The dreaded sequel!! All too often, successful horror films will be followed by a Part Two (or Three, or Six, or Ten) and, sadly, the sequels we’re given are often terrible. Some horror movie sequels are SO BAD that they nearly slaughtered their respective franchises! But what about the GOOD horror movie sequels? Do those even exist?

They do indeed! I’m going to share 12 horror movie sequels I feel are just as good (and sometimes better?!) than their original films. And, just so this list doesn’t get too out of control, I’m going to be sticking with solely the first follow-up films (AKA the “Part 2” of any film series, even if it expanded further later on). Here we go!

Addams Family Values (1993)

Addams Family Values 1993 sequel

The Addams Family (1991) is a fun introduction to the title family. It established all the core, kooky characters and reunited Uncle Fester with his family. But now that they’re all together again, what’s next…?

Addams Family Values (1993) does a fantastic job of answering that question. The Addams Family is great (obviously), but having them exist in a vacuum wouldn’t work outside of the introductory film. The real fun comes when the Addams Family interacts with outsiders!

All while maintaining the darkly comedic tones of the first film, Addams Family Values introduces a new baby for Gomez and Morticia, a wife with a mysterious past for Uncle Fester, and a trip to summer camp for Wednesday and Pugsley! The addition of more locations outside of their manor, and more characters outside of their own family, lets this sequel really stretch its wings and make full use of its talented cast. This is a horror movie sequel that’s even better than its original film.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride of Frankenstein classic horror movie sequel

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) picks up where Frankenstein (1931) left off, with Frankenstein’s monster having survived the windmill fire along with Dr. Frankenstein himself. And although that may sound like the return of just about any undead villain, one of the reasons Bride of Frankenstein shines as a sequel is its continued exploration of the creature’s humanity.

Boris Karloff reprises his role as the tragic monster, and his performance is heart-wrenching. You can’t help but sympathize with this misunderstood monster — and it’s partly this emotional connection that sets Bride of Frankenstein apart.

But the real standout in this horror movie sequel is the introduction of the Bride herself, played by Elsa Lanchester (who also plays Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in the introductory scene). The Bride’s electrifying presence and the eerie laboratory scene in which she’s brought to life are nothing short of iconic. It’s a VERY brief appearance but it’s one that leaves a lasting impact—you won’t question why the film is named for her, even though she’s barely in it!

Bride of Frankenstein manages to blend horror and humor with a touch of pathos, creating a film that’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. It’s no wonder it continues to enchant audiences over 80 years later. Not to mention the monster’s last few lines in the film are endlessly quotable!

Aliens (1986)

Aliens sequel to Alien

The sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), directed by James Cameron, follows Ellen Ripley and a team of Marines as they return to the planet where the original alien encounter occurred.

Sure, things were bad when there was one xenomorph alien on board Ripley’s ship, killing off her fellow crewmates. But what if there were MORE than one xenomorph alien? What if there was a QUEEN xenomorph alien?! What if there were so many of these hideous space cockroaches that even the absolute toughest fighters around struggled to keep them under control? That’s what this awesome horror movie sequel brings to the table.

While Alien took its time and slowly built up the tension and dread, Aliens is a fast-paced ride from start to finish. It stays true to the old characters (Ripley is still the smartest gal in the room, always!) while introducing fun new ones, with plenty of action-packed scenes to go around!

But don’t let the additional action fool you into thinking Aliens is shallower than its predecessor. Far from it! One of the things that makes Aliens a worthy Part 2 is that it forms even MORE of an emotional connection with its characters, forming an even more intense bond between them and the audience. You can watch the original Alien with casual curiosity as the cast is whittled down by the title creature, but there’s no neutrality in Aliens — you WILL root for the good guys, especially Ripley, and you WILL have fun doing so!

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator 2 Judgement Day Robert Patrick liquid metal

Speaking of films directed by James Cameron, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) is the follow-up to Cameron’s own The Terminator (1984).

While the first movie is all about survival and chase, Terminator 2 brings a profound shift in the narrative. This time, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator was here to protect, not terminate. He becomes the guardian of John Connor, the future savior of humanity. Which SHOULD mean that John Connor is 100% safe from harm, right? After all, Arnold’s T-800 Terminator is basically unstoppable! Who could possibly cause any sort of a risk?

Robert Patrick’s T-1000 Terminator, that’s who!

Speaking of which, Terminator 2: Judgement Day features absolutely groundbreaking special effects for its time, especially the liquid metal T-1000 played by Robert Patrick. It was a marvel back in 1991 and it still holds up today. And the action sequences are jaw-dropping, with some truly scary moments that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat!

But it’s not just the eye-popping action and SFX that make Terminator 2: Judgement Day shine as a sequel; it’s the absolutely incredible performances. Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Connor’s transformation from a damsel in distress to a fierce, determined warrior is nothing short of award-worthy. And Arnold Schwarzenegger’s menacing T-800 from The Terminator turning into a good guy you can’t help but root for? That’s tough to pull off, but he does it! Tougher still: Slim Robert Patrick making audiences believe that he could easily best bodybuilder Arnie in a robot duel! And yet he ACES IT!! His T-1000 run alone would easily cement him as one of the scariest horror movie villains.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day isn’t just a sequel; it’s a masterclass in how to successfully continue an established story. It manages to combine heart-pounding action, groundbreaking effects, and genuine character development. It’s a classic.

Revenge of the Creature (1955)

Revenge of the Creature john agar

Revenge of the Creature AKA Return of the Creature AKA Return of the Creature from the Black Lagoon is the sequel to Universal’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). It was featured in the first episode of Season 8 of Mystery Science 3000. And that may be your first clue that my list of “12 Horror Movie Sequels As Good as the Originals” is subjective…

That said, Revenge of the Creature is an intriguing continuation of its original story. The Creature is taken out of his lagoon and put into a Sea World-esque aquarium in Florida as one of their main attractions. What could possibly go wrong? It’s not like theme park-style aquariums are known for mistreating their animals for the sake of entertainment!

After getting prodded just a few too many times, the Creature does exactly what you’d expect. It’s really cool seeing the Creature in a more populated setting (think of the Predator roaming the streets of Los Angeles in Predator 2 versus the jungle in Predator, but 1950s style!), and it does a nice job of forcing the audience to reflect on how animals should be treated.

Revenge of the Creature stars John Agar (The Mole People), and provided Clint Eastwood with his first film role! But, SPOILERS, be prepared for not only the unjust death of the Creature (shades of Harambe?) but of Chris the German Shepard as well. 🙁

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

hellbound hellraiser II ashley lawrence

Without too many spoilers, Hellbound: Hellraiser II feels like a necessary sequel to its predecessor.

Hellraiser (1987), the film adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart (and a good example of a film adaptation that’s better than the book!), builds up so much tension and then at the 1 hour and 20 minute mark all heck breaks loose—kinda literally! The catch? The first Hellraiser movie is only 1 hour and 33 minutes long, including credits!! So, basically, right as things are getting friggin’ CRAZY, it ends! AHH!

Hellbound: Hellraiser II picks up where Hellraiser leaves off. So, if you were someone who went “Wow! What’s THEIR deal??” when the Cenobites showed up last time, you’ll be able to get your answers. This film doesn’t hold back on anything.

While it’s always a good idea to watch the original films before watching their sequels, it isn’t always required. The Part 2 movies I’ve listed up until this point are easy enough for viewers to get into, even if they haven’t seen the Part 1 counterparts. I can’t say that for Hellbound: Hellraiser II. While it’s on par with its original as a horror movie sequel, it’s confusing to watch on its own with zero context. It’s more like Hellraiser was supposed to be a 186-minute story rather than two 93-minute features, with Hellbound: Hellraiser II being the second half.

Evil Dead II (1987)

Evil Dead II sequel Bruce Campbell

Is Sam Rami’s Evil Dead II (1987) a sequel or a remake of The Evil Dead (1981)? ¿Por qué no los dos?

Evil Dead II initially covers the same ground as the original — recapping and sometimes repeating what happened — and then expands on it. It’s a remake AND a sequel to its original film.

It’s absurdly gory (the goofy kind of gore I love/prefer!), and it’s hilarious while still being scary at times. The over-the-top goofiness lures you into a false sense of security, which makes the deaths ultimately more shocking!

And if you want to talk about how the Academy Awards repeatedly snubs horror movie actors, there may be no greater example than Bruce Campbell’s performance as Ash Williams in Evil Dead II! Sure, he always gives every role his all, and Ash was great in The Evil Dead, but Mr. Campbell went NEXT LEVEL with the role in the sequel. It’s no wonder there’s a song dedicated to his greatness!

Final Destination 2 (2003)

Final Destination 2 log truck

If you aren’t afraid of getting behind a logging truck, you haven’t seen Final Destination 2.

In the first film, a group of friends avoids Death’s plan, only to meet their gruesome fates in the order they would have died. Final Destination 2 takes that core concept and kicks it up a notch. Basically: If you loved Final Destination (2000), you’ll love Final Destination 2 (2003)… And Final Destination 3 (2006), The Final Destination (2009), and Final Destination 5 (2011), for that matter! It’s a very consistent franchise that, thus far, has always delivered on what its audience wants/expects. I appreciate that.

As for Final Destination 2, the deaths themselves are not just gory; they’re intricately designed, leading to edge-of-your-seat sequences that will leave you gasping. The creativity of the death scenes is a significant part of this horror movie sequel’s appeal, and the bizarre, Rube Goldberg-style accidents are mesmerizing.

The characters in Final Destination 2 are (slightly) more fleshed out than in the original film, making you care (slightly) more about their fates, while Ali Larter’s return from the first film adds a sense of continuity. It also manages to balance suspense with humor, offering some darkly funny moments amidst the gruesome deaths. And, like all of the Final Destination films, Final Destination 2 leaves you with an appreciation for the fragility of life… and a paranoia for how everyday objects could easily kill you.

Scream 2 (1997)

Scream 2 movie theater scene

Wes Craven’s original Scream (1996) redefined the slasher genre by deconstructing its own conventions, and Scream 2 (1997) pays homage to its predecessor while carving its own niche in horror history. It’s a near-perfect blend of wit, suspense, and self-awareness. That opening movie theater scene? Unforgettable!

Scream 2 explores the concept of sequels within a sequel. It satirizes not only horror clichés but also the very idea of a horror sequel, all while delivering a tension-filled original story featuring the return of fan-favorite characters like Sydney, Dewey, Gale, and Randy.

And while I find the ending of Scream 2 the weakest in the entire series thus far, I appreciate the joke/reference. Without too many spoilers, it’s very Friday the 13th. Speaking of which…

Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)

Friday the 13th part 2 baghead jason

Friday the 13th: Part 2 stands tall as the first movie in the franchise that features Jason Voorhees as the primary antagonist! ‘Nuff said.

Critters II: The Main Course (1988)

Critters II The Main Course

Sure, arguments can be made that the original Critters (1986) wasn’t a particularly good movie and, therefore, Critters II (1988) can’t be that great by default. And that’s a fair point. But I happen to like the first movie, and the sequel is more of the same. What can I say? I like creature features! (Plus, I may have a touch of nostalgic bias due to my dad painting the Crites for the film).

Just like many of the most fun horror movie sequels, Critters II takes what the original film did and makes it even BIGGER! Instead of restricting themselves to menacing a single family on a farm, the Crites are terrifying an entire town!

In the end, Critters II: The Main Course is a sequel that doubles down on the fun without losing sight of what made the original charming. It’s a perfect example of how to take a quirky concept and turn it into a cult classic. So, if you’re hungry for a dose of nostalgic ’80s horror with a side of humor, this sequel is the main course you’ve been waiting for.

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Ghostbusters II

Ghostbusters (1984) is a perfect movie, and one of the best movies for getting newbies into the horror genre. It’s a fantastic horror movie for kids and tweens, as well as for adults! For a sequel to even come close to the greatness of the original, in this case, would be practically impossible.

That said, Ghostbusters II (1989) comes pretty darn close!

It revisits the beloved characters from the first Ghostbusters and allows them to evolve in believable ways. The team has had their ups and downs since they were last seen, half a decade ago. The world has moved on, and they’re no longer the celebrated heroes they once were. And while I never like to see my fave characters hurting, their triumphs would mean nothing if they didn’t have struggles.

The humor is nearly as sharp as the original, and the ghostly encounters are even more imaginative. Who could possibly forget the river of spectral slime in the sewers?

Ghostbusters II builds upon the supernatural lore of the first film, delving deeper into the mystical and the macabre. The plot revolves around an ancient evil resurfacing in the form of Vigo the Carpathian, a genuinely eerie antagonist that adds a new layer of menace to the franchise. And I love Peter MacNicol as Janosz Poha, proving he has what it takes to be a great Renfield-like minion.

This worthy horror movie sequel brings fresh elements, a heavy dose of nostalgia, and a continued commitment to comedy and the supernatural. And it makes for a great double-feature! Get your friends together and watch Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II back-to-back.

BONUS: The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)

The Mummys Tomb univeral mosnters mummy sequel

While The Mummy (1932) is stand alone film with with Imhotep as the mummy; The Mummy’s Hand (1940) is the first mummy movie with Kharis as the title character. The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) is the sequel to The Mummy’s Hand.

With a faster pace and shorter running time, The Mummy’s Tomb shows clips of all the good parts of the last film (that’s normally frowned upon, but it works here!) while doing its own thing. If you want to watch only one classic movie to represent each of the core Universal Monsters, this would be the best choice for the Mummy.

Including The Mummy’s Tomb on my list was a suggestion from my dad, Robert Tharp. And Dad’s currently working on his own list of great horror movie sequels, which you’ll be able to read on HorrorFam.com next month!

In the meantime, check out my husband Frank’s review of ALL FIVE of the Return of the Living Dead movies and why he thinks Part II is possibly the best in the series(!).

Become a Patron!

Images were purchased via MovieStillsDB.

About the Author

Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner of LittleZotz.com, a formerly super-respectable multiple award-winning website for freelance writers that's now just a wacky place where she tries to cheer people up any way she can. Lauren's also HorrorFam.com's primary founder/owner! Lauren grew up in the horror industry (her parents did practical special FX work for many of the horror movies you love from the '80s and '90s) and she basically created this site so she could freely gas on about creepy stuff and stop having to pretend to be normal. o_O

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Related Posts