Cashing in on All the Movie Murder Hoopla: Our Favorite Horror Part Twos
In anticipation of It Chapter Two , the TFS staff got together to select their favorite horror follow-up sequels. While there’ve been many sequels to horror films over the years, many of them not so great, our writers have focused on the part twos that are a cut above the rest.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is one of the most wild sequels to a horror movie I've ever seen. We all know and love the original. It's iconic and terrifying and a staple in spooky season watches. However, TCM 2 takes a complete 180 and introduces black comedy producing unlikely success; you can tell just by looking at the poster for the film (a parody of the much beloved The Breakfast Club). TCM 2 is about a tired and vengeful ex-Texas Marshall, played by the always brilliant Dennis Hopper, hunting down the Sawyer gang by using a local radio DJ as bait to lure them out of hiding. These days, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 has become a cult classic thanks to Tobe Hooper, the hilarity of Chop Top (Bill Moseley), and its extreme gore, while doubling as a fierce critique of Reaganism and the 1980s. Add this sequel to your spooky season watches immediately.
- Rachael Hauschild
Saw II (2005)
After the first Saw took the world by storm, Lionsgate wasted no time in getting the sequel out there, hitting theaters just a year after the first film. Wan and Whannell came back to flesh out the story, but due to a busy schedule, Darren Lynn Bousman stepped in to direct, and with him came a slightly new tone and bag of tricks for the franchise. Dropping some of the self seriousness of the first film and really leaning into the Rube Goldberg nature of Jigsaw, this movie is an absolute blast. It’s an endless series of twists and turns, mostly centering on Tobin Bell and Donnie Wahlberg, that continue until the very last shot and is largely responsible for the direction of the rest of the franchise. If we are going to watch a group of people slowly die in horrific death traps, what better way to frame it than in a crazy murder house littered with tricks and tips?
- Zach Kindron
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
Sandwiched between the iconic original and the exceptional Dream Warriors, Freddy’s Revenge is an unfairly maligned sequel. Featuring the only male protagonist in the franchise, the film is creepy and atmospheric, with a troubled and neurotic lead performance from Mark Patton. Robert Englund returns as Freddy, and cements the persona as we know it today, cracking jokes and having a blast. The kills in this movie are imaginative—the locker room and pool party murders are memorable and thrilling. Much has been made of the homoerotic subtext in the movie, and, honey, it’s there. Patton plays Jesse, and the role is feminized and more similar to slasher final girls than male characters. The film features a scene at a gay bar, with sweaty wrestling, and Jesse feeling uncomfortable kissing his girlfriend Lisa (Kim Meyers, who herself is a gay icon). The famous locker room sequence is very queer and kinky. Freddy’s Revenge has since become a cult classic with gay audiences, and for good reason. The slasher film is gay, campy, and glorious.
- Manish Mathur
Slumber Party Massacre 2 (1987)
The original Slumber Party Massacre (1982) is a slasher film and then some. Written by Rita Mae Brown and directed by Amy Holden Jones, the movie takes the usual tropes found in a slasher and turns them on their heads. Mae wrote the movie as a satire on the genre but the producers decided to try and make it more serious. Holden Jones manages to keep that satire feeling, though, and we’re all thankful for it. I mean, we all got that the killer’s drill was an extension of his peen, right? The movie made some money on a very modest budget (it was a Corman film, after all) so Slumber Party Massacre II was made.
If you loved what they did in the first one, trust me, you’re going to love what writer/director Deborah Brock comes up with for Slumber Party Massacre II. Brock takes the satire to the level that Brown and Holden Jones wanted their film to achieve. Take another batch of high school girls, send them off to a newly built condo in the desert, add in a few boys, make the girls be in a rock band, throw in some alcohol, and then let one crazy ass Andrew Dice Clay via Danny Zuko looking killer wielding a giant electric guitar/giant drill loose in the neighborhood and what you get is one must-be-seen-to-be-believed piece of early ‘80s horror that absolutely should be on your watchlist this Halloween season.
- Sarah Jane
Evil Dead II (1987)
Evil Dead 2 is a fun and purposely satirical sequel/remake of the original story which made its debut four years earlier. The movie follows the charming everyman of Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) who brings his girlfriend and some friends to a cabin in the middle of a creepy forest where listening to a series of cassettes left in the basement by the previous owners unlocks a world of malicious spirits. The viewing adventure is a mix of humor and horror as Ash and the others fight to survive, and has no shortage of corny jokes and ridiculous gore. There is blood splattered just about everywhere, body parts moving after being detached from a body, and ridiculous fruit cellar demons. What makes this follow-up film better than the first is the self awareness in the writing as Ash’s various taglines add to the comedic mood while blood squirts everywhere. ‘Groovy’, right? Evil Dead 2 is Sam Raimi’s most daring project, and resulted in a cult classic that will live on for decades to come and might be one of the single instances of the sequel debatably being better than the original.
- Shea Vassar
Scream 2 (1997)
Legendary director Wes Craven revolutionized the horror genre (once again) with 1996’s Scream, providing a meta text to the slasher films of the past. As any horror fan knows, with a good horror film comes a horror franchise that milks the original idea for everything it’s worth. So, one year later, Craven, the original screenwriter Kevin Williamson, and the (surviving) cast of the original all returned to make one of the best sequels to any horror movie ever. As movie obsessed Randy lays out, there are rules to follow in any horror sequel, and Scream 2 follows them to a T. A bigger body count, more elaborate death scenes and gore, and killer twists that fall in line with classic horror films like Friday the 13th, Scream 2 is arguably the best film in the Scream franchise. There’s something so self-assured about the film that makes it immensely rewatchable. Characters fall to the blade of Ghostface on a whim (RIP Randy), and the tension doesn’t let up, beginning from the operatic opening murders set in a packed movie theater, all the way to the fourth wall-breaking, stage-set final act. A sequel to the smash hit Scream was destined to happen, but it has no right being as audacious, smart, and fun as it turned out to be.