Usually by the time the third installment of a series rolls around the quality of the franchise is in steep decline. The punch of the original idea has run dry, drive has turned to greed and the property is no longer being shepherded by people who really care about it.
But that’s not always the case! Sometimes the third film in an ongoing horror endeavor can equal or exceed the first! Usually this happens after a lackluster Part 2 forces people to either hustle creatively or abandon the cash cow permanently, but it’s always a nice surprise.
Head below for 5 Series With Killer 3rd Installments!!!
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
I’ve gone on record many times declaring my love for this sequel but the fact remains that it will always be a towering example of what to do right when expanding your franchise. The world is opened up, the ideas are developed in new and interesting ways and it’s faithful to the characters. It brings something new to the table and, most importantly, isn’t lazy.
When I revisited the Psycho series last year I found that it was actually pretty solid (I feel weird saying that given the fact that the original film is one of the best horror movies ever made) up until the 4th installment, where things fizzled out. In particular I was surprised by Psycho 3, which picked up where the “pretty okay” Psycho 2 left off but excelled by fixing that film’s turgid pacing, adding Jeff Fahey and upping the fun factor.
Halloween III: Season Of The Witch
This, along with Dream Warriors, this is another no-brainer. I know there are still a few holdouts that can’t get over the fact that Michael Myers isn’t in the film but it’s hard to ignore the fact that it’s a strong film on its own terms. It’s a fun, pulpy movie with something to say and the drive to get away from Myers is commendable. The popular consensus on this has come around in a major way.
The Exorcist III
BD alum Brian Collins recently hosted a screening of this in LA and I was pretty sad I couldn’t go because this is a movie that course corrects from the horrible Exorcist II: The Heretic in almost every conceivable way. Of course it’s nowhere near as good as Blatty’s original 1973 classic, but it’s at least a good movie with decent scares (including one all-timer), which is more than can be claimed of Boorman’s 1977 attempt.
Paranormal Activity 3
Some of you guys are going to fight me on this, but I think Paranormal Activity 3 is a legitimately good film. For starters, it’s way better than PA2. And while it doesn’t pack the original punch of PA1, I actually think its more cinematic nature lends itself to repeat viewings in a way that no other film in this franchise does.