24 Most Underrated Horror Sequels, Ranked


With fright fans getting their first look at Halloween Ends, it’s about time that we give these devilish sequels their due.

Last week, the trailer for the highly anticipated Halloween Ends dropped, giving horror hounds a sneak preview of what’s to be the final confrontation between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers.

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With horror sequels on the brain and the polarizing nature of the Blumhouse-produced Halloween films, this writer started thinking about some horror sequels that perhaps deserve more attention and credit than they’ve received thus far. As such, I’ve put together a definitive ranking of 24 truly underrated horror sequels worth hunting down.


A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

Often considered to be the film in which the Nightmare franchise began to fly off the rails, most fans of the franchise won’t hesitate to sing its praises when it comes to the memorable dream death sequences and haunting, practical SFX work, especially as it pertains to the titular character.


Waxwork II: Lost in Time

Electric Pictures / Prod DB / Alamy

From a haunted house parody segment starring Bruce Campbell to a really fun SFX-heavy spoof of Ridley Scott’s Alien, there’s plenty to love about this horror comedy sequel as it repeatedly swings for the fences.


Exorcist: The Beginning

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

A film that many fans decry for its troubled production instead of its merits, of which there are many, Exorcist: The Beginning might not live up to the high standards of The Exorcist (or even Exorcist III, for that matter) but is still a solid attempt to deliver an unnerving new chapter to this beloved franchise.


Insidious: Chapter 3

Sony / Automatik Entertainment / Blumhouse Productions / Entertainment One / Prod DB / Alamy

Insidious franchise writer and performer, Leigh Whannell, advanced to the director’s chair for the first time to helm the unsettling third chapter, which doesn’t quite hit the highs of the first two films but absolutely packs a petrifying punch of its own.


Return to Sleepaway Camp

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Original Sleepaway Camp director, Robert Hiltzik, made his long-awaited return to the franchise with this prototypical legacy sequel, which eschews the camp factor spawned by the sequels in favor of a bloodier and more nihilistic return to form.


Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

Nicolas Entertainment / New Line Cinema / Alamy

A critical and commercial failure at the time of its release, partly due to controversy surrounding its many MPAA-mandated edits, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III has slowly but surely begun to find a cult audience, especially as later entries into the franchise would become more and more polarizing.


Jaws 2

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

Jaws 2 may pale in comparison to its classic predecessor, but with all due respect, it still rules as a pretty awesome slasher movie where the killer is a friggin’ shark. Plus, this sequel gets bonus points for having one of the best posters in horror history.


Final Destination 3

New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

The Final Destination films are mostly exceptional (with the notable exclusion of its dreadful fourth entry), but if any sequel has never received its rightful credit, the overlooked and colorful third flick embraces some of the wackiness of the concept while maintaining the wickedness of the films that came before it.


I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

It may not necessarily bring much new to the table and the set pieces may not match those of its predecessor, but thanks to an awesome ensemble cast (including an uncredited Jack Black, as well as horror legend Jeffrey Combs) and some really fun twists, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer works way better than most of its post-Scream contemporaries in the sequel department.



20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

This surprisingly star-studded, Robert Rodriguez-produced third entry into the Predator franchise brought the action off-world for the first time with an exciting concept and a number of visually striking (and gruesome) set pieces, which makes its “irrelevant threequel” status all the more disappointing.


Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

Listen, this writer will be the first one to admit the fact that the film takes so much of its runtime on a cruise ship is not the best case scenario for this Friday the 13th movie, but Jason Takes Manhattan has a number of stellar kill scenes and the New York stuff undeniably owns.


Hellraiser: Inferno

Dimension Films / Moviestore Collection / Alamy

Before he became a horror legend thanks to Sinister and The Black Phone, filmmaker Scott Derrickson made his directorial debut on a direct-to-video Hellraiser sequel that framed a descent into horror in the form of a nightmarish cop procedural, which provided the franchise with a much-needed boost of energy and its most compelling narrative since Hellbound: Hellraiser II.


Land of the Dead

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

George A. Romero’s final studio film ushered his “of the Dead” zombie franchise into the 21st century, and the end result is pretty great and conceptually rich, even if it sadly debuted in the shadow of the massively successful Dawn of the Dead remake from the year before.


Rob Zombie’s Halloween II

Weinstein Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Rob Zombie’s first shot in the Halloween universe aped the original 1978 film with a controversial “in-your-face” attitude, but his second go-round was far more interesting and fascinating as he approached the material with more creative freedom and artistic direction while still providing his die-hard fans with plenty of blood and guts.


Seed of Chucky

Rogue Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Seed of Chucky is a humorous, self-deprecating, and completely off-the-walls entry into the Child’s Play franchise, though its decision to lean into comedy and camp was diametrically opposed to the darker, angstier Bride of Chucky, which had brought legions of fans back into the series, who have since labeled Seed as the black sheep of the Chucky movies.


Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Sony Pictures Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though the film didn’t make as big of a splash as the first Escape Room, thanks to its mid-pandemic release in Summer 2021, Tournament of Champions is every amount as pulse-pounding as its predecessor while carrying on the story in a way that feels both organic and thrilling.


Annabelle: Creation

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

While fans of the Conjuring-verse films are quick to write-off the first Annabelle and sing the praises of Annabelle Comes Home, the David F. Sandberg-directed Annabelle: Creation has sadly been lost in the shuffle despite having a number of legitimately scary sequences throughout.


Unfriended: Dark Web

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the first Unfriended film was a surprise hit and helped briefly revive the found footage subgenre, its mean-spirited and unfortunately ignored sequel definitely deserves to be discovered by a wider audience.


Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

Released on the heels of the largely disappointing Paranormal Activity 4, The Marked Ones failed to connect with audiences as well as the first three films in the franchise, which is a shame considering it’s likely the second-best film in the series and offers a breathtaking climax that directly links to both Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 3.


Saw VI

Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

Some horror fans might claim that the Saw films don’t quite hold the same weight as they did upon their smash-hit annual releases throughout the ’00s, but the one that was criminally overlooked thanks to franchise fatigue was Saw VI, an indictment of the American healthcare system that included some of the best traps in the series, period.


Alien: Resurrection

20th Century Fox Film Corp.  / Courtesy Everett Collection

This tonal rollercoaster of an Alien film remains divisive among fans of the franchise, but in retrospect, this pick-’em-off fright flick has stunning SFX, several great set pieces, and a real sense of unpredictability that matches the stylistic and narrative curiosity injected by filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet.


28 Weeks Later

Fox Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

28 Weeks Later was fighting an uphill battle just by the inherent comparisons to its game-changing predecessor, but the film is incredibly engaging and is far more emotionally grounded than most horror sequels could ever dream of becoming.


Psycho II

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

Another entry on this list whose stock has been unfairly lowered due to the untouchable status of the film that came before it, Psycho II is a genuinely thrilling and suspenseful second chapter in the story of Norman Bates, one that allows the character to deal with the consequences of his action and question whether his mind (and soul) can be saved.


Halloween: H20 – 20 Years Later

Dimension Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the legacy of this sequel has been frustratingly erased by the success of David Gordon Green’s lackluster Halloween revivals, Halloween: H20 brought back Laurie Strode with a mature and dramatically tangible take on her trauma and allows her to clash with Myers in a way that’s genuinely riveting, especially as the film’s numerous chilling set pieces drive it to become a properly petrifying epilogue for the Halloween franchise (which was decidedly undone for its godawful follow-up, Halloween Resurrection).

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