Few things go as well with heavy music as horror movies, and few things ruin a good horror movie as often as a terrible sequel. But there have some major exceptions to that rule, so we asked you, our fans and followers, to pick the greatest follow-up film in fright flick history, and you came through with opinions, loud and wide-ranging. Classics like Dawn of the Dead and The Devil's Rejects came up strong, but not enough to make the Top 5. So which films did? Check out the ranked results below.
5. Halloween II (1981)
The original Halloween film is an undeniable watershed moment in cinematic history, and though horror auteur (and soundtrack genius) John Carpenter stepped away from the chair for the sequel, the second in the series is only mildly inferior to the trailblazing genre classic that shares its name. Picking up where the first left off, Michael Myers is still in pursuit of Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), this time in a hospital where she's tending to her wounds from the original film. Spoiler alert: New wounds are on their way.
4. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
The 1988 follow-up to director/writer Clive Barker's shocking original (adapted from his novella The Hellbound Heart) continues the narrative begun in part one and features key members of the initial cast. While Barker may not have signed on for Hellbound, the twisted world he created was expanded upon in most excellent fashion, with audiences getting Pinhead's perverse origin story, as well as a deeply disturbing dive into his realm of fleeting pleasures and endless pain. Epic practical effects, surreal mid-Eighties set design (labyrinth of hell!), skinless seductresses, sublimely sick cenobites, blatant S&M overtones, mental-hospital mindfucks and buckets of gooey gore earn this movie a top spot on any horror fan's must-watch sequel list.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)
Unlike the ominous pack of slasher-movie antagonists who mutely chopped teens to bits in the 1980s, A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger has a voice. He even has catch phrases and a wicked sense of humor, all thanks to Dream Warriors. The sequel loosens up with Kruger's personality, allowing for wicked lines like, "Welcome to primetime, bitch!" delivered before our spaghetti-faced villain thrusts a wannabe starlet headfirst through a TV. Every kill is memorable, whether he uses a narcoleptic's veins as marionette strings to walk said victim off a building or his claws become a hypodermic final high for a recovering addict.
2. Aliens (1986)
We'll curb your comments right now: No, Aliens isn't a horror movie, but creatively it's one of the most successful sequels to a horror movie ever. As the title elucidates, Ellen Ripley isn't dealing with one nightmarish creature from beyond understanding this time, but a colony full of them. She and a group of space marines head to investigate an overrun moon, where military bravado is peeled back to show inexperience and fear. After rescuing the sole survivor of the infestation across a hellacious journey, Ripley faces off against a queen alien, in a horrifying but thrilling final stand punctuated by one of the greatest lines in movie history.
1. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
As with Aliens, t's debatable whether Evil Dead 2 should even be on a list of horror sequels, in this case because the film is arguably more of splatstick comedy than a real fright flick. Still, amid hilariously sick moments such as Ash dismembering himself and trapping the disembodied hand with a copy of A Farewell to Arms or dancing with a roomful of possessed furniture and deer heads, Evil Dead 2 does find ways to scare. Thank director Sam Raimi and his ability to hit that sweet spot between nervous laughter and hair-raising chills.