The world of horror franchises is fickle. One day, you're making the second or third sequel, and you're on top of the world; the next, you're saying goodbye to the prime release date you carved out for yourself each and every year. The Saw franchise has clearly seen this truth first hand, and now with Jigsaw's potential revitalization of the franchise, we have to wonder, who else deserves a big and bloody revamp?
And what better day than today, Halloween itself, to reach past the veil and bring back 10 candidates that deserve some love. This is especially true because they're franchises that started with the boldest intentions, only to end up stumbling in their future incarnations. We visit these once honored dead, in hopes of raising them into the world of the living. May what was once deceased come back to screaming life, if only to scare us just once more.
Severely underrated in its time, but still a cult classic of its own accord, Candyman started as a Clive Barker story and turned into a 1992 horror film starring Virginia Madsen and horror heavyweight Tony Todd. Walking the intersection between frights, intrigue, and borderline romance, this macabre wonder spawned two sequels, but neither really lived up to the promise and mystique of the original. This one has Jordan Peele written all over it, as what he did with his socially conscious thriller Get Out would most assuredly be the ticket for a new Candyman film.
After Gremlins kickstarted the suburban creature feature craze of the 1980's, Critters took that mold and brought it the cornfields of the American heartland. But eventually, the Crites were hungry for something more, and proceeded to make their way to the city, and eventually back to space, for their last two adventures, which eventually stopped the franchise after eradicating the furry menace once and for all. But as any good villain will tell you, a modern update and/or the possibility of a hidden cache of Critters wouldn't be totally out of the picture. The trouble that they could get into in today's world is only matched by what the today's America would do in reaction to a new round of Critters.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Always one of the more infamous franchises in the world of the frightening, Silent Night, Deadly Night was somewhat popular, if not uneven. Not to mention, even with a more modern reboot dating back to five years ago, the franchise never really lived up to the potential that a truly serious version of the film could have brought to the table. So a brand new Silent Night, Deadly Night, in the hands of someone like Trick 'r Treat and Krampus writer/director Michael Dougherty, could right that ship in no time flat, bringing a modern masterpiece of fear to living, breathing life. Better still, you'd probably still get some darkly tinged humor that'd make Garbage Day look like pure garbage.
After going to Las Vegas, outer space, and the Hood (twice), the Leprechaun series really has done it all. Throw in an attempted, but botched, reboot with a WWE star, and you've got a franchise that's just begging to be given another chance. Considering A24 had some recent horror success with The Witch, we can't help but wonder what a period piece horror film, paying close attention to the actual folklore of leprechauns, could do for the franchise? Of course, even if you just want to bring back Warwick Davis and Jennifer Aniston for one more fight for all the gold in the pot, we think there's room for another magical movie of mayhem and murder.
Everyone knows the twist ending of Sleepaway Camp, and it's one of those endings that hasn't exactly aged well. With young Angela being revealed as the victim of psychological conditioning that overwrote her previous identity as a male, the final twist of, "How can it be? My God, she's a boy!" doesn't exactly play at face value in today's world. However they decide to rewrite that whole aspect of the film's story, a brand new Sleepaway Camp could bring back the slasher at a summer camp subgenre to the world of horror. Knowing that Friday the 13th continually tries, and fails, to get back on its feet, there's obviously interest in returning to this particular well; so why not add some competition to the race?
While vampires seem to get the lion's share of horror glory, werewolves have taken a bit of a back seat. That sucks, especially when you have a cult classic like Joe Dante's The Howling languishing in purgatory, buried under a slew of substandard sequels. WIth the original film and the first novel differing in content, the story of a news anchor recovering from a traumatic event, only to find herself in a village full of werewolves feels like it'd benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Come to think of it, this is probably the film with the most topical potential on the list, as The Howling could be brought into the era of "fake news", only to be probed with quite monstrous results.
Demonic children never get old, and Damian from The Omen is certainly a gem that never goes out of style. Yes, there was an almost totally identical remake back in 2006, but we can forget that ever happened, can't we? The fact is, Richard Donner's The Omen is still a damned classic, and there's very little you can do to improve upon it. But what if a new sequel were created, ignoring all others, and showing a middle aged Damian living a pretty quiet life, with a wife and family? Of course, things wouldn't stay quiet for long, as he still has a destiny to fulfill. The point is, there's still plenty that can be done with the son of the devil, and if Donner's spy enough to be thinking about Lethal Weapon 5, maybe he should try this hell beast on for size.
Much like the Saw franchise, Paranormal Activity made quite the spooky piggy bank during the Halloween season back in the day. Of course, as any financial pork product will tell you, the market eventually declines and the floor bottoms out, which is exactly what Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension did upon its release in 2015. So how could a wound so fresh be mended into a new box office juggernaut? Simple: you choose a new character, and maybe another paranormal entity. If we're still married to the found footage angle, then why not take the show on the road and hunt down a cryptozoological beast like a Chupacabra? The very name of this series suggests an endless sea of possibilities.
Before Jigsaw was rigging traps to snare the wicked, Final Destination was the franchise that saw the design in Death's twisted game through to some impressive results. Even they couldn't stop his icy hand, as they went only one installment past what was deemed The Final Destination. Interestingly enough, between the novel series and comic books that were written alongside the film franchise, there's enough material to keep Death in the theaters for some time, as folks are probably ready for a return to the Rube Goldberg world of New Line's famous horror series. Considering the studio is rehabbing their brand with a steady stream of horror hits, this seems like a fait accompli.
Despite Silent Hill: Redemption being an almost total loss, the first Silent Hill film still remains a fantastically overlooked horror thrill ride. Whether you wanted to side-step the already rich lore of the video game series, or dive even deeper into it, the fact still remains that the franchise that somewhat redeemed video game movies deserves another entry in its film canon. Though this time, maybe the film can ignore the first attempt at a sequel, and finally give us the Sean Bean / Radha Mitchell team up we've been hoping for since Chris first felt the presence of his wife and daughter on the other side of Silent Hill.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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