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Discussion in 'Site Polls' started by rhett, Sep 7, 2008.
I haven't seen many of the black and white horror films. I also find that their quality is hard to determine. Many / most of them feel the same.
As for the 1970's and up, I go with Psycho as the series having the best sequels. If you don't count the remake. They were all at least better than average films of their type. If you're smart enough to look at them as having their own identities apart from the Hitchcock's original, you'll understand why they're so good. Part II is an amazing slasher film and literally one of the only truly classy slasher movies that doesn't feel the need to rely on cheap nudity. It only implies it. Part III on the other hand, while incredibly sleazy, is also really dark, well-paced, well-stylized, and very scary. It has a few problems in relation to the character of Norman Bates and seems to be making jokes at his expense, but if that's true, at least they're freaking funny jokes (that "stop laughing at me!" scene is wonderful). Part IV doesn't get enough credit. If nothing else made this movie work, HELLO- Olivia Hussey and CCH Pounder are incredible actresses and, along with another very strong performance by Anthony Perkins, make almost all of this movie work expertly. Just because a lot of really immature pee-ons like to attack anything Mick Garris directs does not automatically make this a bad movie. This is an outstanding sequel (until the ending) and considering it's also a made-for-TV movie makes it all the more impressive.
After that, I think Scream and Friday the 13th (for the exact reasons Matt89 mentioned) are the only truly great franchises. The Scream sequels suffer a little from trying to continue the theme they thought people loved the original for ("their love of 'scary movies' " then became "their love of sequels" then became "their love of trilogies" - and that was a weak decision, that's not what the first film was about) and Randy's stupid movie rants (in the original movie, they had a point, in the sequels they just did it because they were responding to the studio mentality of: "the audience loves the character" like we're not supposed to find him irritating but in the first movie we were supposed to be irritated by him and find him a loser, the sequels tried to make him a "lovable" loser and you could feel that was an unnecessary concession the movie didn't need to make), and the tone of the movies shifted away from slasher-horror and more toward detective thriller and buddy comedy. However, the acting remained strong, and everything the filmmakers tried as a theme in the movies basically paid off.
I went Halloween. I thought about it like this: Which series had the most consistantly solid follow-ups instead of the one or two strangest. Halloween / Hallowen 2 / Halloween 3 / Halloween 4 are all pretty damn good. Whereas Friday 1 & 2 stand out in that series as do Elm Street 1 & 2. I would put Romero's Dead series second for the same reasons and Hammer's Frankenstein series a close third.
Friday the 13th, I love most of the sequels and the ones Im not as keen on, I still like bits of.
Dead series, just because it generally seems more of a consistent story as the films progress. I didn't like DIARY at all, but for me that's only one genuine stinker out of five, which is a pretty good batting average. So many people like at least one of the later films better than the original film--I'm not one of these people, but I think this series is one of the few where there's a large group of fans who actually like at least one of the later films better than the first installment. Even with the last two films, that's still a pretty strong sign of quality.
So many good ones there to choose. But I chose Phantasm. I picked that one because each sequel really felt like a continuation of the prior movie. The whole series feels like one long movie. Same characters, same director... Very comfortable with the people on screen.
I chose Friday the 13th. Even the shitfests that are Part 8 and Jason X have interesting enough kills to make me enjoy watching.
I voted for the SAW series. While most horror franchises have their redheaded stepchildren and continuity cluster fucks, the SAW films are remarkably consistent in tone and production value. Say what you will about the soap operaness of each new plot revelation, there is a genuine effort at mythos building while still trying to give audiences more of what they liked about the first film. It doesn’t always work (Saw III was dire), but the series is certainly all of a piece. The Scream films would’ve been able to claim the same thing if they hadn’t totally botched the third one.
Some thoughts on some of the more notable series listed:
The Nightmare series has produced more bona fide masterpieces than any of the others on the list (1, 3 and 7), but there was a consistent downward slide after Dream Warriors until Craven rescued the series with New Nightmare. Still, this is one series where every installment offers at least some passable entertainment value, although my judgment of Freddy’s Dead is colored by my nostalgia for having seen in the theatre with the 3-d climax. Sorry, but when you’re 12 that’s the most awesome thing ever.
My nostalgia extends to almost all of the Halloween sequels, despite their wildly varying quality. Has their ever been a series with a much fucked up chronology? As much as I disliked the decision to remake it Halloween, it was really the most sensible thing to do. There are so many loose ends and abandoned plot lines in the sequels that you almost need to provide a primer for people not steeped in the lore of the series. With the exception of the first three, you can watch the Halloween movies in almost any order and not really miss anything.
Romero’s Dead films hold up pretty well, too, and although Day and Land certainly aren’t in the same league as Night or Dawn, they’re much closer than most sequels ever come. Diary, however, completely killed it.
I actually thought that Child’s Play 2 was better than the first, but the inherent silliness of the concept caught up with the filmmakers by the third film. The series had already slid into unintentional comedy (and no, I’m not talking about Chucky’s one-liners) when they decided to go for intentional comedy with Bride. Too little, too late. This series is beyond salvation.
Psycho. That’s a tough one. I love Psycho II with a genuine, unironic passion. It’s certainly not as good a film as the original but if push comes to shove, I’d rather watch II any day of the week (my Psycho II dvd is autographed by Meg Tilly and sits in a display case). III never really comes together as a cohesive whole, although there are individual scenes that skirt on the edges of brilliance. Perkins is a bit too “off-the chain” in this one, and after the ending of II there’s little to no suspense. IV is one of the best made-for-cable films I’ve ever seen. It looks as slick and polished as any theatrical release of its time might’ve. The problem is that it makes the mistake of wanting to fill in gaps that don’t need to be filled in. It’s extremely entertaining for what it is, but there’s no real arc in the narrative and at the end we’re pretty much right back where we started.
As far as I’m concerned there are only 3 Hellraiser films and although the third feels incongruous with the first two, they’re all pretty great.
I had to vote for Friday The 13th as I enjoy pretty much every installment, except for Jason Goes To Hell.
I came really close to voting for Wolfman though. Just really awesome movies to watch late at night.
Friday the 13th pretty solid IMO!
I went with Halloween. Halloween II is a spectacular horror film in my book, and Halloween 4 and 5 are quite good as well. Even H20 is decent.
Friday the 13th has a few good sequels as well, mainly the three first ones, but the rest of the franchise has little appeal to me.