Is There A Fifth Film Curse In Horror Movies?


Ever since horror films began to be serialized, it seems the fifth film in every series marks the franchise’s deepest low point.

Since the 1980’s, sequels in the world of horror movies has been a fact that every die-hard fan has had to come to grips with. Sure, Horror Heads all over thirst for additional horror tales set in the universes of their favorite films but too often we’re left disappointed. While some are great, Wes Craven’s Scream 2 (1997) and  Richard Franklin‘s Psycho II (1983) spring to mind, many others are worse than a hot pile of garbage. 

That said, when I was writing a few articles the other day I had a revelation that I had to mention to the Soldiers of Springwood: Every fourth sequel in a horror franchise, the fifth film overall, is complete and utter rubbish. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at three of the biggest horror franchises of all-time.

In 1989, the Halloween series unleashed its own fifth film to dismal results. Following the stellar Halloween 4: The Return of Micheal Myers, a film haled by many as one of the franchise’s best, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Micheal Myers set a series low for the saga of the White-Masked Maniac and the doctor that won’t rest till he’s dead.

Directed by  Dominique Othenin-Girard, The Revenge of Micheal Myers is freaking bad for so many reason. Those include, but aren’t limited to, a Myers house that’s in no way reminiscent of the actual Myers house (it looks like a gothic castle), a mute protagonist (which hurts the audience’s empathy and is replaced with arguably the most annoying protagonist in the history of horror, Tina Williams), an insanely stupid plot involving telepathy between Micheal and his niece, and a version of Dr. Loomis that’s a horrible misrepresentation of Carpenter’s original creation (he’s more of a crazed maniac himself and less a protector out for what’s best).

In 1985, the Friday the 13th franchise released its own insipid sequel . Directed by Danny Steinmann, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is almost as bad as horror sequels get. Sandwiched between the two other, and much more accomplished, additions in the “Jarvis Trilogy”, A New Beginning does the ultimate sin in arts and entertainment: insult the intelligence of its audience.

If you’ve seen the film, you’ll no doubt remember that “Jason” is a copycat killer named Roy, an ambulance drive and father of a recently slaughtered boy at the mental home where Tommy now lives. 

Are you freaking kidding me? This is so freaking stupid I almost can’t find the words. It’s almost like if you were to buy tickets to see Green Day in concert, but when you get there it’s a local act playing covers. Yeah, bad call Paramount.

On top of that, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is down right sleazy. Director Steinmann, who I had the pleasure of meeting before his death in 2012, came from a background in porn and it shows. If you know the history of Friday the 13th, you’ll know Producer Frank Mancuso Jr. was beginning to lose interest in the franchise so I’m not surprised Stienmann was hired.

If you watch the film, it smells of pornography. I like my horror with a side of boobs, but the presentation and tone of A New Beginning is unforgivable.

In 1989, A Nightmare on Elm Street came to the fifth film party with its own crap sequel. Titled A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, this confusing and downright silly sequel was a huge step down from 1988’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (one of horror’s most underrated sequels).

Why is The Dream Child so terrible? I’m glad you asked.

For starters, the plot is down right terrible. In the film, Freddy is trying to get to Alice, the newly minted heroine from The Dream Master, through the dreams of her and Dan’s unborn baby. While I slightly understand the intrigue of the premise, due to children sleeping 24/7 in the womb, this idea should have been stopped at the pitch stage. Not only is the premise ultimately stupid, the execution of the idea is insanely lacking. Just look at the film’s finale for a fine example of this.

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But that’s not all creatures of the night. While the film is well directed by Stephen HopkinsThe Dream Child also includes the worst make-up series star Robert Englund has ever worn, so much unnecessary exposition the series arguably never recovered from its stupidity, a complete waste of an extremely well established protagonist, side characters that are unforgivably undeveloped, and Super Freddy. Don’t remember Super Freddy? YouTube it. For the love of God YouTube it.

These are just three examples of the fifth film curse. 2004’s Seed of Chucky and 2000’s Leprechaun in the Hood are two more as well.  I could keep going but I think you guys get my point.

It’s not that I’m saying these series had flawless entries up to the fifth film, but the shocking decline in quality in all these fourth sequel is quite profound. So what do you think? Is there a fifth film curse?

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Seen these films? Have a differing opinion than the ones expressed above? We want to hear all about it. Add your own take below and let’s keep this franchise conversation going.