Between The Conjuring 2 and Amityville II: The Possession’s recent additions to streaming, as well as casting updates on the upcoming Chucky TV series, now seems like a perfect time to explore more of horror’s best sequels on streaming. Instead of the usual suspects that include more popular fare like The Exorcist III or well-known franchise entries, this week’s picks aim for entries that don’t come up in genre conversations as often as they should.
These horror sequels thrillingly expand the mythology, take bold new directions, or altogether switch tones to bring the fun. Here’s where you can stream them this week.
28 Weeks Later – Hulu
Six months after the rage virus depleted Great Britain’s population, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to return to resume a post-apocalyptic life. After a carrier of the highly infectious pathogen gets brought in for testing, however, the virus takes root in the quarantined city and threatens to destroy them all. Taking on a whole new set of characters, 28 Weeks Later delivers non-stop action thrills while building a bit on the virus. Robert Carlyle makes an unnerving antagonist as a father whose guilt marks the impetus for this viral nightmare.
Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed – Roku, Tubi
Unleashed fearlessly takes a very different approach than expected, going for a unique continuation instead of a rehash. Picking up where the previous film left off, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) is trying to fend off her lycanthropy by injecting monkshood extract into her veins, increasing the dosage as it becomes harder to ward off her inner werewolf. It lands her in a rehab center, locking her in with another werewolf in pursuit. What Ginger Snaps did for puberty, Ginger Snaps 2 does for addiction. That means it’s much darker in both tone and subject matter.
Inferno – Kanopy, Shudder, Tubi, Vudu
The thematic sequel to Suspiria and second entry in the Three Mothers trilogy sees its protagonist square off against the Three Mothers’ youngest and cruelest. It’s a stunning follow-up, but between the more subdued score and understated (though no less beautiful) colors, it’s not as well-regarded as its predecessor. It likely doesn’t help that the showdown with Mater Tenebrarum isn’t nearly as intense as her sisters. Still, the atmosphere more than makes up for that, including one of the most exquisite underwater sequences. Inferno also boasts fantastic set pieces, gorgeous production design, and Mario Bava’s imprint is all over this one.
Psycho II – Peacock
Written by Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play), the sequel is set 22 years after the first film’s events where Norman Bates is released from the mental institution and resumes residence in the old house behind the motel. He gets a job at a nearby diner, where he meets co-worker Emma Spool and young diner Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly), a pretty girl in need of a place to stay. As Norman’s budding friendship with Mary grows, so does the body count. This highly underseen sequel toys with viewer expectations based on what we already know about Norman. It finds an innovative, new way to explore that unhealthy bond between mother and child. Unexpected reveals and more profound, more sympathetic layers to Norman make this one of horror’s all-time best sequels.
[REC] 3: Genesis – AMC+
[REC] and [REC] 2 remain at the forefront of found footage’s best offerings, but the third entry doesn’t get near as much love. Genesis overlaps with the first two films, set at a large church for the wedding of Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martin). Among the hundreds attending is an uncle who happened to be the veterinarian of Jennifer’s infected pet dog referred to in [REC]. It turns out that infected dog bites take a little while to transform a human into a rabid monster, and Clara and Koldo are at least allowed to make it through their ceremony and well into their reception before all hell breaks loose. The most obvious shift in Genesis is from found footage to traditional film, which cleverly answers the most common found footage question of why its protagonists refuse to put the camera down during perilous situations. The tonal shift from abject terror to humorous polarizes, but it’s a thrilling entry nonetheless.