Horror sequels are a dime a dozen. With the name recognition of the original, studios frequently opt to skip the pomp and circumstance of a theatrical release and simply dump the film on home video. With that kind of release strategy, it’s easy for some titles to slip through the cracks if you aren’t paying careful attention. Outlined below are 13 genre film sequels you have probably never heard of. (Or have you? Let us know in the comments.)
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The Birds II: Land's End
This made-for-TV sequel that no one asked for made its broadcast debut in 1994. Director Rick Rosenthal actually asked that his name be taken off the production and was subsequently credited under the industry pseudonym Alan Smithee. It sees a teacher and his family retreating to a cabin where they are then terrorized by killer birds. The primary connection to the original is that the same house was reportedly used in both films. The Birds II: Land’s End did receive a VHS release but has never been put out on DVD in the US. In the years since it’s release, it has essentially faded into obscurity.
I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer
Naturally most horror fans are familiar with the Jennifer Love Hewitt starring films I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer but I wouldn’t think less of you if you weren’t aware of the existence of I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer. This third installment follows a new group of teens that cover up an unrelated accidental death and then find themselves stalked by a killer with a hook. Unlike the first two films, it did not receive a theatrical release. It went straight to video where it was almost immediately forgotten about.
The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting
This follow up effort came out 17 years after the original and was (perhaps appropriately) dumped directly onto video. But even C. Thomas Howell reprising his role as Jim Halsey was not enough to save this sequel from itself. The concept of Jim being tormented by not one but two homicidal strangers in his life is more than a little farfetched and it makes The Hitcher II: I’ve Been Waiting a little hard to swallow.
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Yes, technically this isn't a horror movie but one could make an argument that The Poseidon Adventure is disaster horror (it's a stretch, but this movie is a disaster. That's for sure). Also this film is terrifying because it's so cheesy! This film actually had a very impressive budget for the time it was released and features a talented cast that includes Sally Field and Michael Caine. I think that, more than anything, this sequel has just been forgotten over time and overshadowed by the much better received original. The second installment finds a salvage crew returning to the ship and encountering their own set of problems when they go aboard. Also, Terry Savalas is in it, so there's that.
Shock Treatment is a fairly obscure sequel that was overlooked by many mainstream moviegoers at the time of its release and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that it doesn’t really cash in on the name recognition provided by The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A title that at least made reference to Rocky Horror may have helped Shock Treatment find its audience. But as it stands, the film seems to have slipped by a lot of fans and it has certainly never developed the cult status of the first film. In this 1981 sequel, Brad and Janet are game show contestants that wind up being held captive. They also do some singing. On an interesting side note, Jessica Harper of Suspiria plays Janet.
This is definitely one of the most unnecessary sequels on this list. I fail to see what it was about Donnie Darko that screamed sequel. This 2009 follow up effort continues the theme of parallel timelines with Donnie’s younger sister as the star. Richard Kelly (director of Donnie Darko) had absolutely no involvement with this sequel and publically distanced himself from it early on. It wound up being a critical flop. The film currently holds a score of 0% on the popular aggregate film review site Rotten Tomatoes.
Single White Female 2
This 2005 direct-to-video follow up Single White Female basically rehashes the storyline from the original: A woman discovers that her new roommate is a psychopath who wants to eliminate anyone that stands in the way of their friendship. This sequel had very little fanfare in support of its release and was quickly forgotten by anyone that may have actually noticed it in the first place.
Addams Family Reunion
Okay, so this one is horror comedy. Addams Family Reunion came out five years after Addams Family Values by way of a broadcast television premiere. It sees a recast version of The Addams Family going on a search for other members of their quirky clan (also, it stars Daryl Hannah and Tim Curry!). Since it never received a Region One DVD release after its television premiere, this threequel eventually fell into near total obscurity. If you are terribly curious to check it out, you can get a VHS (!) copy of the film very inexpensively on Amazon.
American Psycho 2
I actually thought most horror fans were aware this highly unnecessary and painfully bad follow up but in researching for this piece, it became evident that there is actually less awareness surrounding this title than I had initially suspected. The film sees a young girl taking over Patrick Bateman’s legacy and killing anyone that stands in her way. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to return some videotapes.
When I first watched Timecop, the first thing I thought was that it really needed a low budget counterpart with a new lead. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across this 2003 follow up that fits all of those prerequisites. This sequel is set 20 years after the events of the original and sees a team of officers policing time travel to ensure no one uses it to rewrite history. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s likely because Universal unceremoniously released it straight to video nearly ten years after the success of the first film.
Creepshow and Creepshow II have major fan followings but Creepshow III basically abandoned the formula that made its predecessors successful and serves as something of a sequel in name only that has been largely forgotten. Stephen King and George Romero were not involved with the film’s production. The creative team that was behind this third installment seemed liked they were really reaching and unfortunately, the end result is muddled and seems like a blatant attempt to cash in on the name recognition developed by the first two much beloved films.
Return of the Killer Tomatoes
Not only is there a lesser-known 1988 sequel to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, it also features George Clooney in an early starring role. This often-overlooked sequel sees a particularly eccentric professor devising a plan to make killer tomatoes appear human so they can help him conquer the world. But this is not the final installment in the series. It was followed by Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! and Killer Tomatoes Eat France! There was also a Killer Tomatoes cartoon series and an NES game!
Look What Happened to Rosemary's Baby
Look What Happened to Rosemary’s Baby is another made-for-TV sequel that does very little to justify its existence. Given that it was made for television, the film recast almost all of its lead roles and hired a new director. Without the involvement of Mia Farrow or Roman Polanski, the resulting adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel of the same name was considerably less successful than the original film. One of the only saving graces of this follow up is that Ruth Gordon reprises her role as Minnie Castevet. It’s been nearly forty years since this tale of a now fully-grown child of Satan was originally broadcast and it has been all but forgotten in the years since then.