Audiences have a right to be afraid of sequels. For every good follow-up (The Godfather Part 2, The Dark Knight) there are dozens of duds. Nowhere is this more true than in an arena viewers really should fear—the horror film. Once the smell of success hits the genre effort, it is quickly spun into a pointless series of repeats and reconfigurations. Granted, a few of these fright franchises have more good (A Nightmare on Elm Street) than bad (can you say, Puppet Master???) but on the whole, the scary movie machine doesn’t deal in quality. Instead, it senses the always willing demographic is open to just about anything, and delivers the same in unhealthy, oft half-baked doses.
However, there are a few fright flicks which actually stand up to—and in a few elite cases, surpass—their fear foundations. Most, if not all, follow a simple, satisfying rule: explain the original while expanding the substance and storyline. Indeed, of all ten choices listed below, only one or two avoid that moviemaking mandate. On the other hand, a film like [REC]2 (new to DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), uses this strategy to take what was already a fantastic bit of dread and turn it into something almost… epic. Thanks to the vision and determination of the filmmakers involved, these ten films represent the best that terror has to offer…the second time around, beginning with the rebirth of a legend: