Underrated Installments in Horror Film Franchises

     We all have our favorite horror monsters. The one horror series that we all go back to, time and time again. You know, like a fucked up comfort food. And like sports teams on the West Coast, they can’t all be winners. But some do deserve a second chance, a great hidden gem lurking in the shadows like our psychopathic friends.

A Nightmare on Elm Street:

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     I really wanted to put Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, but that movie exists all on its own. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master stays within its established continuity. Everybody gives love to parts 1, 3, and 7, while this one gets just thrown in like an afterthought. But there’s so much fun, awesome imagery, and a strong protagonist with an actual fucking character arch. Trust me, if you want to jump in and see the premise go to new sights, see this one.

Friday the 13th:

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     Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is like that one weird relative that no one talks about, and barely acknowledge at reunions. After Jason was killed in the previous installment, they decided that Tommy Jarvis would be the protagonist dealing with what seems like the return of Jason. With going this different route, the film goes back to the structure of the original film and plays like a mystery, and an ending that was ballsy enough to have it retconned in the next film. Believe me, it’s intriguing and a shit ton of fun.

Child’s Play:

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     Yeah. This one. I never understood the sheer disdain for this movie. The most common thing I heard was, “Chucky wasn’t scary anymore”. Well, in the 7 years since part 3, Chucky really wasn’t scary anymore. Be honest, he became a joke way before Bride of Chucky. This one just fucking went with it, and basically did a retelling of Bride of Frankenstein. And I’m totally OK with that! It’s supposed to be funny. It has doll sex. Yes, I’m serious. You’re welcome.

Psycho:

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     Hold on to your fucking cries of sacrilege, I’m saying this movie is awesome in its own right, a damn fine follow up. The movie is a character study on Norman Bates trying to adjust, and make amends to society. Admit it, that sounds fucking sweet. Anthony Perkins, he just makes the whole movie work. You’ll feel bad for him. Trust me.

Final Destination:

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     Now this is underrated. Seriously, no one ever talks about this movie (when the series is brought up). The roller coaster death is just everyone’s real fears to life. And this one got more ridiculous with its deaths, so that is so worth it. And Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Case closed.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre:

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     It’s pretty weird that the second movie in a franchise of soon to be eight films is the one that’s considered to be the most underrated. Well, this happened when I saw Texas Chainsaw 3D, which ignored all the sequels including this one. My thought was, “Aw, that sucks. I liked that one”. Yeah, it’s a weird fucking movie. The tone between films changed from: Terrifying to Dark Comedy. And I hated it at the time, but seeing all the others, at least this one tried to do something different. Dennis Hopper/Leatherface Chainsaw duel. ‘Nuff said.

Hellraiser:

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Jesus wept, there’s a lot of shitty sequels in this franchise. Like, fuck! They even start to bleed together (hee hee). Inferno is just… Well… It put Pinhead in a role that I thought he should have always played: The Punisher of Hell. He will fuck with you, then rip your soul apart. It’s not a masterpiece, but it ain’t bad.

The “Dead” Films

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     When your first two films are Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, the rest can be forgotten. Except this one. This one is fun, and you can tell it had an actual budget. That is just too weird, man. The acting is a good balance of seriousness and humor. Haha, this movie has the Mentalist.

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     I have to confess: I fucking love this movie! This movie had the gall to fucking start preaching about the flaws in the Medical healthcare system. Wow, that just… Made it so unintentionally hilarious! It’s being sincere, while showing some horrific, needlessly complicated deaths. That juxtaposition alone makes it a masterpiece of the Saw series.

Halloween:

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     It’s fitting on this Halloween holiday inspired post, that I end on the most underrated installment in a horror franchise: Halloween III: Season of the Witch. This movie is so fucking loathed because it doesn’t have Michael Myers. The idea was that after Halloween 2, the series would become an anthology, each film having a new story and characters. I’m so sad this didn’t continue. I love Michael Myers and all, but horror stories revolving around Halloween? That’s too cool. And this one actually goes into the history of Halloween. Because of this movie, I know how to properly pronounce Samhain. The jingle will get so stuck in your head. The ending is still harrowing to me after two decades since I saw it. 

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