10 Horror Sequels That Were Better Than the Original

Sometimes the sequel steals the show.

In every movie genre, there are a slew of films where the sequel blows the original out of the water and horror is no exception. Sometimes, it takes a second try (or five) to get it right. Other times, they take the franchise in a totally new direction that eclipses the first film entirely. Either way, some sequels are truly number one in our eyes.

Take a look at 10 horror sequels that we believe are better than their original in the gallery below, then let us know your favorite film from this list in the comments below.

“Saw II”

“Saw” is by no means a bad movie, but it was only scratching the surface of what this franchise would become. The sequel goes bigger and badder with the film’s central trap, introducing the nerve gas house with an assortment of new victims. This film amped up the action and had some of the most memorable scenes in the entire franchise as a whole.

“The Conjuring 2”

Now before you start going off with a fury in the comments, here me out. I love “The Conjuring,” but I think that “The Conjuring 2” was a bit more fun. This film was the first to feature Valak (a.k.a. the nun) and the pacing introduced the paranormal action much earlier on, allowing for more spooks than the original had provided. Plus, who doesn’t love an overseas adventure?

“The First Purge”

While this film is technically a prequel, it came out five years after 2013’s “The Purge.” The OG Purge is considered to be pretty overwhelming considering the concept at hand, but “The First Purge” certainly delivered. This film felt far more real, as it played on issues of social and racial inequality in a contemporary way.

“10 Cloverfield Lane”

“Cloverfield” hit theaters in 2008 and is one of the most popular films in the found footage horror genre. “10 Cloverfield Lane” came out eight years later and follows a young woman who, after a car crash, wakes up in a bunker with two men who insist that the outside world has been left uninhabitable after a massive attack. Despite not originally intending to be part of this franchise, this film fits in perfectly but also feels like a fresh take on the original.

“Annabelle Comes Home”

I’m going to be honest, 2014’s “Annabelle” was a huge letdown. I found it to be pretty boring in comparison to other films in “The Conjuring” Universe. “Annabelle Comes Home,” however, was pretty damn good. This film built nicely off the prior film, as well as the prequel “Annabelle: Creation.” The new characters helped to advance the plot and the focus on the Warren’s teenage daughter was a nice change of pace.

“Hostel: Part II”

Eli Roth’s “Hostel” made a splash when it hit theaters in 2005 and it’s 2007 sequel was a nice followup. “Hostel” was definitely a good horror movie on it’s own, however, the addition of the female leads made it a bit more memorable in my eyes.

“Dawn of the Dead”

1968’s “Night of the Living Dead” was an undeniable classic and no one can take away the impact it’s had on horror. However, it was 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead” that changed the course of zombie films forever. This film zoomed back, showing the impact a zombie outbreak would have on society at large and helped to inspire numerous films to come.

“Ouija: Origin of Evil”

2014’s “Ouija” was an industry flop, but it’s 2016’s prequel was a significant improvement. This film is better in pretty much every conceivable way from the original—from the casting to the script to the scares.

“Final Destination 5”

We all thought the “Final Destination” franchise had gone down the tubes with 2009’s “The Final Destination,” then “Final Destination 5” left us pleasantly surprised. Many fans lost interest with the franchise because of the overuse of cheap CGI, however, this film had seemingly higher quality effects. The overall tone was also a big improvement and the surprise ending was definitely a big plus.

“The Devil’s Rejects”

While “House of 1000 Corpses” has become one of horror’s biggest cult classics, many view the film’s 2005 sequel as an upgrade. The film follows the three primary antagonists of the first film, Captain Spaulding, Baby Firefly and Otis Driftwood, and gives them some much needed character depth. This film helped make these villainous protagonists feel like real people with motives and personalities, rather than just kooky characters.