a chance to blow it up and gets washed downstream where he ends up on the doorstep of some old man living in a shack in the woods. Meanwhile, Michael’s niece Jamie is being kept in a hospital after the traumatic events of the previous year turned her into a mute. On Halloween Eve, Michael wakes up and it appears that he has now developed a telekinetic connection with her evil uncle meaning whenever he kills somebody she starts freaking out uncontrollably. Sure enough, Dr. Loomis is still bumbling around and spouting off the same old “blackest eyes, devil’s eyes” bullshit as he tries to keep Jamie’s dumbass friends (worst teen to teen dialogue I’ve ever witnessed) from being killed as Michael tries to lure Jamie out of hiding. As the body count rises, a mysterious figure wearing a fedora and a long black coat comes to town and starts following both Michael and Dr. Loomis around. Lost yet?

Again, I don’t hate this movie (there’s one other film in this series that absolutely takes the taco for the worst sequel) despite the massive departure from the simple ideas of the earlier films. Halloween 5 is not for everyone and is more of a victim of poor decisions on the film maker’s part. Like the goofy cops with the clown music that accompanies their arrival (were they supposed to be funny) and the brain dead teens that seem to have no recollection at all of what Michael did to their town the year before (allegedly, most of the cast was drunk on set… it shows). I suppose the real highs for me with this one is the showdown between Michael and Rachel (they did say he’d get revenge), the Tower Farm party, and the grand finale in the Myers House (which went from looking like a middle class suburban house to a gothic mansion). Other than those few bright spots, this one is kind of a letdown and you really need to watch Halloween 4 so that you’re all caught up. Don’t look for many of the questions left unanswered by this one to be fully explained by Halloween 6 either. This series was always a mess! If you want consistency, then stick to Friday the 13th.

Alright, so there’s the first half of my Top 10 Worst Horror Sequels. Look for the next half to come around in the next few days as I continue to celebrate the coming of October with the Top 10 Best Horror Sequels and the Top 20 Greatest Horror Films, in my humble opinion.

Rock in Peace



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