John Carpenter Halloween wasn’t the first horror movie ever made, but it certainly brought the concept of a horror franchise to mainstream Hollywood audiences. In fact, Michael Myers is still going strong today thanks to Halloween (2018) and halloween kills. But there’s no overtaking the original, and most horror series have followed that franchise’s lead in making the first entry rule out of the gate. Even still, not all slasher icons follow this critical trajectory.
From two Wes Craven horror series to a red-headed killer doll, Hollywood’s scariest franchises can often turn out to be mixed bags, but they all have their strengths, and those strengths aren’t the ones. what most fans expect.
ten Friday 13 — 25
Metacritic’s scores for the Friday 13 the movies are in line with the rest of the review-based sites with one exception: the Sean S. Cunningham original.
Cunningham’s classic set an oddly low bar on Metacritic with a score of 22. Most fans would disagree with that assessment, but there are a few entries in the franchise that mainstream audiences and critics can agree on. . There are more critical lows than highs, but several fan-favorite slices are rising to the top, namely Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter at 33 and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives at 30.
9 Saw — 36
James Wan’s 2004 modern horror classic, Seen, set a bar that only one straight would pass. That being said, the bar wasn’t that high, as the original film holds an average Metascore of just 46.
As Friday 13 in the 80s, Seen became an annual horror franchise for the 2000s. And, as also F13, the opening installment isn’t the most revered by critics. That being said, only Saw III passed it with a Metascore of 48. From that point on, response from critics and fans waned until the main franchise ended with the widely rejected 3D saw. There were two subsequent reboot attempts, but neither ended up being the franchise’s high point.
8 Texas Chainsaw Massacre — 41
With nine installments and counting (the most recent being released in 2022), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre turned out to have legs far beyond Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 subtle masterpiece.
The Hooper episode is by far the highest rated episode at 78. Then the bizarro sequel to Hooper came out at 42, relatively underweight but still respectable. The most surprising response was to the fourth film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, a highly controversial entry that still holds an impressive 50 rating on Metacritic. From that point on there were a few more Leatherface reboot attempts, but the steam had run out and none reached the heights of Hooper’s original or even GNT.
John Carpenter’s seminal Halloween (1978) launched the franchise with universal critical acclaim, a Metacritic Must-See badge, and a Metascore of 87. Three years later, the score dropped significantly for the immediate sequel, Halloween 2which holds an average Metascore of 40.
The next four installments of the main franchise received responses much closer to Halloween 2 more Halloween and it wasn’t until the franchise was brought back to life with Halloween H20 that the Metascore rose above 50. However, both Rob Zombie installments dropped things below that mark before David Gordon Green rebooted the franchise again with Halloween (Metascore of 67) and halloween kills (42).
6 A Nightmare on Elm Street – 50
As one of the greatest slasher movies of all time, Wes Craven freddie is the highest rated installment in the franchise with a Metascore of 76.
Only one sequel came close to matching it, and it’s surprisingly not dream warriors. This third film received a 49 while its follow-up, The dream Master, scored 56, despite being considered the beginning of the end for the franchise. No later episodes were considered superior by critics except for Craven’s return to the franchise, New nightmare. This smart, well-aged film is the second-highest rated entry with a 64 and shows that Wes Craven’s involvement has come a long way.
5 Child’s Play — 51
by Tom Holland Child’s play launched one of the most beloved horror franchises of all time, one that continues stronger than ever today. While Holland’s film holds a respectable but average rating of 58, it would top, but not at first. After two fan-favorite sequels critics didn’t get, Ronny Yu’s Bride of Chucky brought back reviews with a 48. However, the upcoming reboot, the direct-to-video Curse of Chuckydid even better with a 58. Then direct-to-video as well Cult of Chucky bucked the DTV trend and earned positive reviews to the tune of a 69 Metascore.
The highest-rated installment is also the newest, Syfy’s phenomenal chucky. Although it’s only one season, the series works like a movie in its own right, and it’s as canon as Curse Where Worship. If any horror movie franchise has managed to play with its own formula to achieve successful results from both professional critics and fans, it’s Child’s play.
4 The Exorcist – 51
The Masterful Possession Film by William Friedkin The Exorcist set the bar so high that it was virtually impossible for a sequel to come any closer, and they never did.
The Linda Blair-starring original received rave reviews in the form of a Metacritic Must-See badge and an 81 score. Exorcist II: The Heretic, however, didn’t even hit half the original’s mark. Then, while The Exorcist III brought things back to average with a 48, Exorcist: the beginning even lower with a poor score of 30. Dominion: The Exorcist Prequelis the uncontaminated version of The beginning before the studio bosses slaughtered it, but it could still only reach 55. Given both critical responses and general fan reception, there should never have been a sequel to The Exorcistwith the possible exception of the director’s cut from the third installment.
3 Scream — 59
The iconic thriller slasher film series Scream was rated pretty well across the board for a slasher franchise. by Wes Craven Scream and Cry 2 received comparable ratings from critics, with scores of 65 and 63, respectively. This is pretty much in line with fan reception, as there’s been a long and widespread take that the first two installments are pretty evenly matched in quality.
Unfortunately, critical reviews for Cry 3 and Cry 4 were more intermediate than positive at 56 and 52, respectively. What is surprising is Cry 4 be considered less than Cry 3, which is an assessment that nearly every fan of the franchise would disagree with. Finally, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Scream (2022) did better than the previous two installments on Metacritic, but only by an average of 60 Metascore. It’s also a surprising score, as the 2022 film is almost universally considered a successful return to form.
2 Hannibal Lecter — 62 years old
Hannibal Lecter may not get much screen time in Thesilenceofthelambs, but it’s still the episode he’s best known and most iconic for. This film is universally critically acclaimed, a Metacritic Must-See badge and an 85 rating.
Anthony Hopkins’ brilliant take on the character continued in two episodes: Ridley Scott Hannibal with an average Metascore of 57 and the prequel, Red Dragonwhich did slightly better with critics to the tune of a still average score of 60. However, the young film Lecter sans Hopkins, Hannibal risingsuffered from his absence and only got an unfavorable Metascore of 35, despite featuring an excellent performance from the late Gaspard Ulliel.
1 Romero’s Dead Saga – 67
The late George A. Romero brought zombies into the mainstream with the politically prescient night of the living deadwhich earned a Metacritic Must-See badge, universal acclaim from critics, and a score of 89. While the Metascore for Romero’s first sequel, dawn of the dead, is a bit lower at 71, fans consider it just as good as the first zombie survival tale. However, the lesser but still underestimated The day of the Dead ended things on a more critical mixed note.
Almost 20 years later, Romero has managed to bring back the zombies with land of the deadwhich surprisingly holds the same score as Dawn. That being said, Ground works well and takes the franchise in inventive directions, with terrific supporting performances from John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. Unfortunately, the director’s last two dead movies did not reach this mark, as Diary of the dead got a 66 and Survival of the dead received a lower score of 43.
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