The AiPT! staff talk about their favorite horror franchises.
As we close in on October 31, AiPT! will be reviewing and recommending various pieces of underappreciated scary media-books, comics, movies, and television-to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
It seems like every movie that comes out nowadays is setting itself up to be a franchise. This was not always the case. Sure, there have always been sequels but franchises are something relatively new to Hollywood. Except in the horror genre. The staff at AiPT! discuss their favorite horror movie franchises.
What is your favorite horror movie franchise?
Justin: Halloween. It’s the ultimate horror franchise in my opinion. Michael Myers is the scariest villain in horror history, and I will always look forward to a movie with him in it.
Megan: If I had to pick a favorite, I would say the Scream series. They’re all classics, and although none of them beat the first one, I think they’re all strong, entertaining horror films that I still rewatch to this day.
Nathaniel: Sure, it’s only three movies (or two if you want to nitpick), but the Evil Dead series is hard to beat for quality. Most long time franchises start hot then cool off significantly. Evil Dead benefits from having a low number of films. Plus, it spawned a damn good remake and a fun TV series.
Maybe it is nowhere near as good as it used to be, but what is a horror movie franchise you make sure to catch every new release for?
Justin: Saw. They definitely started to fall off after the third one, but I can’t help but continue to check them out and see what Jigsaw is up to next.
Megan: Like Justin said, Saw is definitely one of these movies, as well as the Final Destination series and the Paranormal Activity series. Others I would watch, but not be excited enough to see while it’s in theaters, would be upcoming movies for The Ring series, The Blair Witch series, the Unfriended series, and The Conjuring series.
Nathaniel: I was super excited at the surprise announcement of The Blair Witch. That didn’t turn out so well but I’m sure I would see a sequel. Maybe. One horror franchise that has fallen hard but I make sure to catch every installment is the Scary Movie series. They are horrible now, but I can’t help myself.
Who is the best villain from a horror movie franchise?
Justin: Michael Myers, no contest. He’s terrifying. Unlike Freddy or Jason, there’s something that seems so real about Michael. A 6 year old boy who murdered his sister, hasn’t spoken a word since, and has been described as “pure evil.” His mask is so simple yet so creepy. He is the true boogeyman.
Megan: It’s a tie for me between Saw’s Jigsaw and the serial killer from Creep, who changes names in the sequel. Both are utterly brilliant, they’re portrayed well, and both characters have this sort of charm that leaves you curious and fascinated.
Nathaniel: Hard to top Michael Myers. Unlike Jason or Freddy, he has not become a caricature of himself. In the interest of being different, I will go with Pinhead. He looks terrifying at a glance; just the sight of him is enough to turn a person off from watching a Hellraiser movie. His quiet demeanor makes him all the more frightening.
Horror sequels caught on before franchises became big in Hollywood. What makes them work even though the sequels tend to drop in quality?
Justin: It’s fun to see your favorite villains back on screen. Whether the sequels are genuinely scary or they suck so badly they make you laugh, it’s fun either way. They typically suck, so they provide some good laughs.
Megan: I agree with Justin. I love seeing the villains and sometimes even the leftover survivors from the previous movie back in action. With franchises like Cube, the sequel Cube 2: Hypercube was actually better than its predecessor. Although Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 sucked, I think their franchise made up for it with the 2016 release of Blair Witch. However, in movies like Jeepers Creepers and Urban Legend, the sequels were so bad and disappointing that I honestly don’t know if I would continue watching if either got another release.
Davis: I have a love/hate relationship with horror sequels. For me the absolute worst one is the abysmal, shameful Halloween Resurrection. That film should be burned forever, but then I love the Insidious sequels and other select ones. To me, the rule should always be: is there something else worth saying? Are there things we can build on to continue to please the loyal fanbase? The motivating factor should never be money, I realize it’s an industry but still….
Nathaniel: I am a huge fan of backstory and lore and horror stories have a lot of both. Even when they tend to lose sight of the original story they seem to eventually find their way. back. Whereas other sequels can get by with a throwaway line, horror movies have deep stories that are practically begging to be explored. The end result is not always good, but it’s fun hearing it.
The Conjuring folks are building their own universe. Is this the next big horror franchise or is there something else you see catching on?
Justin: They’ve definitely done a solid job at building their own universe. I’m not personally into it, but they seem to be doing very well at the box office so I’d say it probably is the next big horror franchise. I don’t see any other new options catching on at the moment, but I’m sure something will come along in the next few years.
Megan: I’ve just recently watched both The Conjuring movies for the first time. They have excellent scares, the cast is great, the characters are likable, and the world they have created is intriguing, so it’s no surprise that these movies have become popular. I wouldn’t quite say I would be in a rush to see these in the theater, but I would one hundred percent give each a watch as soon as their DVD release. I think, if done right, an audience loves going back and visiting a certain world, which is why Harry Potter is so big for example. The Conjuring series definitely does it right, and that’s why they’re so beloved.
Davis: The Conjuring films have certainly been very successful, reaching up to four entries now. In my opinion, The Nun (the most recent film) is the best yet, and did extremely well…. So if they choose to move forward with the universe (which I believe they are) then I hope they keep up the quality of the previous films.
Nathaniel: The Conjuring movies are hit and miss, but they have successfully started a new universe that shows no signs of slowing down. I thought Hell Fest was an interesting idea executed poorly, but audiences seem to have reacted well to it. The ending demands a sequel which I am sure it will get.