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31 Days of Horror: 5 Horror Franchises That Declined After The First Film

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Perhaps more than any other genre, horror films tend to grow quickly with entry after entry turning what could have been a fantastic standalone into a sprawling, disappointing horror franchise.

Maybe it’s the relative cheapness to make a horror film compared to others, or the widespread appeal to being scared and grossed out that keeps studios pumping out these Sequels, but here’s five horror franchises that declined after the first film…


Horror franchise

Now as a point before we get into the meat of this entry, I love the Saw horror franchise for what it is. A horror filled with gratuitous gore with a loose story that’s tacked on as an excuse to see people brutally murdered.

That said, it’s hard to argue against the fact that as the franchise went on, the story became thinner and more nonsensical, whilst the traps got bigger, better and more bloody. Half of the allure of the first film is following along the characters as they find out what’s going on and why they’re there, as well as being introduced to Jigsaw in an accompanying story, before the two sides collide with that twist at the end. The sequels attempted to follow a similar blueprint with varying success, but with each film comes a new, underwhelming twist and a reason to make another.

Paranormal Activity

Horror franchise

The first film was a fresh take on the possession and spirit based horror, with what at the time felt like a ingenious take on the genre, having it made found footage and played out as a true story gave the audiences an easier time with suspending belief. The first was genuinely scary and unnerving in equal measure, but with each sequel came another side to the established story, complicating the simple possession story from the first into a coven of women making deals with demons and whatnot.

Related: 31 Days of Horror: 7 Scary Possession Films You’ll Wish You’d Never Watched

Final Destination

Horror franchise

The franchise set around the idea of Death itself having a score to settle and going after those individuals that managed to cheat it isn’t necessarily a fresh horror trope, but the way this franchise handles it is definitely unique and interesting, at least at first.

With death chasing what’s owed it allows a multitude of different deaths and set-ups thatll keep us blood-hungry audience members happy, but the further through the franchise you get the less invested you’ll find yourself. Whilst the most recent entry does come full circle and ends where the first began, the first film is the most interesting as we follow the characters trying to understand the predicament they’re in, with no prior cases or news articles to explain or help them.

The Purge

Horror franchise

The idea of a society being without crime thanks to one, no-holds-barred day of mayhem is laughable in the first place, be it the idea of policing such a thing, the participation by the average person, or how one single day of crime alleviates crimes of passion, necessity etc.

Staging the introduction to this universe in one security employees house as he and his family hunker down for the eponymous night keeps the film tight and tense, but the latter films unfortunately lose this in place of action and showcasing the wider effects on the world the night has.

Related: 8 Movies Like The Purge You Should Definitely Watch

Resident Evil

Horror franchise

The first film was actually okay when compared to the rest of the entries in the franchise, and also was the closest to the source material, with both the mansion and the HIVE featuring. After the first film we were treated to Nemesis in the second, but after that the writers seemed to ignore the source material and just turn them into generic zombie films with a super-powered protagonist in Alice.

The recent series produced by Netflix seemed to go in the other direction, heavily leaning on the source material for its present day sections, with Umbrella and experiments featuring heavily, whereas the future segments didn’t feel like Resident Evil whatsoever.

Related: Netflix Goes Back to Old Ways as it Cancels Resident Evil After Only One Season, Fans Say The Writing Was On the Wall

There’s plenty of horror franchises that have gone on to long, and a few that haven’t gone on long enough, but do you agree with the entries posted here or not?

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Written by Luke Addison

Luke Addison is a writer for Fandomwire. He's an avid consumer of all things movie, TV, comics and gaming, especially Marvel.

Insta: @callmeafilmnerd
Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd