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The Worst Horror Movie Sequels Ranked

As Randy from "Scream 2" would say, "Stab 2? Why would anyone want to do that? Sequels suck!" Thankfully, Randy's classmates correct his overt generalization by highlighting many sequels in history that have surpassed the original films in their respective franchises. Even in the realm of horror, sequels exist that are equal or even far superior to their predecessors. Films like "Ouija: Origin of Evil," "Evil Dead 2," and "Aliens" have bucked the trend of shoddy continuations. But for every brilliant sequel, there are several that should've never seen the light of day. The horror genre is famous for milking franchises with rapidly produced sequels that often grow worse with each incarnation. Franchises like "Friday the 13th," "Paranormal Activity," and "Saw" even churned out one horrific dud after another annually for a period of time.

There is a rather deep well of painfully tawdry and quickly green-lit sequels that seem to only angle towards a quick cash-in for studios. While we'd hate to judge the intent of any big business whose sole purpose is to make money, the writing is on the wall. Fans will return to see the horror icons that they love, but they can only be duped for so long. Eventually, diminishing returns spell doom for a franchise not willing to take itself seriously. Let's dive into some of the worst sequels to ever grace the screens large or small, ranking them from the least horrid to the most tragically abysmal. Regardless of their position in this ranking, there's no saving any of these stinkers from the court of public opinion.

14. The Final Destination

There's a final destination, and then there's the final destination. With a fourth film in a series that simply got progressively weaker with each installment, "The Final Destination" was bound to suffer from re-hashed tropes. The horror series began in 2000 with the release of "Final Destination" starring Devon Sawa. That first film follows a group of teens who circumvent their own deaths when Sawa's Alex Browning receives a vision of their demise and gets them removed from a plane that promptly crashes. The problem is that death intends to circle back and correct what should've been fated all along. The follow-up movies employed the same formula, albeit with different characters.

For starters, four films of the same horror tropes recycled, with nothing new to add to the lore, tends to wear pretty thin with each installment. Furthermore, "The Final Destination" abandons what made the first few films so great -– character development. A horror film is only as good as the characters taking the pulse-pounding journey. Sawa's Alex Browning and Ali Larter's Clear Rivers had a history and a bond that made the original film and its sequel compelling. "The Final Destination" builds its premise around gory deaths, particularly around depicting them in three dimensions. The film ultimately hinges on the type of gimmicky 3D that has waned in popularity since the movie's release in 2009.

All in all, this is one horror sequel that's completely hollow from top to bottom. "Final Destination 5" followed in 2011 to much better reception for its more creative death sequences fresh additions the mythology (per Bloody Disgusting). 

13. Child's Play 3

Perhaps after two films featuring a serial killer trapped inside of a doll, Chucky (Brad Dourif) can't possibly be quite so scary any more. That's the problem "Child's Play 3" grappled with. The film failed spectacularly to reinvent the horror that the first two movies started. Instead, it presented a wild premise where Chucky is once again resurrected by a greedy corporation and the devious plastic plaything tracks down Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin), who is now attending military school. The rules of the magic that put him in his current body dictate that he can possess the first person who sees his true form as a walking, talking evil doll. Andy was that boy as a young child in the original film. But in "Child's Play 3," Chucky learns that he gets a do-over since he's been recreated from the ground up.

The film found itself stuck in the rut of being more of the same. The following sequel films, "Bride of Chucky" and "Seed of Chucky," at least shifted gears toward dark humor and followed the doll as a main character. Not only did "Child's Play 3" fail to innovate, the dialogue and line delivery is abhorrent and cringe-inducing throughout the entirety of the film. Even series creator Don Mancini claims that "Child's Play 3" is his least favorite in the entire franchise (via Mandatory), feeling like the film was creatively bankrupt. Leaning into comedy gave the franchise a second wind that's still going strong with the "Chucky" TV series, but there's no mistaking that the threequel was the lowest point of the entire franchise.

12. Pet Sematary Two

To this day, director Mary Lambert's 1989 Stephen King adaptation "Pet Sematary" still captures the minds and hearts of horror fans. As a haunting story, the film has aged rather well thanks to some enduringly creepy imagery. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the sequel, "Pet Sematary Two," starring Edward Furlong as young teen Jeff Matthews, who's just moved into town with his father. Clancy Brown plays the aggressive and abusive town sheriff, Gus Gilbert. In fact, the movie's greatest strength might be that Gilbert is such a loathsome character that viewers will probably root for his demise.

But just like the film before it, a violent soulless human is resurrected using mystical ancient burial grounds. And just like those resurrected individuals, this film is devoid of any soul. The original focused on the theme of grief and despair as well as the depths that one person might go to relieve their pain. "Pet Sematary Two" is simply a tepid horror that doesn't ground itself in anything worthwhile beyond running from the towering shadow of cruel human beings who are so horrible that they don't even have to undergo change when transformed into evil undead monstrosities.

11. The Amityville Curse

If we told you that there is more milk in the "Amityville" franchise than at your local dairy farm, you might believe it. A solitary incident — involving a family reporting supernatural happenings in a home where a murder took place — has somehow spawned ten feature films. The horrific true story of Ronald DeFeo Jr. killing his family as they slept in their Amityville, New York, home is a genuine piece of American horror history. Ed and Lorrain Warren, paranormal investigators who have recently been made famous by their depictions in "The Conjuring," were also central to the case.

However, once the real story is dramatized and retold, what more is there? Well, as it turns out, there's plenty as long as ghosts are involved and the studio has the license to put "Amityville" in the title. That's precisely where "The Amityville Curse" stands. While the film seemingly takes place in the same town, it doesn't even involve the home made famous by the original film. "Curse" is simply another haunting story that doesn't really have any reason for the "Amityville" banner. This entry in the franchise was a straight-to-home-video release, and it shows. The story depicts a couple who are haunted by a priest who had previously been murdered in their home. The plot is horribly contrived and paper thin, and apparently lumping it with the "Amityville" franchise is the only way this film would have ever been seen.

10. Jason X

Now here's one fella who just doesn't know how to die, and neither does the horror franchise he stars in. Jason Voorhees is, perhaps, one of the most iconic horror characters in pop culture. He stands tall next to other staples like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, and Chucky. To date, he's terrified humankind across a dozen films. His machete, axe, or blunt object of choice is typically slick with the blood of innocents as he goes on a maniacal spree that almost seems primal. Early in the franchise, we at least can understand his deep-seated desire for vengeance on the camp counselors who killed his mother. To be fair, she had it coming, and clearly the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

But, of course, the best way to shake things up for the tenth "Friday the 13th" movie would be to send Jason on killing spree ... in space. And did we mention it's four centuries in the future? We know we can start taking this movie seriously when we learn that the United States government captured Jason Voorhees in the year 2008 and attempted to study his regenerative properties, ultimately leaving him cryogenically frozen. That's right, folks — it's that kind of movie. However, knowing that the cheese-infused horror cliché factor is ratcheted all the way up to the ultra-high setting with this entry will set you free. Now, you can kick back and prepare to grin and laugh instead of shriek in fright. In short, "Jason X" is completely entertaining if you set your expectations extremely low.

9. Leprechaun 4: In Space

We all know that the campy creature feature "Leprechaun" spawned countless sequels. Well, this time, the mischievous scoundrel appears on an alien planet threatening to upset the established order by marrying their princess. As if that's not absurd enough, space marines arrive and ultimately kill the Leprechaun. When one bold marine decides to relieve his bladder on the corpse of the Leprechaun, the little monstrosity's soul travels through the man's stream into his ... uh, body. There, the Leprechaun gestates and eventually emerges violently from the man's groin. He then begins his trademark killing spree.

To the film's credit, it's hard to imagine anyone being able to make this stuff up. Oh, and did we mention that the Leprechaun has a lightsaber? It's completely wild and incoherent, focusing solely on shock value while forgoing any sort of actual engrossing or tension-building story. The intent here is clear: Find a way to change settings while sending the Leprechaun on another murderous romp. Mission accomplished. Outer space always seems like the logical answer in these situations.

8. Omen IV: The Awakening

Over the course of three films, we watched Damien Thorn come into the lives of his adoptive parents as an infant and grow into adulthood. Being the antichrist, he has a lot on his soldiers -– namely murder, mischief, and deceit. The "Omen" films are genuinely creepy simply because of the evil that surrounds Damien. Even when he isn't directly committing atrocious acts, sinister forces are at work influencing his path toward leadership by removing all obstacles. He even has mysterious caretakers in his life who already understand his mission as the spawn of Satan. "Omen III: The Final Conflict" brings a pretty definitive closure to the saga (hence the title), making "Omen IV: The Awakening" an entirely unnecessary addition to the series.

With the death of the adult Damien (Sam Neill) in the climactic finale of the trilogy, "Omen IV" simply seeks to restart the events for a new generation. The film features a couple in positions of political power who have been struggling to conceive. At a Catholic orphanage, a nun by the name of Sister Yvonne (Megan Leitch) orchestrates the couple's adoption of a young girl named Delia. Does this already sound familiar? It's basically the start of the first "Omen" film verbatim. Of course, Delia isn't the innocent little girl she appears to be. While we wouldn't dream of spoiling anything for you, she definitely hails from infernal origins and seemingly plans to take the place of the deceased Damien Thorn. This made-for-TV film is slow and plodding, with more hallmarks of a campy B horror film than of a faithful successor to the highly-regarded "Omen" trilogy.

7. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

No one could've suspected that a small indie film like "The Blair Witch Project" would cause such immense excitement among the general public at the time of its release. A found footage film that propelled the eventual proliferation of the format by positioning itself as a real-life artefact, the original "Blair Witch" didn't require an expansive budget. The simplicity of the horror is the lost crew's palpable fear, exuded so thoroughly by the actors on screen that many really did believe they were seeing an authentic document. With "Blair Witch" a wild success story, it was a no-brainer to cash in on the phenomenon while it still lived in the minds of horror fans.

"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" attempts to feed off the sensation that the first film created. It treats its own narrative as a recreation of real events, but dramatized. At its center is a tour group heading into the woods in Burkittsville, Maryland, to witness the locales seen in the original film (which is a hit movie within the world of the sequel). What ensues is a jarringly incoherent journey in which some characters are brutally murdered while others are left questioning their sanity. The characters who are indicted as likely murderers can't be certain of the validity of their own memories or whether something sinister is afoot. 

The film borrows plenty of clichéd tropes from horror films of the past, but at its core is a clever premise that could have been used to great effect, making its mediocrity all the more frustrating. Director Joe Berlinger initially had a more focused vision in mind, attempting to dissect the ideas of mass hysteria and the role that media plays in that. However, the film was subjected to major studio interference, producing the ultimately hollow film we're left with today (via Bloody Disgusting).

6. Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

Tobe Hooper's original "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" is a nail-biting thrill ride that's earned its legend in the halls of horror cinema. Leatherface proved menacing and maniacally terrifying, as did his misfit family of murderers and schemers. To this day, the 1974 film may still hold a world record for the most ear-shattering screams from its final girl. It took some time before sequels featuring the big chainsaw-wielding man emerged once again, with Hooper returning in 1986 to take "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2" in a deliberately comedic direction. (A wise decision, given that the terror of Leatherface's blades could only dull without an injection of levity.)

By the time the threequel came around, the movie rights had shifted to New Line Cinema, the home of Freddy Krueger. Director Jeff Burr intended to make a genuinely intense horror film. But once the MPAA took a look at the initial cut, they gave the movie an X rating for its graphic violence. Therefore, the studio made extensive cuts to earn the less financially-disastrous R rating (via Crave Online).

What emerged from the aftermath of those edits is a traditional and fairly cliché slasher with little to remember it by. The film follows a couple traveling through Texas as they encounter aggressive and eventually murderous individuals who cause the pair to flee right into Leatherface's arms. It's as dull as any sequel film can get, with critics at outlets like The Washington Post citing the loss of "edginess" that came with the censorship as the reason why "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" is so uninteresting.

5. Halloween: Resurrection

How could Michael Myers possibly return for another bloody adventure when Laurie Strode decapitated the man? Well, a writer's mind and pen-to-paper is all that's needed to retcon the climactic ending of the previous film, 1998's "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" by showing that Laurie actually decapitated an innocent man wearing Michael's famous mask. And, of course, The Shape roams free once again, finally catching and killing Laurie in the opening sequence of the 2002 follow-up.

So, what do you get when you kill the series lead in the first few minutes of the film and then toss in Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes to lead an internet horror reality show? Well, you get "Halloween: Resurrection," warts and all. So, why is this film so awful? Putting Michael Myers in a situation where he murders college kids on a reality show is about as desperate as a Leprechaun in space. As a horror film, there's no way that "Halloween: Resurrection" can be taken seriously on any level. It's no surprise that this film was the final nail in the coffin of the "Halloween" franchise until Rob Zombie's remake in 2007.

4. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

You might be wondering how Jason in space could be rated higher than the undead serial killer trudging through the streets of Manhattan. Well, at least "Jason X" is entertaining. "Jason Takes Manhattan" is a convoluted bore that drags on far longer than it has any right to. This misadventure begins when a high school class from Crystal Lake takes a trip to New York City via boat (how they plan to sail from a lake to New York Harbor is anyone's guess). Unsurprisingly, Jason stows away and begins murdering students one by one. It's the same standard fare, but now in the confined space of an ocean vessel. Eventually, the survivors disembark via a life raft, where they row the rest of the way to NYC.

As fate would have it, Jason continues to follow them, now walking openly in the streets of the city as he totally sheds any of his trademark lie-in-wait terror. Jason must be longing for Crystal Lake, because the murder spree in New York is all camp. (See what we did there?) The horror gives way to comedy that feels like a cheaper version of its predecessors, if that's even possible. The characters lack any semblance of intellect and the whole affair feels like an over-the-top parody of slasher films. If you simply want to see Jason continue his never-ending murder spree, then maybe this film is for you. That's the only thing it can offer.

3. Candyman 3: Day of the Dead

Tony Todd, the man behind the terrifying hook-handed Candyman, portrayed the character for multiple sequels. The first film carefully crafted a horror story that was immersed in pain, grief, and tragedy as well as myths and urban legends. The terror that is the Candyman is nerve-wracking when he appears on screen to gut those who tempt fate. Even his own backstory is grounded in a horrifyingly real history of racism. By the release of the direct-to-video third film, the series had lost sight of all that.

During the '90s and early '00s, direct-to-video usually — not always, but usually — was a red flag for disaster. "Candyman 3: Day of the Dead" lived up to the trend. This installment takes place 25 years after the events of the first film (released in 1999, the 2020 setting of "Candyman 3" was considered futuristic). The film follows Caroline McKeever (Donna D'Errico), daughter of two of the previous film's protagonists. Of course, she does the unthinkable by summoning Candyman during an art gallery event. This kicks off a series of grisly murders involving the brutal hook-handed fiend. The film feels every bit a rehash of the previous stories, and is entirely predictable, dull, and lacking any real inspiration. Much of the dialogue and narrative choices in "Candyman 3" are laughable, making this film the hardest entry to watch in the entire series.

2. Troll 2

Be sure to have a buddy or two joining you for the ride — you're going to need to riff off each other for jokes and laughs. "Troll 2" was never intended to be a sequel to "Troll." In fact, the film was originally called "Goblins" because the movie does, in fact, feature goblins. However, the studio decided to seemingly market the film as a sequel to "Troll" even though there are zero connections to that original film (via The Guardian).

"Troll 2" is a straight-to-video affair that involves a family being menaced by vegan goblins. You read that right -– vegan goblins. The threat of the goblins eating the poor human souls involved in this adventure isn't gone, however. The ghoulish fiends simply try to force-feed a substance to humans that will transform them into plants so the goblins can chow down. Based on the premise alone, "Troll 2" is utterly ridiculous. The film even ends with a young boy witnessing his mom's naked plant-transformed torso getting devoured by the feisty goblins. That kid is going to need a lot of therapy.

As far as practical effects are concerned, "Troll 2" scratches the bottom of the barrel. The goblins are completely stiff and there's enough green ooze to make '90s Nickelodeon jealous. Furthermore, the dialogue and its delivery are atrociously cringe-inducing. Every level of this movie reeks of camp and cheap production, but it's great fun if you're looking for a good laugh.

1. I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

One could argue that it takes a lot of effort to lose as horribly as this final film on our list has. Movies with 0% critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes aren't all that common. (Of course, most straight-to-video productions such as "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer" don't even get many critics to bother with a review in the first place.) Teen horror was at an all-time high in the '90s, and while the Jennifer Love Hewitt-led "I Know What You Did Last Summer" may have not been a critical darling, it was immensely profitable. A sequel, the cleverly titled "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer," fared even worse with critics.

After two films, you'd think that a third would shake up the formula at least a little bit. "I'll Always Know" doesn't budge an inch. Teens are once again involved in a death which they make a pact to keep secret. One year later, they're being relentlessly taunted and subsequently murdered for their sins. Not only is this film completely lacking originality, the writers and actors barely create a narrative worthy of a middle school stage play. In short, it offers about as much depth as the title would imply. There's plenty of cringe to go around, and unlike "Troll 2," it's not at all funny. It's just 92 minutes of precious time that you'll never get back.