29 October 2009

Top 5 Halloween sequels

Today The Lightning Bug’s Lair features my contribution to the “Halloween Top 13: The Sequel” event: a list of five of my favorite horror sequels. I’m always happy to contribute to T. L. Bugg’s blogosphere projects, but it wasn’t easy to narrow down favorite sequels. Horror films propogate sequels like the rabbit population in Australia. I finally settled on these five, although I could have easily included so many others.

I tend to be the “old horror” fellow among people who comment at The Lightning Bugg’s Lair, and this list reflects that. (Bugg purposely paired my list with his review of a film substantially removed from my tastes, The Devil’s Rejects, as a nice piece of counter-programming.)

1. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
This is the only sequel that made my list of favorite Halloween films last year, but since it’s perhaps the greatest sequel made to any film, it would be ludicrous not to include it. It does what sequels should: deepens, expands, and questions the original to create a full and vibrant new experience.

2. The Brides of Dracula (Terence Fisher 1960)
I’ve already written substantially about this one. I haven’t changed my mind about it during the month.

3. Damien: Omen II (Don Taylor, 1978)
This is fairly dopey compared to the original, but it has a re-watchable charm because of the crazy deaths and the jazzed-up Satanic chorus score from Jerry Goldsmith. The elevator crash-n-slice of Meshach Taylor is a classic—especially if you really really hate Mannequin.

4. House of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton, 1944)
It's a sequel to… everything! Therefore, I have to include it. I’ve also done a full review of this during the month, posted at Black Gate.

5. Alien3 (David Fincher, 1991)
Most people will put James Cameron’s Aliens here. (Indeed, it appeared on many lists in the Halloween Top 13.) I love Aliens, but it doesn't scare me like the original Ridley Scott Alien does. But Alien3 is one mega-bummer of a bleak horror show that I’ve loved since I first saw it. And let me tell you, it was lonely being a fan of this film in the early ‘90s, before it was reconsidered in light of Fincher’s career. Considering its poor original reception, I’ll take any chance to promote it. And we would never have gotten Se7en or Fight Club without it. (The movie also gives me an excuse to use the superscript HTML tag.)

Thanks to the Bugg for letting me be part of his great blog!