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Entertainment’s favorite underrated horror movie sequels

The Miami Student's entertainment section has come together to share its favorite underrated horror sequels, just in time for Halloween.
The Miami Student's entertainment section has come together to share its favorite underrated horror sequels, just in time for Halloween.

From “Scream,” to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” to “Child’s Play,” horror movies that evolve into franchises are nothing new. Many people tend to watch the second installment of a franchise, but often forget or don’t know about any films past that.

The entertainment section at The Miami Student has compiled a list of our favorite underrated horror films. See what we have in store — you may find something new and horrifying.

‘Scream 4’

Despite becoming more appreciated in the last decade, Wes Craven’s “Scream 4,” his final entry in the director’s chair, received a somewhat mixed reception upon its initial release. The first film in the franchise to be released past the 2000s, Craven turned the series’ satirical roots toward modern technology like cell phones and the internet, which mostly avoids feeling like “old man yells at cloud” and opens the film to new twists and turns.

Craven also uses the film to comment on the franchise itself, and by extension, his career – fitting since he would pass away only a few years after the movie’s release. It may not be the tightest or best-looking film in the series, but its context and genuinely great kills make it one of my personal favorites.

- Reece Hollowell, Entertainment Editor

‘Bride of Chucky’

I love a good Jennifer Tilly movie, and her character Tiffany is THE horror “it-girl!” This sequel is perfectly campy and has an amazing soundtrack. Although it's the fourth installment of the “Child's Play” franchise, it's definitely the best one.

- Chloe Southard, Asst. Entertainment Editor

‘Orphan: First Kill’

OK, I know this is a prequel to “Orphan,” but it technically came out after the original film. Plus, the car chase scene with Esther and the cops is beyond camp. She was seriously giving Lana Del Rey — I won't take any questions or comments.

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- Chloe Southard, Asst. Entertainment Editor

‘Gremlins 2’

After the success of “Gremlins,” Warner Bros. wanted a follow-up, but Joe Dante refused until he was given full creative control. WB foolishly gave it to him, not expecting to get a sequel that was far different in tone.

“Gremlins” surprised families who saw Gizmo on the poster and thought it would be a cute family film; “Gremlins 2” surprised people who thought they were going to get the same scares, this time in the city, but found plenty of laughs instead. 

I'm fascinated by Dante as a director, and how this film helped bring light to the connections between humor and horror. His influences here are clear, from Busby Berkeley to “Looney Tunes.” Plus, where else can you see Hulk Hogan yell at gremlins for playing risqué volleyball films?

- Luke Macy, Digital Managing Editor

‘Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter’

Despite the boastful (and ultimately false) claim of being the final chapter, the fourth installment in the monolithic horror franchise is the series' most realized entry. The kills are gory, the characters are sleazy and the story even makes sense. Featuring strong performances from Crispin Glover before his “Back to the Future" fame and a young Corey Feldman, "The Final Chapter" is an underrated slasher that highlights exactly why fans love the genre.

- Eli Norman, The Miami Student

‘Army of Darkness’

The “Evil Dead” franchise as a whole has something for everyone. While many “Evil Dead” films offer amazingly blood-filled horror, “Army of Darkness” is the perfect Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell movie. Multiple “Three Stooges” gags and nonsensical jokes put you in the mind of Ash Williams more than any other entry to the series and leave yourself asking: "Did they really just make a joke after dismembering that guy?" 

And, unbeknownst to the audience at the time, one scene set up the franchise to have three separate timelines that we now see in the newer iterations.

- Kasey Turman, Campus & Community Editor

‘Scream 3’

The third installment to the popular “Scream” franchise, the film follows the iconic characters to Hollywood where a film adaption is being made of the book written on their lives. The killer shows up on the film set, leading to the third series of Ghostface killings. A unique contrast to the other films, “Scream 3” is one of the best sequels in the franchise, but it receives a lot of hate due to how different it is.

- Stella Powers, The Miami Student

‘Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou’

This sequel to the Canadian-American slasher "Prom Night" is just a sequel in name only. While the original "Prom Night" is a Jamie Lee Curtis-led "Halloween" ripoff, "Prom Night 2" trades knives and maniacs for a supernatural plot and stellar practical effects. The movie kicks off with a blaze as the titular Mary Lou is set alight at her prom and it only gets crazier from there.

- Eli Norman, The Miami Student

‘Dawn of the Dead’

Following up a genre defining movie like “Night of the Living Dead” isn't easy even for the "godfather of the dead" George A. Romero. But, Romero did just that with “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), and while the movie isn't a direct sequel, it's the second film in Romero's undead universe. The movie blends comic book-esque blood and gore with the humor of seeing zombies interact with escalators in a very dated shopping mall to create a riveting but humanized zombie movie that shouldn't be overlooked.

- Kasey Turman, Campus & Community Editor