The Worst Films In Horror Franchises
Every family has that one odd uncle, and every great film franchise has an odd film that sticks out like a sore thumb. Horror Franchise generally run a lot longer than any other genre, so it doesn’t take long before the series starts to steer off course. We look at the black sheeps of horror franchises, the worst films in 8 popular film series. The Worst Films In Horror Franchises
Critters 3 (1991)
“The one with Soap Bubbles”
Being most famously Leonardo DiCaprio earliest film roles, Critters 3 transferred the action from the rural Kansas town of Grover’s Bend, to an urban apartment building in the big city. The little menaces are still as terrifying as ever, but the films effects budget had clearly nosedived, with a noticeable difference in the look of the creatures. Refining the film to small cramped environment just did not improve the series in the way the film makers hoped, and the result is a rather un-impactful film that was more of a gateway to the better fourth film.
It’s clear that film makers had just run out of things to do with the “Crites”, and this entry really squeezed the last essence of originality out of the on-earth exploits. We were expecting to see dozens of critters gnawing off people’s legs in a bloody carnage of teeth and fur, instead the film delivered some goofy-assed story about family problems. To put in context, only two people die in this film, making it have one more body count than the movie ‘My Girl’, which came out the same year of 1991.
Critters 3 is terribly dull, with the creatures taking a back-seat to unnecessary subplots, goofy humour and annoying characters. Ever want to see a Critter burp soap bubbles? Nope..me neither!
Seed of Chucky (2004)
“The one with the sweet transvestite.”
With Seed of Chucky, director Mancini distances himself from the previous Chucky films in a huge way, introducing new characters, dropping the slasher stance and becoming a black comedy rather than an outright horror. With the inclusion of so many new characters, Chucky takes a back step from the spotlight, annoying fans that were hoping for a return to the Child’s Play formula. Luckily, the following film, “The Curse of Chucky”, did just that, but Seed failed to win over fans with its new take on the series.
Maybe the biggest sin is its silly story line. Seed of chucky breaks the fourth wall in the worst possible way, by introducing Jennifer Tilly, the voice of animated doll Tiffany, as herself in the film. Confused? Yep, you should be. Tiffany wants to transfer her soul into the body of Tilly so she can leave a normal life, basically becoming herself. It’s confused, self-deprecating and poorly executed.
The entire Glen or Glenda storyline is also terrible overplayed and just fails to add anything entertaining to this awful film. Crossdressing, multi-sexual dolls? Rocky Horror this is not.
Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)
“The one with a head popping out of another head!”
Any Hellraiser film after four is pretty bad, but the most irredeemable entry in the series is the straight to DVD horror that is Hellraiser: Hellseeker. Taking a weird film noir/dream like stance, the film is completely without context. The film doesn’t take any time at all in screwing with our heads, starting with the brief appearance of Ashley Laurence, of which the box cover promised us starred in the film. Like Pinhead, she too has become a character that is just barely in the films. With her brief cameo out the way, the film delves into a weird mind melting dream thing that bears little to no resemblance of anything we have come to love about Hellraiser.
With yet another Hellraiser film that barely stars Pinhead and by not utilising Laurence, the film just delves down into another cash grab of the series and does little to even try to entertain. There series usual supply of disturbing imagery is also limited here with a head popping out of another head being the most graphic. Yep…you read that correctly….
Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001)
“The One With Angels”
Wishmaster 3 departs majorly from the previous films , most notably in the series unique selling point. The Djinn had a nasty habit of granting the wishes, but twist them into the worst and bloodiest outcome. Wishmaster 3’s Djinn doesn’t bother to do that. Nearly every wish he magics up ends up with the person instantly dying, in a boring and un-inspired manor. So, when a secretary wishes for her files to ” burn up”, the Djinn just sets her on fire. No twists, no corny one liners, just barbeque.
The film also completely forgets about the 1,001 souls thing from part two, that’s way to complicated. Here he only needs three wishes to complete that task. But wait a second… theres a further twist, as the Archangel Michael is conjured up to do battle with the Djinn in a Deus ex Machina turn of events. Wow!
Wishmaster 3 failed to keep in line with it’s previous films, and it pretty much killed the series dead!
Puppet Master 4 (1993)
“The one with Laser tag”
The 1993 direct-to-video sequel Puppet Master 4 marked a huge downward spiral for the series. Abruptly changes direction and turning the series on its head, the film introduces the Dolls as the good guys. Now in the hands of a young Researcher named Rick Myers, they are faced against an underworld demon lord who wishes to kill all who possess “the secret of animation”. Puppet Master 4 seemingly forgets any continuity from the first and the second film (the third being a prequel), even dropping one of the popular new dolls “Torch” entirely (oh oh he’s on the box?!?), resulting in a disjointed and unenjoyable sequel. What ever happened to Camille’s Puppet show is anyone’s guess, as the film just doesn’t acknowledge this story arch from the second film.
Despite these dramatic changes, it’s the new plot that pretty much blows all the steam out of series. Trying to explain the secret of the puppets, despite previous films already covering this, the film fails to build a firm foundation for other sequels. The change of tone is just all wrong as well, with one scene showing the “Killer” puppets from the previous films, gleefully running around playing laser tag. It’s light hearted, silly and boring, but more importantly, the film lacks any real horror, and that is the worst sin of them all.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1985)
“The one with a backstory..again”
The fifth instalment of New Line Cinema’s flagship series ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is possible one of the only films that I would happily skip in a power watch session. ‘The Dream Child’ It’s irredeemable bad on every level and takes a huge nose dive in quality following the previous films. Quality speaking, Dream Child is a paint by numbers film for a flagging series. The surest sign of how little effort went into producing this film, is how often the film borrows from its previous incarnations.
The Dream Child complete misuses all of the characters available to it, with Freddy Becoming a self-parodying cartoon version of himself, and ‘The Dream Masters’ final girl Alice Johnson (once gain played by Lisa Wilcox), fading into the background. Her role is greatly diminished in favour of the films greater purpose of fleshing out Freddy’s Backstory, something we had already covered in previous films. Talking of Freddy, he has always swapped between humorous and frightening through-out the series. In ‘Dream Child’, the film desperately pushes Freddy to be darker and funnier, and it sometime boarders on ridiculous. Despite a handful of amazingly creative dream sequences, the entire film fails to capture the horror of the previous films.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
“The One Where Jason Quantum Leaps”
When making as sequel, it’s probably best to not to kill off your villain in the first few minutes of your film. Guess what? That is exactly what Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday does, with bright big bells on. It starts with the FBI blowing Jason to bits, only for him to be resurrected inside the body of a coroner who decide to EAT Jason black oozing heart. And here was me thinking lonely late night undertakers just order pizza! With a freshly possessed body, “Jason” heads home to Camp Crystal Lake in the hope of killing a few more promiscuous teens. The film simply does away with all the things we loved about the Friday the 13th films, and concentrates instead on a weird road trip and a story line ripped right from the movie “The Hidden”. Slug and all!
The Final Friday challenges all that we know about the man in hockey mask, making up new things at it goes along. How of why Jason suddenly gained the ability to body swap like Sam Becket from Quantum Leap, is never explained, nor revisited in any of the other films, but it’s used here as if it’s all way been a thing. It almost feels like the film makers have just slapped “Friday the 13th” onto an entirely different script. Jason Goes to Hell is confused, slow-paced and boring, but more than that, it barely features Jason Voorhees, the one real reason why we enjoy the series.
“The One Where Busta Rhymes Does Kung Fu”
The Halloween franchise did a semi-reboot in 1998, removing Halloween 4 -6 from the timeline and continuing the story of Laurie Strode and her brother Michael Myers. Whilst the film split fans, it was fairly successful, and actually brought some new life to an aging series. The movie ended with Laurie beading her brother, bringing the film series to violent close. Yep, Michael Myers was dead, but those penny pushing film makers just could let go their tight grasp on Halloween, and In 2002, film makers gave the series another stab. Resurrecting Michael in a Scooby Doo styled mask reveal. The shape was still out there!
Halloween: Resurrection started with the death of Laurie Strode, in an outrageous display of misunderstanding the series. Her death was pretentious and outright disgraceful and should have been handle in a more meaningful manor, if not avoided entirely. Laurie’s death summed up this sequel in one shoddy opening sequence. Resurrection pretty much took a long dump on everything we knew and loved about the Halloween films. It capitalised on poor horror trends of the time, such as cheap found footage films, college slashers and fake-out scares. It failed to stay true to the films ideology and just dialled up 11 on the “so stupid its unwatchable” scale. Any Producers or Directors that thought that we would want to see Busta Rhymes fighting Michael Myers with Kung Fu (with the silly noise and all!) clearly didn’t understated the Halloween series at all.
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“Hey Horror Fans – Some sequels just dont CUT the mustard! These films really are the WORST. The old saying goes “They don’t make them like they used to.” and thats so true here. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!