No genre is as synonymous with sequels as the horror genre.
Due to the relatively low cost of assembling such footage, it’s easy for studios to find profitable sequel after profitable sequel as they seek to milk the proverbial cow. As such, some of these suites can be a bit cheesy and often risk tarnishing what was once so great with an IP address.
In terms of tarnishing, there have been many horror follow-ups that have taken a huge dump on a big moment, a big character, or a big finale. And it is on these finals that the attention is here.
Putting together a brilliant ending for a horror series is clearly a tricky proposition, but there are some franchises that manage to nail a perfect – or at least very good – conclusion that leaves audiences happy that said series is going to bedtime. Sun. As alluded to, however, producers and studios usually have a hard time resisting the urge to go back to the well one more time, and so those fantasy endings are null and void by an inferior follow-up.
What does that come to mind, then, here are ten of those horror franchises that ultimately canceled what was a well-received finale.
While Sir Ridley Scott’s Alien is a phenomenal slice of sci-fi terror set in space, one could arguably say that James Cameron’s 1986 follow-up Aliens is somehow even better than its predecessor.
Aliens took the tension out of Scott’s image, added a little more action, and upped the stakes by throwing a young child into the mix in the form of Newt. Just by including Newt, it added a sense of maternal instinct and protective nature to Ripley’s character, fleshing it out a lot from what we had seen before.
What the aliens also did was it basically gave the audience a happy ending. At the end of this photo, Ripley, Newt, the android Bishop, and fan-favorite Corporal Hicks were all heading into stasis as they set their compasses for a return to Earth. With that, the franchise ended with a nice, warm fuzzy feel as our protagonists lived full and prosperous lives on their home planet…
Only they didn’t.
Instead, the much-maligned Alien 3 undid much of that perfect Aliens ending by killing off Newt and Hicks in lazy off-screen fashion early in the film. For Bishop, it would end up being disabled, while poor Ripley becomes pregnant with a Xenomorph, sacrifices herself at the end of the sequel, and then ends up being cloned for Alien: Resurrection.