Most successful (and sometimes even not-so-successful) horror movies receive unwanted sequels. Sometimes they turn out to be good, but mostly they end up being poorly-made cash grabs. Horrors are usually cheap to produce, yet they can do well at the box office.
Not just their sequels, but these days universes like “The Conjuring” also manage to do it. They don’t spend much effort with any of the original film’s spin-offs, but they just keep doing well. Blumhouse Productions is also seemingly an expert at this recently.
So when a movie gets popular, obviously the studio is interested in making as much money as possible by using the popularity of the original film or character. Sometimes they’re popular enough to get a theatrical release; sometimes they better fit into the straight-to-video market. Though, for some reason, these films listed below didn’t get a sequel, despite being successful at the box office or having gained enough of a cult following/popularity.
10. The Skeleton Key (2005)
This was certainly not the best era for commercial studio horrors, but “The Skeleton Key” felt like a fresh air. It was actually entertaining. In a rare case where we get to see Kate Hudson in a good movie, she played a hospice nurse who begins a job at a Terrebonne Parish plantation home, and becomes entangled in a supernatural mystery involving the house, its former inhabitants, and voodoo rituals that took place there.
The critics were way too harsh on it; they claimed it was slow, its characters were unpleasant/uninteresting (I mean, John Hurt and Gena Rowlands have the ability to make any character interesting. How could they claim that?), and even though it had suspenseful moments, it was just dull and formulaic.
While it’s obviously not a masterpiece or anything, it was a much better film than they claimed it was, and it’s still somewhat known among the public. Even the recent “Get Out” got comparisons to it. Despite the fact it grossed over $90 million, the studio strangely didn’t bother with a sequel, even though its themes has a lot of material to make one.
Actually, there’s an independent micro-budget horror spoof comedy that has the title of “Skeleton Key 2,” but it has nothing to do with this movie. It’s also hard to find any sequel talk around it, so there has probably never been a plan.
9. The Craft (1996)
The surprise box office hit and cult favorite “The Craft” is another one that surprisingly didn’t get a sequel. At least not yet, but we can very well get one. Even though it didn’t get the best reviews when it was initially released, its reception has grown better since then and many people praised its relevance.
In 2016, producer Douglas Wick said there is some kind of mix of a remake and sequel in plans. “There will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what was happening in the days of ‘The Craft,’ and how these young women come across this magic many years later.”
It doesn’t always work out. Just recently they tried to do this with “Flatliners,” but then they thought the scene, where it’s revealed that Kiefer Sutherland plays the same character he did in the 1990 version, got cut out simply because the audience would find it too confusing. But here, maybe they have found a way to make it work. That said, the project has been developing very slowly.
This year there was news that the remake is still in works and finally Zoe Lister-Jones has signed on to direct the remake. Will it also be a sequel as was said before? We will have to wait and see.
8. The Burning (1981)
After the success of “Halloween,” we got back-to-back low-budget slasher films. There were more than you thought there were. While most of them were garbage, there were also good ones that went unnoticed.
“The Burning” was one of those that flopped at the box office while actually being a very decent slasher film that actually cared about its characters. The makeup effects were also cool for its time. The film, just like several others on the list, turned out to be a cult classic and it’s referenced in popular culture these days. For example, the very fun underrated genre comedy “The Final Girls” made several references to the film.
But for some reason, the film never got a sequel, unlike many slasher films at the time. Not even for the direct-to-video market. Nowadays, the film’s reputation has gotten darker.
It was basically Miramax’s first film; the story was in fact co-written by Harvey Weinstein himself and for obvious reasons, anything with his name on it sounds toxic right now to the public.
7. Near Dark (1987)
No disrespect to “The Lost Boys,” but the best vampire movie of that year was Kathryn Bigelow’s “Near Dark.” A genre film with a surprising amount of nuance and full of well-written characters, “Near Dark” is a modern vampire classic that delivers on all levels. Despite a poor box office performance, the film was applauded by critics and was a hit among horror fans.
It obviously got talk of a remake at some point, but nobody bothered with a sequel. Yet, Bigelow’s co-writer Eric Red got to think about a possible sequel “in a way that stayed true to the modern vampire western fundamentals of the piece. The vampire clan of Jesse, Severn, Diamondback, and Homer had to have kin, after all,” and he shared some sequel talk online.
He also adds that “the movie will never get made,” which is sad because there doesn’t seem to be any interest in a sequel anywhere; it has been a long time and Bigelow would probably not return to direct a movie like this. We would like to be proven wrong, of course.
6. Black Christmas (1974)
A landmark of a horror movie. Before “Halloween,” there was “Black Christmas,” which has been very influential to this day. It’s understandable why it never got the popularity “Halloween” reached, but it’s basically the grandfather of all slasher flicks. It is also praised for concluding without revealing the identity of its villain.
Bob Clark had a great year in 1974 as he also made the criminally underrated “Dead of Night.” But he made it clear that he didn’t come to the business just for the horror genre, and he was never interested in making a sequel to “Black Christmas.”
Instead, we got a terrible 2006 remake. They could have gone for the sequel again without revealing the identity of our villain, and keeping things as simple as possible while giving depth to characters and finding other fresh ideas to frighten the audience.