We’ve all left the theater thinking, “wow, there’s definitely going to be a sequel to that!” But sometimes the wait seems to stretch on for years. In fact, some of the sequels on this list span decades! That wait can only serve to build up the hype more and more though, and to prove it we’ve got a list of sequels that are worth that wait!
You’ve waited long enough! Here’s 10 Long Awaited Horror Sequels to remind you that Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder!
10. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
This sleeper followup to 2008’s found footage creature feature Cloverfield was eight years in the making. This film follows three survivors of some apocalyptic event stuck in a fallout shelter. Of course, the bunker’s owner Howard played by John Goodman (The Big Lebowski) will not allow the others to leave, and so it falls to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s (Scott Pilgrim vs The World) Michelle to find a way out. At first there appears to be no connection to the previous entry, but wait until the end and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
9. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
It’s hard to follow up Danny Boyle’s breakout zombie flick 28 Days Later (2002). Maybe that’s why it took 5 years for 28 Weeks Later (2007) to hit theaters. In any case, as the title of the film states, it takes place 28 weeks after the start of the zombie apocalypse. At this point, safe zones have been established and it appears that the zombies infestation is under control. But things don’t stay that way for long, and this entry pulls no punches when it comes to the brutality that 28 Days Later was known for!
8. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
The Strangers (2008), the first installment of these home invasion horror films, received a fairly positive reception leaving audiences expecting a sequel. It wasn’t until 2018, though, that The Strangers: Prey at Night was released. When it comes to sequels, this film follows the tropes you would expect with the killers being kicked up a notch and the kills being more elaborate. Where the first installment focused primarily on atmosphere and tension, Prey at Night focuses more on the constant danger and adrenaline of being chased. The difference in tone, though, can be attributed to the change in horror over the decade since the first installment. It’s not as strong as the original, but it is still quality slasher material!
7. 3 From Hell (2019)
Rob Zombie’s pair of films featuring Firefly Family have been the darling of the horror community since their release in the early 2000s. The fervor with which fans consumed any news about an upcoming sequel displays just how influential House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005) were. Though reception was generally mixed and the absence of the late Sid Haig is sorely felt, Zombie’s conclusion to the Firefly Trilogy was definitely one of the most heavily anticipated horror films of all time. Say what you will about the film compared to its predecessors, but 3 From Hell still delivers the signature Rob Zombie grittiness and danger fans have come to love.
6. Blair Witch (2016)
This film came seemingly out of nowhere after a whopping 17 years since its predecessor (ignoring Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) for reasons you can read about in my next Devils in the Details article!), Blair Witch (2016) really pays homage to The Blair Witch Project (1999) by sticking to the mythology of the original. Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett of V/H/S 2 fame, this film really brings the legend of the Blair Witch into the modern era sporting some great found footage shots with one of the earliest examples of “drone camera” found footage. This film definitely holds true to the creepiness of the franchise!
5. Halloween (2018)
It’s difficult to express just how big of a deal it was to get news of this film. Not only was it the first Halloween installment in 9 years, but it also marked the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode reprising her role for the first time since Halloween H20 (1998). Technically a followup to John Carpenter’s original Halloween (1978) this would actually be the longest wait for a sequel on the list spanning 40 years!! If you enjoy any of the Michael Myers franchise this is required watching.
4. Aliens (1986)
How do you make a sequel to one of the greatest horror films of all time? You ad an ‘s’ to the end! James Cameron’s follow up to Ridley Scott’s classic, Aliens (1986) was expensive in true Cameron fashion! This film follows survivor of the first film Ellen Ripley played again by Sigourney Weaver who is tasked with assisting a team of space marines after discovering that the moon on which the aliens were found has been colonized. The big budget pays off because if you thought one murderous alien creature stalking the crew of a ship was scary, how about hundreds?
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986)
This is the third time this film has made it onto one of my lists, and it isn’t hard to see why. Among horror fans, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986) really leans into the gorey, gritty, raw aspects of Tobe Hooper’s original. This film sees the Sawyer Family develop into terrifying caricatures that encapsulate the backwoods horror of the original with more of a slasher flair. Coming in at a completely different point in horror history than its predecessor, nearly 12 years later, its success is a testament to Hooper’s ability to tap into the collective unconscious and produce a true horror classic!
2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
You’d be hard pressed to write a list of horror sequels and not include Dawn of the Dead. This follow up to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living dead continues the social commentary with a bigger budget meaning more gore and more zombies. Following a group of survivors who hole up in a shopping mall, this film is dripping with commentary on commercialism, race relations, and sexism. Despite picking up 10 years after Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), really works as a sequel and sets the template for future zombie films.
1. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Evil Dead 2 (1987) really had to be on this list. With 6 years between this and Evil Dead, it’s a decent amount to wait for Sam Raimi’s next installment. This film is a special case when it comes to sequels as it served as an opportunity for Raimi to make the film that he wish he could have made with Evil Dead (1981). Evil Dead 2 served to established the character of Ash and brought a level of camp and gore that other horror films would emulate in the ensuing years. Plus, Evil Dead 2 laid the groundwork for another great sequel, Army of Darkness (1992), which would come only 5 short years later. One could even include Ash vs Evil Dead the Starz sequel series spawned in 2015. With talk of a reboot, it’s clear that Raimi is a fan of making his audience wait!
What did you think of these picks? What are some other sequels that were a long time coming? Let us know on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!