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The Purbalite

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Horror movie franchises vary wildly in quality
Horror movie franchises are common and popular in Hollywood. Photo by Erik McLean via

In the world of horror cinema, everything is either an experimental adventure or a callback. Franchises are everywhere, from A Nightmare On Elm Street to The Conjuring

Familiar characters and faces bring in money, and movie makers know this. The number of images that can pop into someone’s mind from just a mention of a franchise title is easy to take advantage of. 

There are many advantages to all the recurring licenses. Seeing the same characters and ideas on the big screen, executed in many different ways, can be exciting. Being a fan of a quality scary franchise is delightful when the news of another installment comes up.

But a franchise that has consistent quality is one in a dozen. Even the most beloved names have productions that miss. 

For example, the tantalizing potential of the Scream franchise has been brought down by the sub-par slashes slashers of the last few years.

The original Scream from 1996 is regarded by many as one of the best horror films ever. Its ability to blend comedy and satire with a genuinely scary concept — a mysterious masked human being who doesn’t seem to get knocked down – makes for an exciting watch no matter how many times it’s been seen. 

Comparing such a great movie with the generic and boring sequels is almost enough to make it all seem pointless. The 2022 and 2023 products, respectively titled Scream and Scream VI, are laughable when compared to the ’90s masterpiece.

If entertainment purposes — not profits — were the only factor, the standalone movie would have been for the best for this franchise.

On the other hand, the Child’s Play franchise, going strong since 1988, is an example where the sequels are on a consistent quality level throughout the years. Sometimes, they’re even regarded as being better. 

Child’s Play 2, from 1990, is often agreed upon by horror fans to be the most enjoyable piece in the Child’s Play universe. But no matter which movie has the highest quality, the satire and humor from Chucky never gets old.

Occupying a different genre of horror entirely, the Saw chain is a big one, with 10 current movies and an 11th on the way. While the first Saw from 2004 is a revolutionary film, the followers are undeniably not as strong. 

Some are clever and smoothly continue the story, but others feel very penciled in. Most of them still end up being an enjoyable watch, but the mixed reviews on this franchise are reasonable. 

Overall, horror franchises are fun and offer familiar themes that can be enjoyed through many films. Sometimes sequels end up making a mockery of their predecessors, but other times they follow through with good quality throughout. 

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About the Contributor
Maddy Behr
Maddy Behr, Staff Writer
Maddy Behr is a freshman and first-year Staff Writer. She can be found listening to music, watching horror movies, or sleeping.   
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