We’re going to close out my celebration of Halloween and horror by looking at what I believe are the best horror franchises around.
The Living Dead – I’ve only really seen the first two entries Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead but it has to be considered here just because how influential it has proven to be. George A. Romero really created the zombie genre as it still is today. Whilst the newer films have failed to perform like the first ones its impossible to ignore just how hugely those shaped the landscape of pop culture. Even one of the biggest TV shows around at the minute, The Walking Dead.
The Evil Dead – I’ve talked about Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II in my horror comedy segment, but the whole trilogy might be the most perfect horror franchise, as there isn’t a single weak film. With plenty of slapstick gore and Bruce Campbell’s brilliant performance the Evil Dead films are rightly lorded as some of the best horror comedies ever. Having become a cult classic series they never really found a hug audience, even if they deserved them.
A Nightmare On Elm Street – There has been some weaker entries in the Nightmare On Elm Street series, but when it’s good it’s really good. The best of these are all directed by Wes Craven. The original Nightmare On Elm Street stands alone as one of the best horror films ever. Craven’s return as a writer on third film, Dream Warriors proved to be a far better sequel than the second. And his full return in the 7th film Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a brilliant meta work where Freddy Krueger comes into the real world and kills the cast and crew of the original film. It’s this kind of meta filmmaking that then inspired his work on the Scream franchise.
Scream – My personal favourite franchise, and featuring one of my favourite horror movies, Scream. The level of meta commentary on horror films in Wes Craven’s franchise is something that really appeals to me, and managed to reinvigorate the slasher genre after people had started to tire of seeing the same things. Whilst I though Ghostface was the least iconic of my favourite horror villains, his anonymity adds a level of mystery that films involving Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers had to force once we found out about their histories. It’s a franchise that hasn’t gone to outlandish plots (Jason in space…) but instead loves horror films and subverts many of the tropes.
So what are your favourite horror franchises? Are you a fan of Halloween or Friday the 13th, or maybe something more obscure? Let me know in the comments.