The 1990’s weren’t as hard on the horror genre as most people would lead you to believe. Sure, in comparison to the two prior decades, it may seem like the genre took a backwards step (Save for a few big hits), but the ten-year stretch was decent as a whole. The common complaint is that, after many years of originality, fans were forced to endure numerous lackluster sequels to better films- but truth be told, many of those movies don’t get the credit that they deserve. So, in the spirit of defending things that nobody likes, here are five 90’s horror sequels that are totally underrated.
The Exorcist III
The Exorcist is arguably the greatest horror film ever made, so it’s forgivable to assume that no film in the franchise could live up to its name. Fans and critics who suffered through Exorcist II: The Heretic have seen how bad it can be. The truth is, though, that while The Exorcist III may not reach the masterful heights of the original film, it still stands as a really solid horror flick. Featuring several moments of genuine terror, and one specific moment that’s become iconic among the die-hard genre fans, William Peter Blatty’s installment in the franchise is a powerfully acted, nightmare-inducing delight. It’s easily among the most underrated 90’s horror sequels.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
This is where people are going to start disagreeing with this list. While I’ll admit that Halloween 6 had its fair share of problems (The troubled production and massacring of film footage is a notable fiasco among slasher fans), I’m firm in my stance that the film is a showcase for the scariest version of Michael Myers. One that’s angry. One that’s driven. The kills are especially brutal compared to the Halloween films that came before it, and there are several sequences of breathtaking tension. Has being chased by Michael Myers ever seemed more terrifying?
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
Okay, this is really where people are going to start disagreeing with me. Everybody seems to hate the fourth installment of the Chainsaw Massacre franchise, and for the life of me, I’ve never understood why. The dark humor that was prevalent in Tobe Hooper‘s first sequel courses through The Next Generation, and Matthew McConaughey gives a committed, over-the-top performance as Vilmer, one of the most mentally unhinged characters of the entire series- which is saying a lot. The Illuminati-like plot element may be absurd, but come on. At least the film attempts some semblance of a fresh idea, and it’s far from the worst film of the long-running franchise.
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
Another film that is frequently hated on, Freddy’s Dead often finds itself near the bottom of franchise rankings. Here’s my issue with that: The sixth, and what was meant to be final, installment of the Nightmare series is easily one of the most fun. I’d even argue that, apart from Dream Warriors and New Nightmare, it’s the best of the Elm Street sequels. Featuring multiple innovative and humorous kills, a solid cast, fun cameos, and a KILLER soundtrack, Freddy’s Dead stands as one of the most underrated 90’s horror sequels.
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings
Pumpkinhead, in general, is an underrated horror film. It features one of the genre’s greatest monsters, an eerie setting, and an emotionally investing central story. Though the sequel doesn’t live up to the quality of the original, it does one thing incredibly well: It makes the monster scarier. Scratch the story. I know the origin of the monster is stupid (Albeit entertaining), force-fed, and unbelievable- but in the moments of horror, Pumpkinhead has never been more terrifying or vicious. Many movie monsters lose their appeal in the sequels, but Blood Wings makes damn sure that it doesn’t suffer the same fate. That, alone, is enough to ensure its status as an underrated 90’s horror sequel.
What other 90’s horror sequels do you find completely underrated? Let us know in the comments and on social media!