5 Criminally Underrated Slasher Sequels To Watch This Holiday Weekend

The slasher genre is likely the most popular subgenre amongst horror fans. Most genre film enthusiasts have a sweet spot for stalk-and-slash cinema and it’s not hard to see why. So many defining modern horror efforts belong to that very subgenre. There’s HalloweenScreamA Nightmare on Elm Street, just to name a few. But the slasher sequel is a very different beast. I suppose I understand why follow-up efforts in the horror space get a bad reputation. There is a lot of rapidly-produced crap out there that abandons everything that made the original effort so noteworthy. But that’s far from a hard-and-fast rule.

Some of the films outlined below give the originals a run for their money. Others efforts showcased are merely a fun time that deserves more love. Whatever the case may be, these five slasher sequels are underrated and deserving of more credit than they get. 

Friday the 13th Part 2

Friday the 13th Part II

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Friday the 13th: Part 2 doesn’t have a sizable fanbase among slasher fans, because it certainly does. However, I would say this film lives in the shadow of the original. And that’s a shame because I consider it to be the superior effort of the two. This follow-up effort brought the Jason Voorhees we know and love into focus as the central antagonist. Plus it features a more relatable cast than its predecessor.

Moreover, the introduction of Jason as the killer is far less clunky than the haphazard manner in which Mrs. Voorhees is thrown into the mix in Friday the 13th. I will gladly acknowledge that fans owe a massive debt of gratitude to the original, without which there would never be a second installment. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that that Part 2 is the superior offering. 

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh 

Candyman 2

Sure, it doesn’t match the harrowing heights that Bernard Rose’s original reaches and there isn’t as much social commentary or subtext to be found. But in all fairness, I think the sequel needed to carve out its own path to avoid being derivative. This follow-up effort relocates the action (and the titular character) to New Orleans and takes on a slightly less foreboding tone. But it’s rather enjoyable and gets plenty right. Farewell to the Flesh is an entertaining effort that features some noteworthy kill sequences and gives viewers a little more context on the titular character and his tragic origin story. And if nothing else, it is far better than the less-than-stellar third installment, Candyman 3: Day of the Dead

Scream 4

I suppose that the fourth installment in the Scream series is finally beginning to build a larger fanbase. But I still think it remains somewhat unappreciated by the masses. For context, the flick sits at a 60% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of only 56%. When stopping to consider that this sequel gave us a new fan-favorite character in Kirby (whose return fans have long been clamoring for) and Deputy Judy’s lemon squares, I think it deserves better. In fact, I know it does. 

Jason X

Jason X space

I will willingly acknowledge that Jason X isn’t perfect. This slasher sequel takes Jason to outer space and sees the big buffoon stalking-and-slashing his way through a spacecraft. It’s over-the-top, silly, campy, and funnier than it is scary. However, Jason X hits all the right notes for me. The death sequences are epic and the tongue-in-cheek approach works to great effect. Even if you’re not overly taken with the series’ tenth installment, you have to give this sequel credit for featuring a David Cronenberg cameo and a laugh-inducting summer camp simulation that briefly takes the audience back to Camp Crystal Lake.

The Strangers: Prey at Night

The Strangers

I genuinely cannot wrap my head around why this sequel is so underrated. I suspect it has to do with the fact that The Strangers: Prey at Night dares to deviate from the tone and style of its predecessor. But I suspect that if we’d gotten more of the same, people would have been unhappy with that, too. With a property as beloved and celebrated as The Strangers, there is very little chance of a follow-up striking the kind of balance that will make everyone happy. However, the family at the center of the story feels authentic. And while the film is a bit more formulaic than the original, there are a couple of genuinely surprising sequences contained within. Moreover, the swimming pool scene is pretty remarkable. The cinematography and set design are used to maximum effect. A truly memorable sequence, indeed. 



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