We all know the feeling of anticipation that comes when we hear a beloved horror flick is getting follow-up: Will it live up to the bone-chilling brilliance of the original? Or will it haunt our dreams with memories of how nightmarishly awful it was? Too often, it’s the latter.

Don’t get me wrong, creating a successful horror movie sequel is no easy feat! Imagine the pressure on the filmmakers to capture lightning in a bottle once again. They have to somehow recreate the magic that made the original film so spine-tinglingly amazing, all while delivering something fresh and terrifyingly satisfying. It’s no small task to meet the expectations of both die-hard fans and general audience. It’s like trying to scare someone who’s already seen all your best tricks before! You have to up your game, introduce new twists and turns, and leave audiences cowering in fear.

And let’s not forget the dangers of tinkering too much with what made the original film great. Messing with the tone, the storylines, or the characters can backfire faster than a possessed doll in a room full of crosses. Fans have a deep emotional connection to the original, and tampering with that formula too much risks alienating them faster than you can say, “Don’t go in there!”

That said, while I always feel for the creators behind horror films (good or bad), THESE are 10 of the worst horror movie sequels I’ve ever seen:

10. Psycho II (1983)

Psycho II worst horror movie sequel

Let’s talk about Psycho II from 1983, the much-anticipated sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece. We all love the original Psycho and its iconic take on psychological horror. Even if you’ve never actually watched the original Psycho, you know (and love) Psycho — it’s THAT good! So, while Psycho II isn’t the worst movie ever made, unfortunately, as a horror movie sequel to an absolute masterpiece of cinema it falls FAR short by comparison.

Psycho II feels like they were desperately trying to cash in on the success of the original. We’re back at the Bates Motel, but the plot lacks the originality and suspense that made the first film so captivating. The twists and turns leave us scratching our heads, wondering why they even bothered.

And while I would never speak ill of the amazingly talented Anthony Perkins (nor the absolutely adorable Meg Tilly!), Norman Bates, the complex and disturbing figure we knew from the original, is a mere shadow of himself in Psycho II. The psychological depth and intensity are missing, making him feel like a shallow imitation of the iconic horror character we once knew.

Now, the scares, or lack thereof: They really needed a slasher in the editing room! The pacing of Psycho II is the real killer here — the film drags on and on, lacking the tight editing and suspenseful pacing that Hitchcock mastered.

Skip this lackluster sequel and revisit the chilling brilliance of Hitchcock’s masterpiece.

9. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

The biggest issue with Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is the bizarre storyline. Instead of sticking to the tried and true formula of Jason slashing his way through victims, they decided to take a weird detour. They threw in this whole body-hopping concept, like Jason was playing a game of musical chairs with people’s bodies. It’s a confusing mess that feels more like a supernatural thriller than a Friday the 13th movie.

And I know slasher films aren’t known for their intelligent characters, but Jason Goes to Hell takes the stupid victims trope to an entirely new level. It’s hard to root for anyone when you’re too busy facepalming at their stupidity. I mean, who runs towards a machete-wielding maniac instead of away from them?

But here’s the real insult to fans: Jason himself is barely in the movie. Instead of giving us the hockey mask-wearing slasher we came to see, they have him possess other people’s bodies for most of the film. It’s a total letdown, leaving us deprived of the iconic killer we know and love.

And don’t even get me started on the ending. It’s a desperate attempt to set up future sequels, but it just falls flat on its face. It’s confusing and leaves you wondering why they even bothered.

In the end, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is a prime example of a horror sequel gone wrong. It deviates from what made the franchise successful, introduces a convoluted plot, and leaves fans craving the classic Jason experience.

8. Saw V (2008)

The Saw franchise is all about twisted traps and mind-bending puzzles, right? It’s raw, it’s dirty, it’s gory, and even if you’re not a fan you have to admit that it’s usually pretty clever. So, would you expect a Saw movie sequel to have barely any on-screen deaths, soap opera lighting, and environments so clean the characters don’t even have smudges on their freshly laundered clothes?

Saw V not only it feels like they ran out of fresh ideas, it looks like it was a made for TV special. The traps lack the creativity and shock value we expect. The characters are as flat as a pancake — they lack emotional depth and anything else that would make us care/connect. And everything is just so…clean.

The plot of Saw V is a mess, leaving The twists and turns are more frustrating than mind-blowing. Instead of keeping us on the edge of our seats, they leave us scratching our heads, wondering what’s going on. It’s like they were trying too hard to be clever and forgot to make it engaging.

Don’t fall into the trap of watching this Saw sequel!

7. Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Remember how intense and terrifying the original Alien film was? How action-packed and thrilling Aliens was? Or how, despite its try-hard over-the-top “grittiness,” Alien 3 still managed to be a decently made horror science-fiction film with engaging characters? Yeah. Alien: Resurrection, the fourth film in the Alien movie franchise, decided to go in a completely different direction.

The story is a mess. It feels like the writers threw random ideas into a blender and hoped for the best. It’s convoluted and lacks the coherence and tension of (any of) the original(s). They tried too hard to be unique and ended up with a jumbled mess.

Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley is back, but she’s a clone with a weird mix of human and alien DNA. It’s more of a gimmick than a compelling character arc. The new supporting characters are forgettable and lack the depth we loved in the earlier films.

The scares? Forget about it. The tension and claustrophobic atmosphere that made the first film so intense are missing in Alien: Resurrection. The horror elements are watered down, and the once-terrifying xenomorphs become more of a spectacle than a source of real fear. The overuse of CGI effects takes away from the gritty aesthetic we loved.

And let’s not forget the inconsistent tone. It tries to be a blend of horror, action, and comedy, but it just doesn’t work. The film can’t decide what it wants to be, and it’s hard to take it seriously.

6. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

The story? It’s like a watered-down version of the original, lacking the originality and suspense we loved. Instead of expanding on the creepy idea of children worshipping evil, we get a recycled plot that brings nothing new or exciting to the table.

And the characters? They’re as bland as stale popcorn. They lack depth and complexity, making it hard to care about their struggles. They feel like cardboard cutouts just going through the motions.

Worst of all, Children of the Corn II is a snoozefest when it comes to horror. The suspense and tension that made the first film so gripping? Nowhere to be found. Instead, we get tired jump scares and predictable moments that elicit more eye rolls than screams. It’s a missed opportunity to build on the eerie atmosphere of the original and deliver genuine terror.

So, bottom line, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice is one of the all-time worst horror movie sequels due to its recycled story, forgettable characters, lack of scares, and overall poor execution. Trust me, it’s a cornfield you’ll want to avoid.

5. Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

It almost feels wrong putting 1982’s Amityville II: The Possession onto a list of horror movie sequels because (spoiler) it’s actually a prequel. But it has a “II” in the title and it was marketed as a sequel so, really, they brought this upon themselves!

Instead of a haunted house, we’re thrown into a messy family drama with a possessed teenager. It’s like they traded supernatural terror for a dysfunctional soap opera. Not what we signed up for, right?

There are a few creepy moments, but overall, it falls flat. The scares feel forced, and the suspense is nowhere to be found. They forgot what made the original terrifying and settled for mediocre jump scares. You’ll be entertained by unintentional laughter more than genuine fright.

4. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

So, what went wrong with Jaws: The Revenge? Well, where do I even begin? Let’s start with the ridiculous premise. The idea that a vengeful great white shark would track down the Brody family across the ocean is as ludicrous as swimming with chum-scented underwear. It’s like they threw darts at random plot ideas and hoped for the best.

Even poor Michael Caine, an extremely talented actor, seems at a loss for how to make the ridiculous dialogue work.

Jaws: The Revenge is a prime example of how a horror movie sequel can go horribly, horribly wrong. Unless you’re an up-and-coming horror filmmaker who wants to watch it for educational purposes (on what not to do), grab a life jacket and swim clear of this one!

3. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

This Y2K horror movie sequel took everything that made the original Blair Witch Project a groundbreaking film and threw it out the window.

First of all, the found footage style that made the first film so unique? Gone. Instead, we’re treated to a traditional narrative format that feels more like a generic horror movie than a continuation of the Blair Witch mythology. It’s like they completely missed the point of what made the original so terrifying.

What made the Blair Witch Project so effective was its subtlety and ambiguity. It left things up to the audience’s imagination, making it all the more terrifying. Meanwhile, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (over)explains everything, absolutely ruining the mystery — and the scares — in the process!

2. Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

I understand that the Leprechaun series isn’t exactly known for its highbrow scares, but even compared to other Leprechaun movies, Leprechaun 4 is insanely bad. It’s a horror movie sequel so awful it nearly supernova’d it’s franchise.

You’d think a movie set in space would offer some mind-bending cosmic horrors, but nope. Instead, we get a recycled plot that feels like a bad pilot episode of a forgotten sci-fi TV show. It’s cheesy as a block of space-aged cheddar (and not in a good way).

The Leprechaun films often rely heavily on comedy, which is generally a good thing. Leaning into the silliness of a leprechaun as the primary antagonist is definitely the way to go — it puts the filmmakers more in control and lures the audience into a false sense of security so, when something scary does happen, it’s a thrilling shock! But that only works when the comedy is…funny.

Humor is subjective, but can we all agree that Leprechaun 4: In Space is objectively cringe at best? At worst, the painfully unfunny jokes are padding that make the 96-minute runtime feel 60 minutes too long.

Sometimes taking horror movie sequels in a completely new direction can be intriguing, but Leprechaun 4: In Space is just wrong.

1. Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Linda Blair as Regan in Exorcist II The Heretic one of the worst horror movie sequels (even SHE can't keep her eyes open!)

I’m not alone in saying the original Exorcist scared the living daylights out of me! But instead of building on the gripping tale of possession, Exorcist II: The Heretic takes you on a confusing nonsensical journey that’ll leave you praying the credits roll soon.

The scares feel forced and artificial, lacking the genuine terror that made the original so memorable. And Remember Linda Blair’s Regan? Well, forget the haunting and tormented figure we knew from the first film. In this sequel, she’s reduced to a caricature. There’s no emotional depth or complexity to her portrayal, making it hard to connect with her on any level. (Note: This isn’t Linda Blair’s fault – she’s amazing – but an actress can only do so much with bad material).

The pacing is another major issue. Exorcist II drags on and on with boring, aimless scenes that make you want to check your watch. It’s a far cry from the intense and gripping experience we had with the original.

In the end, Exorcist II: The Heretic is a huge disappointment. It fails to capture the essence of what made the first film so terrifying. While The Exorcist III isn’t for everyone, at least it’s wildly entertaining… THIS horror movie sequel to an unrivaled classic just makes me sad.

To Be Continued…?

Well-executed horror movie sequels can enhance the legacy of the original and leave us trembling with fear… These 10 didn’t do that.

There are plenty of dreadful horror sequels (did your most-loathed make the list?), but there are a lot of great ones too. Sequels are what make a Movie Night into a Movie Marathon! Filmmakers and audiences alike shouldn’t stray away from expanding on beloved stories and characters. Just, uh, steer clear of these disastrous follow-ups. You deserve better.

Become a Patron!

Images were purchased via MovieStillsDB and Cinematerial.

About the Author

In their itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini, Wanda is ready for some water-based fun! They're also a lifesaver for HorrorFam.com guest posters who prefer to use a pseudonym/remain anonymous for their submissions. Want your horror article published but don't want anyone to know it was you who wrote it? Wanda's got you covered.

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

Related Posts