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Sequel Showdown: 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s

As there are so few entries left (prequels will come next time), I decided to group the final ten titles into one globular post: A piece of discarded gum with various hockey masks, knives, razor-gloves, and creepy children stuck to it.


The Sevens: Children of the Corn: Revelation; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

A fairly decent group here… The Corn movies were getting stranger and stranger, but the producers of this seventh outing at least managed to inject a small vial of… let’s call it ‘dis-settlement’ rather than creepiness. Jason’s seventh stomp through the woods (fifth, if we’re going to be really pedantic about it) pit him against a Carrie-lite chick with telekinetic powers. Halloween H20 reunited Jamie Lee Curtis with her psychotic big-bro as a reaction to Scream. And Wes Craven had the final laugh by making a Freddy film about Freddy films.

It’s actually difficult to choose… Corn can get the boot first, naturally, but between the three mainstays, we’ve got a naff-but-fun soggy sequel, a reboot that harshly ignored all the work people did in previous films, and an inventively scary but kinda draggy chiller with little-to-no slashing at all. Hmmm…


The Eights: Children of the Corn: Genesis; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Halloween: Resurrection; Freddy vs. Jason (I know, I know, it’s both an 8 and an 11, but I’m tired and hungry).

Genesis is so bad it hurts. Goodbye. Followed swifty by the worst of the original Paramount Fridays. Even a non-gorehound like me needed a little claret on show to liven this one up… Halloween: Resurrection not only concocted the most stupid fucking way of bringing back Michael Myers, it also has Busta Rhymes in it. BUT… as a cheesy standalone slasher movie, I do like it. Then there’s the WWE smackdown of the other two slasher movie heavyweights.

More hmmm-ing required…


Nine and Ten: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Jason X

With only two films this should be easy. Both suck in terms of their franchise, but which sucks more? Hell went all Hidden with this demon-spirit of J-man but had an awesome opening few minutes and that camping scene. X, on the other hand, tried to do something different. It failed, but at least they tried. There were a couple of chuckles too

The Finalists:


Not a great pot to choose from, really… New Nightmare is technically the best made, but how often do I want to sit down and watch it? Almost never. So Halloween: H20 succeeds it. On the basis I didn’t want to be Halloweened out, I plumped for Freddy vs Jason, and the good scenes in Jason Goes to Hell just beat out the good scenes from Jason X, so the former takes the glory. Albeit as short lived as a visitor to Camp Crystal Lake, because it’s not gonna win.

The Winner:

Best of a bad bunch, it might be. Halloween H20 is decent fare, but the whole “3 to 6 never happened” stuff is unforgivable. Jamie Lee’s return buoys it, the low body count tips it in the opposite direction again, so does Josh Hartnett, but it’s way better than Jason Goes to Hell and just about pips Freddy vs Jason in qualitative terms.

Bit of a dull winner, but a winner nonetheless.

Sequel Showdown: 6s, Sixes, and VIs

The further you venture into the cave, the darker it gets… Or, the less franchises there are that reach that sacred sixth installment. In fact, there are but five slasher films (that I know of) that have reached this pinnacle, so this time we’ll take ’em one by one…

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Often held as the last true hurrah for the hockey masked one, writer/director Tom McLoughlin weaved a witty thread of comedy through Jason’s resurrection adventure, pleasantly elevating Jason Lives over and above the previous few entries.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

“They saved the best for last.” No. No, they did not. The sixth and ‘final’ outing for Mssr. Krueger was chucked out with a 3D finale, and cameos from Alice Cooper, Roseanne, and Tom Arnold, but everything else is as forgettable as can be, from the dismal body count of THREE to Freddy’s quips, which by this point were more dated than disco.

One bizarre anecdote was that the films staggered US-UK releases were punctuated by the death of Freddy Mercury in November 1991, so TV adverts proclaiming “Freddy’s Dead!” were a tad lacking in the tact department.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Largely unloved by fans of Mikey M., I actually wrung a fair amount of enjoyment from this one, which was the last of the original films to maintain a really ‘Halloweeny’ atmosphere – plus it was the possibly the first sequel I saw of the lot.

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return (1999)

John Franklin returned to his creepy role from the original film fifteen years previously, which would surely mean the corn sprogs would want him dead as he’s well into adulthood? Who knows with this series. Nancy Allen was in it, I’ve only seen it the once, but it was definitely better than the horrific TV movie/remake and the recent Genesis episode.

Curse of Chucky (2013)

Don Mancini has, for the time being, successfully resisted the remake-demons getting their paws on his property and, instead, a quasi-reboot was thrown together in the shape of this made for DVD flick, which opted for a back to basics approach with Chucky seen neither moving nor speaking for a good half of the running time. It seems to have done the trick.

The Finalists

Essentially, all five films are finalists, but it’s easy to eliminate Freddy’s Dead and Children of the Corn off the bat: Neither managed to ding the bell of decency.

Next out would be Chucky; it was a good film but the cut-price one-place/one-night setting made it drag just a little.

So, surprise, surprise, it’s between two genre icons who have already bagged prizes in Rounds 2 and 4 respectively, but for being both witty and maintaining a ‘classics’ summer camp feel, it’s gotta be the J-man:

The Winner

Next time, all the sevens!

Sequel Showdown: 5s, Fives, and Vs

The further down the dark alley of multi-sequel franchises we go, the less light there is, and so we’re left with just seven films to choose from – so once again I’ve chucked in a Saw sequel to prevent the cart from spilling…

So, on with the fives…



Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning; A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror

Strangely, the three ‘big’ names in this round all have weirdness surrounding their titles: Friday 5 has no numerical suffix on the film itself, the same with Elm Street 5, and Halloween 5 appears on screen without the lengthy subtitle. Freddy and Michael’s fifth rounds, released within two months of one another, are both dreary affairs, whereas the fifth Corn movie is a fun, but of course entirely stupid and wildly off course with the previous and subsequent entries, leaving the gateway open for Jason 5, uh Friday 5 to take the win. Yes, it’s massively hated and not nearly as well made as the other films, but it’s by far the most fun!



Seed of Chucky; Saw V; Final Destination 5; Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines

As before, I’m cruelly giving Jigsaw the kick straight away, followed by Wrong Turn 5, which could have appeared in the prequel round, but as Wrong Turn 4, was the ‘official’ prequel, and this just a sequel to that which happens to take place before the original movie, it lands here instead, failing anyway. The same could be said for FD5, but given that it’s prequeldom is in fact the ‘ big twist’ and that it otherwise plays out as a regular sequel until the last few minutes, we find it here instead. Seed of Chucky is funny but I’m not wild about the franchise, so it loses out to Death itself.

The Finalists


So, not the most flashy of finalists and being that there are only two is also quite dull… For sixes, sevens, eights, etc, there won’t even be enough films to declare finalists, so make the most of it!

I don’t care what anybody says, Friday 5 is super-fun. So there’s no Jason (bar dream sequences), all manner of ridiculous set-ups, no end of babes willing to pop their tops, and just about every cut n’ dried slasher cliche in the book thrown into the mixing bowl, plus proto-Madonna punk girl Violet robot-dancing around her room.

So, it would be wrong to declare anything other than…


…as the winner.

THE Final Destination [4] was supposed to be Death’s last word. Its 3D gimmick – however dreadful – somehow managed to rake in masses of box office receipts, more than enough to prompt a further chomping of the bit. In spite of the utter crap left in the wake of the previous film, and more 3D to send all manner of implements and shrapnel flying at the audience, Final Destination 5 turned out to be something of a gem.

While not doing the same business as the earlier one, FD5 brought back Tony Todd as Death’s riddle-spouting pal, provided a best opening catastrophe since the original, and also packed a great twist, albeit one that leaked before the release date. If there’s a better #5 in the body count realm, I’m yet to encounter it.

Sequel Showdown: 4s, Fours, and IVs

In the last round, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 was crowned best three-quel, and so now logically we move on to Part 4s…

Where are Wrong Turn 4 and Psycho IV you ask? They will be appearing the prequel edition in the future, so don’t be sad, they’ll get their moment. Or not, as neither is likely to win, are they!?


sequel4s1 copy2


Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil

Teenage Death Camp Massacre Part IV: Revenge of the Overlong and Quite Unnecessary Suffix Title. OK, I’ve always felt Friday 4 was a tad overrated. Yes, it’s gory. Yes, there’s lots of sex and nudity. No, there’s not much character development or plot. The best thing in it is actually the little Jason Megamix that opens the film. Elm Street 4 – the “MTV Nightmare” – is one of my favourites from that series, but it pales in comparison to Halloween 4, which went all out to be suspenseful and just a little bit more thoughtful than its cohorts. Prom Night IV is in-name only, with tenuous links to its predecessors – but it’s alright.



Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation; Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering; Bride of Chucky; Cheerleader Massacre

Despite being a fairly uninteresting horror-icon, Chucky wins this round against quite pitiful competition from the worst Texas Chainsaw instalment so far (yes, even the new one was better), a plain boring Children of the Corn insert, and the is-it-isn’t-it fourth Slumber Party Massacre flick.



Saw IV; Return to Sleepaway Camp; The Final Destination; Scream 4

Why is Saw here, you squawk? Eleven is a prime number so I had to crowbar in another sequel to balance things up. Even so, I remember it being a bit of a dullard. Scream 4 runs off with the trophy with ease; though I’m quite fond of Return to Sleepaway CampThe Final Destination was bitterly disappointing.

The Finalists


The longer they go on, the worse they seem to get, one could say. But let’s shut up and be thankful that THIRTEEN slasher franchises (I didn’t forget you, Psycho and Wrong Turn) made it to a fourth movie.

Now, let’s choose a winner…

  • Bride of Chucky‘s out first. It’s easily the most entertaining Child’s Play entry, but the whole series is just a bit annoying in it’s we-know-we’re-taking-the-piss demeanor. I like it, I don’t love it.
  • Scream 4, on the other hand, may have been hugely divisive when it came to audience reception, but the nostalgic value of going back to Woodsboro was a nice shot in the arm, as was the amusing opening scene extravaganza and the killer’s bitchy exposition.

So, the winner of this not-so-thrilling round of the contest is Mickey himself…

The slasher debut of now-genre-fixture Danielle Harris is a low-key event to say the least; it’s neither gory, booby, or high-octane. In many ways it’s a slasher film on a sedative; slow and occasionally plodding, but nevertheless faithful to the original outing and incredibly well made.

You may have noticed that the winners so far have come from the three big franchises… That’s a bit annoying really, but if these other schmucks can’t bring it, what are we to do?

Buckle up for those Part 5’s next month.

Sequel Showdown: 3s, Threes, and IIIs

So in the 2s, Twos, and IIs list last month, Friday the 13th Part 2 beat off (not like that – ew!) all the competition to be crowned best #2 slasher sequel.

Twos-ville is a crowded suburb, but numbers dwindle a little for the Threes…



Friday the 13th Part III; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Psycho III;
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
; Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland

So, which is the best of the first crop? Elm Street 3 – the first slasher film I ever saw – gets my vote, followed by Psycho and Friday, with the dismal Halloween III coming in last.



Prom Night III: The Last Kiss; Silent Night Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!; Slumber Party Massacre III; Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Child’s Play 3

A difficult era for the genre, not a lot of high-profile original material was released after circa-1987; the three big franchises even wound down as box office numbers crumbled… I digress, Prom Night III is my favoured entry here; though Slumber and Child’s Play are decent, TCM – a franchise I’ve never been wild about – doesn’t live up to the “most controversial film ever made” blurb of its poster, and the less said about Silent Night III the better.



Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence; Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest;
Scream 3; Urban Legends: Bloody Mary; Scarecrow Gone Wild

A far-reaching group here, showing how few franchises got to numero tres at this time… Scream 3 clearly kicks the asses of the rest, though I quite enjoyed UL3. The rest are kinda sucky.



Final Destination 3; The Graveyard; I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer; Boogeyman 3; Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead

Another easy one; FD3 cleans up against uber-feeble competition from what’s technically Bloody Murder 3, and truly horrid entries in the Last Summer and Wrong Turn canons.

The Finalists


This could be a bit too easy…

Prom Night III is funny, but derivative of it’s neighbour here, Elm Street. Being a finalist at all should be gratifying enough for it and everybody involved. Congrats to you all, but you’re not winning.

I used to love Scream 3 more when I first saw it, but repeated viewings have scrutinised some of its evident problems. It’s still fun, but there’s a boredom emanating from the returning players, all of whom look like they’d rather be doing something else, as did Kevin Williamson, it seemed, who barely contributed a damn thing. And then they aaaall came crawling back a decade later…

Final Destination 3 largely re-booted to the original template, but did so with far more venom and disregard for its characters, who are done away with far more viciously than in any of the other entries in the series.

Thus, the winner is…



Clearly the best threequel in the slasher realm; they got everything right in this one (though it drags a little towards the end): The vein puppet, Jennifer’s “big break in TV”, and an overall great concept make Freddy the deserved winner.

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