Best Horror Franchise

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I’m struggling to think of a horror series which has been great from first to last movie. So many have a great original and are then ruined by sequels going off on a different tangent trying to keep things fresh. I quite liked Friday the 13th until New Line Cinema took over and took things to another place altogether. Halloween and Halloween H20 were great also but were let down by other TV quality sequels. Scream was a good effort but as for the third movie?
Perhaps a perfect franchise just doesn’t exist? What are your thoughts? I’m intrigued.



Tricky. The fundamental question, I guess, is going to be whether you hold bad entries against the franchise, IE: whether you go by the highs, or by average quality, because most franchises get run into the ground (and then rebooted, of course) at some point.



I love all 3 evil dead verry much.



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I think Evil Dead wins out simply because it has so few entries - three acclaimed entries and a passable remake - whereas most of the other big horror franchises usually consist of one revered classic followed by several (often incredibly) inferior installments that drag down the overall quality of the franchise.
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I would say Hannibal Lecter, but I don't consider it horror per se. In case not, then I'll go with Friday the 13th.



My favorite horror series is easily Ginger Snaps. The first one is great, the second one is admirably weird, and the third one might be fan service, but it makes good use of its historical setting and pulls off several memorable sequences.

I agree that Evil Dead benefits from a short run. Much to the dismay of my horror friends, I'm not the biggest fan of the series. It never quite clicks with me, but I know why so many people love it.

Depending on how you categorize it, the Alien franchise could be a contender. (Don't be that person: it's okay for people to think of Alien as a horror film).

I can see why the Scream movies would make the list. Romero's Night/Dawn/Day of the Dead trilogy is solid, though I can't speak to the ones that come after that. Karloff's Frankenstein trilogy is worth a mention.

When it comes to off-kilter series, the Sleepaway Camp, Re-Animator, and Maniac Cop films hold pretty steady.



My favorite horror series is easily Ginger Snaps. The first one is great, the second one is admirably weird, and the third one might be fan service, but it makes good use of its historical setting and pulls off several memorable sequences.
The first two are great. I had the first at #7 on my horror countdown ballot and the sequel barely missed the top-25. The third one, unfortunately, is a major drop in quality. I wish they had continued where the second ended instead of making this "alternate universe history hokey pokey". It has some nice scenes, as you said, but it's not a Ginger Snaps I wanted to see.
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The first two are great. I had the first at #7 on my horror countdown ballot and the sequel barely missed the top-25. The third one, unfortunately, is a major drop in quality. I wish they had continued where the second ended instead of making this "alternate universe history hokey pokey". It has some nice scenes, as you said, but it's not a Ginger Snaps I wanted to see.
It's definitely a step down, but I still find it watchable (and rewatchable!) and enjoyable.

I think that, given where the second film ended, it would have been challenging to bring back both of the sisters who are the main draw of the series.

I find it to be a consistently enjoyable trilogy, despite the drop in quality of the third film. (Which, again, I would argue is still a perfectly passable horror movie).



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Phantasm takes some beating



Huge horror fan but I can't think of a single franchise that has been good through all of it's entries (if there are more than a couple of course) My top choice would be the Alien films, two are classics and the rest range from good to eh. Even the hated at the time Alien 3 is pretty good I think. Others



The Conjuring (Including Annabelle movies)
Evil Dead (I'm not a big Army of Darkness fan but It doesn't destroy the others)
The Hammer Dracula series (These are fantastic for the most part)


Sadly most of the horror series' are one excellent film and just total steaming piles after like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play to name a few.



Agree with Phantasm and Maniac Cop.



Japanese Ring series is quite good as a whole. The first one is obviously above the rest, but I don't immediately remember any total stinkers from that franchise. Even Sadako vs. Kayako is pretty entertaining.












All three Universal Creature films are pretty good


The Romero Dead Trilogy is solid...






If you want to go foreign...Ossorio's Blind Dead series is solid






None of them. There has to be some novelty for a horror movie to work and once you're into sequel territory, it's not like you don't know what the horror will be.



None of them. There has to be some novelty for a horror movie to work and once you're into sequel territory, it's not like you don't know what the horror will be.
That could be true if a horror film needed to be scary to be good. Fortunately, I don't think so (it would basically render my favorite genre unwatchable if I thought so).



Romero's Dead movies ^^
Mainly the first 3 though.


Also, yeah Scream is good... mainly because it's so meta.
The fact that all the sequels also utilise how silly they're getting makes it all the better.
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What about Saw, maybe not the best franchise but i think they all equals in quality. If you like the first you like them all???



That could be true if a horror film needed to be scary to be good. Fortunately, I don't think so (it would basically render my favorite genre unwatchable if I thought so).
It needs to be somehow resonant or interesting to be good. In all my history with horror flix, I think the only sequel I ever liked was real old, The Bride of Frankenstein, which is so crazy and enjoyable, not because it was scary but because it was a completely crazy self-parody. Generally, other follow-ups don't do much but add to the pile of victims or get a better version of the monster, demon, psychopath or whatever. I guess it's like westerns, which reached a point where every possible plot line and character had already been done, so they needed to be sequel-ed or done over. Fortunately, horror movies have not gone the way of westerns, but they do get just as redundant.



It needs to be somehow resonant or interesting to be good.
But digging deeper into an established fictional world or recontextualizing the situation can be resonant and interesting. Something like the Dawn of the Dead's reframing the zombies in a context of capitalism/consumerism. Or the way that Ginger Snaps 2 uses the setting of the mental hospital and the character of the little girl to change to character arc of Bridget. The reason that I love Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 so much is that it takes us into the previously-unseen Hell/underworld.

I think that the sign of a bad/unnecessary sequel is that it simply tries to retread the same beats/arc/plots from the previous film. And I agree that some films don't have the "heft" for their stories to continue beyond the first film. But I think that there are plenty of worthy sequels. They might not all reach the heights of the first film, but I'd put several horror sequels above other "original" films.



I think that the sign of a bad/unnecessary sequel is that it simply tries to retread the same beats/arc/plots from the previous film. And I agree that some films don't have the "heft" for their stories to continue beyond the first film. But I think that there are plenty of worthy sequels. They might not all reach the heights of the first film, but I'd put several horror sequels above other "original" films.
True, but most franchises that I've seen do seem to do that. They are generally re-treads and the studio financial geeks calculate a box office figure based on some fraction of the first movie, come up with a budget that reflects that and then high-five themselves if the movie beats their expectations. They already know what, for example, Freddie Kruger looks like, so there's not much original design needed, actors already are familiar with their roles (even if they didn't act in the earlier movie) and audiences don't need much plot exposition, generally just a plot and character link to the previous movie, so they can get right into the bloodletting.

In my case, I generally avoid sequels because they rarely work for me, but I wonder if someone out there has compiled a list of horror flicks where the sequel was better than the first one.