Hollywood only wants franchises nowadays. At least, that’s how it seems when it comes to their horror and action movies. They aren’t interested in a story unless they can make more than one movie out of it. I’ve seen my share of horror movies in my day, but even I can admit when a series is getting repetitive. That’s why it’s so rare to get a legitimately good franchise out there in today’s world. Despite the fact that series movies can get stale, franchises are everywhere. That’s why I have decided to make a list of My Top 5 Favorite Horror Film Franchises! Why only top 5? Because, like any decent horror film, I’m laying some ground rules…
Rule 1: I have to have seen at least MOST of the films of the franchise. More than half, at the very least. Unfortunately, this rules out a lot of the greats. I’ve only seen the first 1 or 2 films of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween franchises. Sorry, you silly slashers! You’re disqualified!
Rule 2: I need to like most of the films I’ve seen. Obviously, this list is based on my personal taste. If I thought most of it was boring or awful, it’s out. Now, just because a movie is bad doesn’t mean I didn’t still enjoy it. So, you might see a franchise or two in here with terrible entries that I still enjoyed.
And now, in no particular order, here are my top 5 favorite franchises!
The Final Destination Franchise
Let me start off by saying that the first entry of this series still scares me to this day. Whenever I watch it, I get paranoid about touching anything. Yes, this whole series is silly as hell. Yes, the deaths are overly gory. Yes, the plots don’t make much sense. But I love these movies. I think the deaths are all pretty creative and the lore (even the bits that contradict themselves) is pretty interesting to think about. However, even I think the series should stop now. FD3 was silly. FD4 was predictable. FD5, enough is enough. I might like the creative kills, but there’s only so many times you can watch a Rube Goldberg machine of death before it starts getting repetitive.
The Alien Franchise
Probably the only legit horror/sci-fi series I’ve seen fully (I consider Predator more action oriented), this is one fantastic series. And the set up is so simple: Alien reeks havoc on a space ship. At least, in the first movie. The way they expanded the universe in further movies was really hit and miss, but it was at least an interesting ride. Major kudos to the monster designer. This alien is not only unique and the stuff of nightmares, but it also looks so simple and sleek that it looks natural. It also inspired a section of the Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that still makes me cringe in fear to this day. This is one alien I never want to meet in real life.
The Paranormal Activity Franchise
I’ve talked about this franchise a bit in the past (in this article and this article), but allow me to repeat myself a bit. I feel like the first three films of this franchise are damn near perfect. They have great storytelling moments, good character moments, and some of the best scares I’ve ever seen grace the screen. It wasn’t until 4 where everything started going rapidly down hill with jump scares and convoluted stories. However, no matter how long this series continues, I’ll keep watching in the hopes that they one day recapture the beautiful subtlety of the original trilogy.
The Scream Franchise
What began as a one-off meta-horror movie soon turned into a franchise that was always trying to keep the audience guessing. The first one is almost flawless with it’s depiction of character, it’s moments of suspense, and it’s killer opening. The series kept right on kicking with a part 2 that upped the steaks by taking out a main character. Then 3 happened and, yeah, it was bad, but a FUN bad. While I have yet to see 4, I will admit that I’m super excited to watch it. My favorite thing about these movies is that we never have the same killer twice. Hell, sometimes we don’t even have just ONE killer. Scream: A film series that really lives up to it’s title.
The Evil Dead Franchise
This. Series. ROCKS. While the first movie had problems with pacing and tone, the second movie saved the franchise within 30 minutes and kept going for a roller coaster ride. The third movie broke genre and pulled in a fantasy element that was able to keep the series fresh. The remake… I skipped. It looked a bit too gritty for my tastes. But the recent TV series? It brought tears to my eyes with how perfect it was for the series. I love this franchise enough that I’m even trying to hunt down the comic spin-off. What else is there to say but “Hail to the king, baby!”
There you go! In no particular order, my top 5 favorite frightening franchises! Do you have a different opinion on these? What are your favorite franchises? Feel free to let me know in the comments. Until next time, I’m off to marathon a few of my favorites.